War on Want: UK aid budget 'wasted' on privatisation plans

War on Want has accused the Government of wasting millions of pounds from the UK's aid budget on encouraging privatisation in the developing world.

The charity published a report last week claiming that firms such as Pricewaterhousecoopers and KPMG have been given "vast sums" by the Department for International Development (DfID) to advise developing countries' governments on the privatisation of water, rail, electricity and postal services.

The report, Profiting from poverty: privatisation consultants, DfID and public services, says DfID has paid £34m alone to right-wing think-tank the Adam Smith Institute.

Author John Hilary, director of campaigns and policy at War on Want, said: "DfID's mission is to eradicate poverty, yet it has taken the lead in promoting the privatisation of public services worldwide." War on Want asks for an independent commission to examine the impact of privatisation.

A spokesman for DFID said: "The department has taken a number of initiatives to promote private investment in infrastructure in low-income countries."

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