Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Clegg backs increased IMF payments

Britain must stand ready to contribute more to the IMF in order to shore up the ailing world economy, Nick Clegg says

Britain must stand ready to contribute more to the International Monetary Fund in order to shore up the ailing world economy, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says.

The UK is expected to be asked to put in more resources as the IMF seeks to raise an additional 500 billion dollars.

The UK is currently liable for 4.5% of the IMF's 400 billion dollar lending capacity, leading to speculation that the planned increase would mean an additional British liability of around £17 billion.

Mr Clegg said that if the IMF came forward with a request the Government should be ready to respond positively.

"I think we ought to. We always must be strong supporters of the IMF. It is a linch pin in creating a system of stability," he told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show.

"We will always make our fair contribution to the IMF when the IMF says and shows that those increased contributions are necessary."

However his comments angered some Tory MPs who believe the additional contributions will be used to prop up the eurozone.

"There should be no further British contributions to the IMF, above what Parliament has already agreed, without a new vote in Parliament," said Mark Pritchard, the secretary of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee.

"There is no public demand to continue to throw good money after bad and further subsidise eurozone sovereign debt and increasingly uncompetitive European economies."

Parliament has previously approved around £40 billion in support for the IMF, of which about £30 billion has already been committed. Any new request going beyond the £10 billion "headroom" still available to Chancellor George Osborne would require a fresh vote by MPs.

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