Osborne signs £10bn cheque for new bailout loan to the IMF
After clutching his cards close to his chest for weeks, George Osborne showed his hand yesterday. What the Chancellor revealed was a $15bn (£10bn) cheque for the International Monetary Fund.
Mr Osborne, attending the spring meeting of the IMF and the World Bank in Washington DC, said the decision to bolster the resources of the lender of last resort for distressed economies was firmly in Britain's national interests.
"Jobs and growth in Britain depend on stable world economy," he said. "That needs a strong IMF. The UK sees itself as part of the solution to the global debt crisis rather than adding to it."
But he was quick to point out that the extra £10bn in loans, which will be drawn from Britain's currency reserves, would not require a vote of approval in Parliament. MPs voted last July to raise the UK's commitment to the IMF up to a ceiling of £40bn. Only £30bn has been drawn down so far, enabling Mr Osborne to avoid a fresh vote for his new £10bn pledge. Last year, 32 Conservatives voted against the increase.
Yesterday, the Chancellor was at pains to stress that the new funds were not specifically earmarked to assist the eurozone, although Spain and Italy are widely known as the two economies most likely to need an IMF bailout soon.
Eurosceptic Tory backbenchers, who oppose any additional UK contributions to the IMF that could end up being used to support single currency nations, were restive last night. Peter Bone described the decision as "bonkers".
Labour was also critical, saying European governments had not yet done enough to help themselves. The shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, said: "It is disappointing that the Chancellor has not taken the opportunity to press the wealthy eurozone countries to dig into their own pockets and establish a strong firewall of their own, before offering up more funding from Britain."
Mr Osborne said Britain would earn interest on its increased loan commitments and pointed out that no country had ever lost money lending to the IMF. The fund is a preferred creditor whenever it bails out countries, meaning it must be repaid before anyone else.
The UK pledge coincided with new commitments to the IMF from Australia ($7bn), Singapore ($4bn) and South Korea ($15bn). In total the IMF director, Christine Lagarde, managed to raise the Fund's lending resources by $430bn.
Earlier this week, Japan pledged $60bn. Sweden has committed $10bn, Poland $8bn, Switzerland $26bn and Denmark $7bn. Eurozone countries promised $200bn. But the IMF's largest shareholder, the US, has refused to offer more this time.
The magicians using online collaboration to push boundaries
Jennifer Lawrence attacks mass media again over body image
Jennifer Lawrence: 'It should be illegal to call someone fat on TV'
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
Ian Watkins: Paedophile Lostprophets singer sentenced to 35 years for child sex offences, as judge labels him a 'dangerous sexual predator'
Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
Devyani Khobragade: India-US row escalates over arrest of diplomat in New York
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Ethan Couch: Texas quadruple murderer – or a victim of ‘affluenza’?
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber announces he's 'retiring from music'
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
- < Previous
- Next >
£25000 - £32000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Business Analyst - Banking...
£21999 - £27001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have exten...
£25000 - £35000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...
£42000 - £51000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Are You Receiving...