LETTER:Continuing importance of the ILO as upholder of rights

Click to follow
The Independent Online
From Mr David Chidgey, MP

Sir: Alan Duncan seems to have overlooked some details in his rush to attack ILO "waste". Details such as the fact that the Government is spending the same amount on sending the CBI to this year's conference as the TUC, and that both organisations recognise the value of the ILO.

He also seems to have overlooked the ILO's role in producing internationally accepted definitions of unemployment. The ILO definition is used in the Government's Labour Force Survey, a survey which the Royal Statistical Society said earlier this year should be the basis for the monthly headline unemployment count.

The fact that the ILO has the formal remit for masterminding the international reduction of unemployment and that withdrawal would throw away benefit which may accrue from it for unemployed people in this country does not seem to matter very much to Mr Duncan. The fact that withdrawal from one UN agency would almost certainly lead to a reduction in influence in others seems to have been completely ignored by him.

Perhaps if the Government started taking the ILO seriously - sending senior ministers to international conferences would be a good start - the UK would reap even greater benefits from membership.

Yours faithfully,


MP for Eastleigh (Lib Dem)

House of Commons

London, SW1

8 June

The writer is Liberal Democrat spokesman on Training and Employment.