Inspired by decades of movements against unjust debts across the world, Debt Resistance UK (DRUK) is calling for Local Authority Debt Audits in the UK to demonstrate how Local Government finance is being systematically co-opted to work in the interests of private financial institutions, and not in the interests of the people.
DRUK is holding an introductory event for the campaign at 6:30 pm on Thursday 16th of July (Venue TBA).
We will be following in the footsteps of impressive work undertaken by the Citizen Debt Audit Platform in Spain (PACD) who are challenging debt at the local level through self-organised Local Authority Debt Audits, initiated by the people and connected to grassroots movements fighting austerity on multiple fronts.
The campaign is not an attack on Local Government, but an attempt to reclaim our democratic institutions and the common resources they manage from the powerful clutches of finance. To do so, we must understand how our public bodies and the financial system function and how they interact.
With the current talk of devolution by UK elites, local debt audits present a timely reminder that local government finance should operate in the public interest and be based on the principles of democracy, transparency and participation, not vested interests promoting obscure financial products. DRUK calls on citizens to take local action and initiate the process of reclaiming our democratic institutions.
On Monday 06 July, Channel 4 Dispatches presented the results of 12 months of Debt Resistance UK research – involving 300+ FOIA requests, sent to approximately 250 UK municipal governments, to quantify the true extent and additional costs of private bank debt being imposed on UK taxpayers. This is billions of pounds of risky bank lending to local authorities under the form of LOBO loans, involving complex derivatives, that has gone on unregulated and unaudited by authorities, and unreported by the UK media.