Trade Unions soak up international aid money

It is embarrassing that this story almost went past Autonomous Mind Towers without being noticed.  Yet again we have another example of public funds being misused for self serving political ends by the Labour government.  Once again it is the Department for International Development (DFID) which is being free and easy with our hard earned cash (hat tip: ConservativeHome).

Earlier this week it was confirmed in Parliament that a DFID civil servant has been seconded to Tony Blair for his work as Quartet Representative in the Middle East.  But at the same time the International Policy Network (IPN) was explaining that:

Following on from our previous investigation [Sept 2009] of how “foreign aid” is being used for advocacy work by NGOs inside the UK, IPN has discovered that trades unions are benefiting from millions of money aimed at “international development”.

From 2003 to 2006, the Trades Union Congress [TUC] has rececived £3.6 million from the UK Department for International Development (DfID). But much of this money has been spent on projects benefiting the domestic UK labour movement. We’re just not sure how this benefits the poorest people around the world.

Download the IPN report ‘A Closer Union’

Perhaps this is another generous ‘thank you’ from Labour to the trade unions who are keeping the party alive financially.  After all, during the period in question, 2003-06, trade unions donated £39,086,216.09 (yes, £39m) in cash to Labour both directly and through constituency Labour party groups.

In return, Labour has channelled around £10m of our money back to the trade unions for the ‘trade union mondernisation fund‘.  This meant the unions did not have to use their own money for training and development, enabling them to maintain huge political donations to Labour.  And now we see a further £3.6m of our money being given to the trade unions to help train people how to be better advocates of the trade union movement and the Labour party.  Labour is only one short step away from actually paying the subs for union members!

Strangely enough, the DFID web page ‘Where the money goes‘ makes no mention at all of these Partnership Programme Arrangement (PPA) payments to the TUC for use in the UK.  PPAs are made through a mechanism that is supposed to channel money to dedicated aid charities operating in poorer countries, such as Oxfam.

Clearly the payments to the TUC are neither international aid nor benefiting people in desperate need.  They are a corrupt abuse of public funds for political gain by a corrupt and morally bankrupt government.  This is just another example of ‘public spending’ that can be cut without affecting front line services.

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5 Responses to “Trade Unions soak up international aid money”


  1. 1 jameshigham 13/01/2010 at 7:56 pm

    As Deep Throat said to Bob Woodward, “Follow the money.”

  2. 2 twawki 14/01/2010 at 12:25 pm

    These NGOS are a beachhead into government processes and its all about the redirection of funds!


  1. 1 Labour evasion over international aid money to Unions « Autonomous Mind Trackback on 21/01/2010 at 12:32 pm
  2. 2 Another Cameron flip flop « Autonomous Mind Trackback on 23/03/2010 at 11:51 am
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