Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


G8 Debt Relief: A Step in the Right Direction

Monday 13 June, 2005

G8 Debt Relief: A Step in the Right Direction

The announcement yesterday by the Group of Eight (G8) to wipe $NZ56 billion of debt of some of the world’s poorest nations has been welcomed by Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, the Catholic agency for justice, peace and development.

“Any move to address the crippling burden of debt on the world’s poorest countries has to be welcomed, and these announcements will benefit a number of countries where we have partners – particularly Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Nicaragua. The evidence in these countries is that when debt relief has been provided, they have been able to dramatically improve their provision of health and education for their people,” says Caritas Programmes Manager, Peter Zwart.

“But we also need to read beneath the headlines. The last round of big cancellation announcements were made in 2000 and at that time many people thought that the issue of debt had been solved by the G8 governments. In fact, it was only a small part of a solution. Five years after 2000, only 27 out of the more than 50 poor countries in dire need of debt cancellation have received anything from that deal.”

The new announcement will only initially assist 18 of these countries and up to 33 in the longer term and the benefits will go to those who have been following a stringent set of economic restructuring packages. While the relief will be good for these countries, and is long overdue, it will do little to help those countries who face conflict or who have been unwilling to adopt this kind of restructuring, and which are currently failing to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“We also need to treat figures such as NZ$56 billion with some caution. In the past, these kinds of announcements often include figures that were approved earlier, so the amount of new resources is likely to be far less.

“This is a first step, but we need to provide sufficient cancellation to all countries prevented from meeting the MDGs through lack of finance,” said Zwart.

Caritas Aotearoa NZ has been researching and advocating for debt cancellation for the past eight years; before, during and after the Jubilee Year. Caritas together with Christian World Service coordinates the work of Jubilee Aotearoa New Zealand (www.debtaction.org.nz) and a Debt Working Group which brings together officials from Treasury and NZAID.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them.

Finally, yesterday’s announcement by the Ardern government that a new state agency will be set up to assess and plan the manned re-entry to the mine (on a set timetable) goes a long way to meeting the families’ remaining request: that they be enabled, if at all possible, to bury their loved ones. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election