Brown presses IMF to sell gold
Tuesday 11 May 1999
Following Friday's announcement that the UK will sell more than half of its gold, the Chancellor said: "This is a hard decision for many governments hitherto opposed to the very idea of gold sales, but it is a decision we must now take as a matter of both necessity and morality." He added: "When the poverty is so immediate, the need so urgent, the suffering so intense, we cannot - we must not - bury the hopes of a quarter of humanity in lifeless vaults of gold."
The Chancellor, speaking as the first government minister since Margaret Thatcher to address the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, also called on the world's richest countries to pledge an additional $1bn to allow the poorest nations to reduce their debts.
The announcement of Britain's sale of gold reserves has been criticised for lowering the price of gold and thus undermining the IMF's ability to raise funds in turn by selling some of its own reserves. The price of gold slipped a further $4 to $278 an ounce in London yesterday.
The UK has so far contributed $71m to a trust fund for third-world debt relief run by the World Bank, one of the few countries to commit funds. The Chancellor urged other Group of Seven countries to help take this total up to the $1bn mark so the World Bank can join the IMF in financing debt relief.
Mr Brown said the burden of unpayable debt should be reduced by at least $50bn in the year 2000. The money released by debt relief should be targeted at poverty reduction, health and education in developing countries.
Wealthy countries should provide a further $60bn in international aid next year. In addition, citizens should "dramatically increase our own giving to the neediest of the world," the Chancellor said.
Addressing the assembly of the church in which his late father was a minister, Mr Brown called the burden of third-world debt "the greatest single cause of injustice and cause of conflict across the earth".
The Chancellor gained warm applause from delegates.Moderator John Cairns said: "Today you have reaffirmed our belief that there is such a thing as society and community, and reminded us that our neighbours are not just in Europe, but throughout the world."
Gold tumbles again, page 21
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 2 Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor are reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
- 3 Katie Hopkins has just written a piece so hateful that it might give Hitler pause – why was it published?
- 4 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
- 5 Cancel Sky at your peril: man spends 96 minutes in chat but fails to get rid of service
Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor are reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
'Jihadi John': Isis executioner Mohammed Emwazi wanted to wage jihad in Somalia until his friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
Parma, Missouri: 80 per cent of town's police quit after first black mayor is elected
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
iJobs Money & Business
£30 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst with experienc...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£21000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged b...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...