3 Reasons Why Transparency Matters In The UK
Please note any stories submitted or interviews filmed for #TransparencyMatters do not reflect the views of TI-UK unless specifically stated. In particular, TI-UK does not make any allegations of impropriety against any named individuals or companies.
Secrecy and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
Transparency matters to me because I would like the secret negotiations in Brussels over TTIP to be revealed. I want to know the details, as similar legislation in North America has lead to corporations suing governments for rejecting resource extraction, led to the privatisation of public services and a lowering of food standards. These are major legislative changes that in a democratic society should be open to public debate, not private EU negotiations.
Councils, developers and secrecy in local planning
Jonathan Chair, South East Green Party
Transparency matters. In corruption's secret handshake we need to consider the powerful hand that gives, as well as the hand that takes. While the latter benefits financially, the former retains power and control. Lack of transparency is the way the UK planning system works - Local Enterprise Partnerships, council leaders meetings, pre-application discussions - with planning meetings often representing a 'done-deal'. Planning policy guidance statement now only exist online and were produced in private. How are planning inspectors selected? Three developers drafted the UK's new National Planning Policy Framework as exposed by the Daily Telegraph and labelled as the 'developer's charter'.
Hospital and drug transparency for patients
Ed Healthcare Researcher
#TransparencyMatters in healthcare reform because of a mismatch in the amount of information patients and those who care for them possess. Patients are now often permitted to personally choose which hospital they are treated in and which treatment option they undertake. To be able to make these difficult decisions, patients need an honest representation of the quality of each hospital and effectiveness of each suitable drug. Organisations need to be transparent when presenting data on both their successes and failures. This alone motivates them to give the best care they can and so attract the patients who keep them functioning.
Impact of Lobbying on People With Diabetes
Amy Trustee, T1International
Transparency matters, particularly to those whose day-to-day lives are ruled by the actions of big multinational corporations that exist to make a profit. People with type 1 diabetes, for example, are reliant on insulin to survive. Insulin prices vary widely from country to country, from about Â£4 to Â£40 a bottle (lasting around a month), helping the insulin industry reach annual profits of over Â£15billion in 2013. To put these massive numbers in context, this figure is equal to half of the entire Welsh economy. In 2015 alone, pharmaceutical companies declared a spend of nearly Â£27million lobbying EU policymakers. It's shocking that the monopoly of insulin-producing companies, and so many other pharmaceutical companies, are able to secretly exert pressure on policymakers to allow them to make such gross profits by making people pay such a high price for their survival.
Climate Change and the Media
Jason Business Development Manager and Campaigner
#TransparencyMatters because climate change is undoubtedly the biggest threat the world has ever seen. Yet Governments like the UK are failing to seriously adopt clean modern energy.Â I believe this is due to extremely wealthy oil and gas companies successfully lobbying the government and having too much influence over our media.Â Everyone knows renewable energy is an extremely good thing for our planet but fossil fuel companies know it's a pretty bad thing for their profits. Most journalism will continue to be undermined by a fear to properly report the facts about climate change. However, a greater access to information will help campaigners discredit sources which are aggressively pursuing profits over the environment.Â
Political Party Donations in Northern Ireland
Jonathan Northern Ireland Open Government Network (Personal Perspective)
Transparency matters because in Northern Ireland citizens cannot see the names of the individuals and organisations that give large sums of money to their political parties. Citizens have no way of knowing who Party donors are, making it impossible to detect whether planning decisions are being affected by Party funders. Such an opaque system of public accountability exposes officials to speculation, rumours and question marks over their integrity. Reforming this current model of worst practice is fundamental to correcting a democratic deficit in Northern Ireland. We need to create an equal and clearer field of play which will help uphold the integrity of both the lobbyist and elected representatives. It is a necessary step to restoring public faith in our elected officials and system of governance in general.
Tuition Fees and the Higher Education Lobby
Karina Curation MA Student
Transparency matters to me because I am in debt for the next five years as a result of the rise in tuition fees for higher education. Under the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition agreement in 2012, universities were given the go ahead to charge their students up to Â£9,000 a year â€“ but in their 2010 election campaign, the Liberal Democrats appealed to student voters under the premise that the party would abolish tuition fees. I would like to know how this u-turn agreement was reached, and what influence powerful educational institutions and associations were able to have in the run up to this decision.