CHANCELLOR George Osborne was accused of “playing with words” yesterday after he informed the House of Commons that Britain will pay out £10bn to beef up the IMF’s resources despite his previous promise that he would not do so.
Tory backbenchers repeatedly raised the concern that the IMF will effectively be funding a Eurozone bailout by the back door with the money, despite Osborne’s insistence otherwise. “We’re not pouring money into a Eurozone bailout fund by contributing,” the chancellor said.
They were also incensed that Osborne is paying out the maximum amount he can raise without having to hold a parliamentary vote on the matter.
John Redwood MP has suggested that if the IMF bails out states without knowing they can leave the euro, it could contradict its mandate that it should lend only where doing so will make a country’s debts sustainable. Redwood said Osborne should “urge the IMF to make sure that loans are only made available when [a country is] in a position to devalue or withdraw from the single currency”.
Douglas Carswell MP quoted Osborne previously claiming the UK would not pay out for a euro bailout and asked: “Has he changed his mind or is he playing with words?”