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There’s nothing novel these days about pointing out the ways in which the Trump administration is departing from a norm. But there’s been surprisingly little attention paid to the unusual timing and nature of White House comments about the federal budget this week. The fact is, the administration is still deep in the internal negotiation process with federal agencies over what will ultimately be the president’s budget submission to Congress sometime this spring. So when White House officials decided to talk publicly about just a few elements of that budget this week—a big boost in defense spending and big cuts for EPA, the State Department, and foreign assistance—they did so for political reasons, making a direct case to voters devoid of any clearly stated policy rationale.

The OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) aims to promote greater private sector engagement in development by allowing Official Development Assistance (ODA) to be channelled through a wide range of “private sector instruments” (PSI). This means aid to invest in or give loans to private companies, or to underwrite their activities through guarantees. We believe that these proposals are arguably the biggest change to ODA rules for several decades.

Key recommendations from Civil Society Organisations:

End violence against women, invest in the care economy, close the pay gap!

The surge in populist misogyny threatens to reverse progress towards gender equality and women’s autonomy – from austerity and privatisation of public care services to increasingly precarious and informal work, from a resurgence in patriarchal attitudes to attacks on women’s reproductive and sexual health and rights.
It’s time to organise. And women are rising to the challenge.

The ITUC has expressed strong support to the efforts by its French affiliates to defend the new law requiring French multinational companies to establish vigilance plans to avoid and remediate violations of fundamental rights and environmental standards throughout their supply chains and operations. Two days after the adoption of the law on 21 February, Members and Senators from the Republican Party, backed by employer organisation MEDEF, referred the issue to France’s Constitutional Council claiming that the law is unconstitutional.

The UK was one of the first countries to develop PPPs in the early 1990s, and its PPP programme, known as the Private Finance Initiative (PFI), subsequently expanded across all parts of public spending including healthcare, education and the military.

This briefing by Jubilee Debt Campaign sets out the major problems and risks the UK has encountered through its extensive experiment with PPPs. 

However, the UK government and companies are now heavily promoting PPPs around the world. In recent years, more than 90 countries around the world have passed laws relating to or enabling PPPs to be taken on.

Read the report


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