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"Hmmm. Thanks for that, guys" Niall Carson/PA Wire

The IMF is getting behind Joan Burton as the next Labour leader

The IMF describes Joan Burton as the leading candidate for the Labour leadership. No mention of Alex White, though.

THE IMF APPEARS to have weighed in behind Joan Burton as the next leader of the Labour party.

In a report on the Irish economy, the IMF described her as the “leading candidate” for the head of the junior coalition partner, and noted that she would be likely to stick to the plan for cuts in upcoming Budgets.

The IMF has called for €2 billion in spending cuts and tax increases in October’s Budget.

The report, which is the IMF’s first post-bailout review of Ireland, does not mention Alex White but instead highlights about Joan Burton’s approach to the economy.

“Deputy Prime Minister Gilmore resigned as leader of the Labour party – the junior coalition partner – and the selection of a new leader is underway,” the report says.

“The leading candidate has indicated that her intention is to remain in the coalition and to maintain the fiscal targets for 2015, while also emphasising the need for social repair alongside economic repair”.

In a conference call with journalists yesterday, the IMF downplayed the comment and said they had not spoken directly with Joan Burton about what her approach would be if elected leader.

When asked about their difference of opinion with the government on how severe the Budget cuts should be, the IMF said it was a “modest and reasonable difference of views”.

IMF Joan

Read: ‘We should not fear increases in the minimum wage’ – Joan Burton links recovery with wages > 

Read: Labour drops to just 4 per cent in the latest poll > 

Video: Alex White on how austerity affects him and whether Joan Burton hurt his feelings > 

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