Chancellor George Osborne
is facing criticism from some Conservative and Labour MPs after
pledging nearly £10bn ($15bn) in further UK loans to the IMF.
The money is part of a global effort to boost the
International Monetary Fund's capacity to lend to troubled economies,
including the eurozone.
But Tory MP Douglas Carswell called the move "IMF bailout bull" and Labour said it was "a sticking plaster response".
Mr Osborne said a "broad body" of Tory opinion backed the UK loan offer.
The IMF says it has received firm commitments of more than $430bn from a number of countries.
The money, pledged at a meeting in Washington, doubles the
fund's firepower, which was in danger of becoming overwhelmed by the
It can lend that money to other countries in financial
stress, with the aim of creating global financial stability and a
sounder footing for the world economic recovery.
The criticism from some on his own side won't surprise George
Osborne. Nonetheless, Douglas Carswell's blunt description of Britain's
latest contribution to the IMF as "bailout bull"' is hardly a show of
confidence. And the criticism is echoed by others on the Conservative
benches who believe the UK is committing funds to a failing project,
which, of course, it is not part of.
Some also think it sends out an unpalatable message - that
the UK is willing to take a multi-billion pound risk on the euro at a
time of sustained austerity at home. But George Osborne believes the
currency's survival is crucial if Britain's economy is to have any
chance of strong growth again.
The chancellor has avoided the need for a fresh vote in
Parliament to approve the loan - he already had consent for the £40bn
total. But he is unlikely to offer any more. He knows that getting
Parliament to approve that could be a struggle.
But the latest UK pledge has proved unpopular with some members of Mr Osborne's Conservative Party, who had been urging him not to sign up to an increase.
|Liveleak on Facebook|