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Anger over UK's £10bn extra to IMF

George Osborne faces fury from the Tory back benches after he announced Britain is to commit another £10 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Chancellor said the increased funding was vital to protect jobs and growth in this country.

But Conservative Peter Bone branded the move "bonkers" and said the money would be wasted trying to prop up the eurozone.

The Wellingborough MP also complained that the level had been set to avoid triggering a parliamentary vote.

Finance ministers and central bank governors struck the deal at a meeting in Washington. Alongside the UK's increase, Australia is to contribute an extra seven billion US dollars (£4.34 billion), Singapore four billion dollars (£2.48 billion), and South Korea 15 billion dollars (£9.3 billion). The US and Canada are not thought to be contributing any extra funding under the agreement.

Mr Osborne said: "Jobs and growth in Britain depend on a stable world economy. That needs a strong IMF. And because we have taken strong action to rescue our own economy, we can be one of many countries that can support the IMF, instead of being bailed out by the IMF."

Parliament has previously approved around £40 billion in support for the IMF, of which about £30 billion has already been committed. If the increase had gone beyond the £10 billion "headroom" still available to Mr Osborne it would have required a fresh vote by MPs.

Committing money does not mean it will necessarily be drawn against and, because it would be given in the form of a loan, it would not deplete public spending budgets.

Mr Bone said: "It is £10 billion of money that he is spending without telling Parliament in advance he was going to do it. It seems to me it is all about bailing out the eurozone. It should not be up to British taxpayers to shore up a doomed project that is for the benefit of our European colleagues."

However, Mr Bone said there was now no obvious way of forcing a Commons vote on the issue - which could have been highly embarrassing for the Government.


From Belfast Telegraph