Osborne makes plea for IMF cash

CHANCELLOR George Osborne used a visit to Hong Kong to implore Asian members of the IMF to stump up more cash for the international bailout fund last night.

Speaking at the Asia Financial Forum, Osborne told delegates from the region that governments “must ensure a reformed and more representative IMF has the tools and resources to do its job”.

He told them that it is the “responsibility” of the fund’s members “to ensure the IMF has the resources it needs to promote the global economic stability from which we all benefit”.

His speech forms the latest European plea to cash-rich Asian nations for money, although Osborne insisted that any new funds would not be a Eurozone bailout fund in disguise, saying the IMF “does not belong to any one region of the world”.

Britain is in a relatively strong position to persuade China to cough up because it is not yet fully embroiled in the Eurozone debt crisis. It is understood that Osborne will press the matter behind the scenes in a series of meetings in Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo this week.

It is not clear what welcome his arguments will receive. In his speech, Osborne also conceded that the west had thought “we could go on forever borrowing money from hard-working Chinese savers to buy the things those Chinese workers were making for us”. But, he added, “you have to earn your living in this world”.