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IMF want Ireland to 'continue track record' of budget cuts

The IMF’s Gerry Rice wants Ireland to keep pace with cuts but did not rule out a reduction to deal with the “drag on growth”.

THE IMF HAVE said that Ireland should keep pace with budget cuts in line with what has already been implemented.

Speaking to reporters in Washington, the IMF’s communications director Gerry Rice said that Budget 2014 should “continue the authorities’ track record of steady fiscal consolidation”.

Rice’s words seem to conflict with the opinion of the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore as well as Labour Ministers Kathleen Lynch and Ruairí Quinn who have called for a reduction in the planned spending cut of €3.1 billion.

He did not rule out, however, that the Troika would agree to an easing off of belt tightening, saying that the “drag on growth” would be a starting point for discussions with the IMF, the ECB, and the European Commission.

Second loan facility

Rice also said that any possible discussions on a second loan facility for Ireland would only take place at the request of the Irish Government.

Talks on a possible €10 billion credit line to replace the bailout would take place during the Troika’s visit next month:

If the Irish authorities were to request a successor arrangement, the specific facility, the policies, the amount, would be something that would be discussed in the context of the next review, which is in October, upcoming.

Next month’s visit by the Troika will be the twelfth by the review team and is scheduled to be the last as part of Ireland’s €67 billion bailout programme.

Read: Ruairí Quinn: ‘The budget cut has to be less than €3.1 billion’ >

Read: Lynch: Labour wants €2bn worth of budget cuts instead of proposed €3.1 billion >

Column: ‘It is essential that we push ahead with the €3.1bn budget cut’ >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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