By Tim Montgomerie
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The front page story in today's FT (£) suggests that David Cameron might be ready to AGAIN increase Britain's contribution to the IMF as part of a rescue plan for the €urozone. "New resources," the newspaper reports, "would supplement a war chest of about $384bn, which is too small for a large-scale rescue package for both Spain and Italy. Any fresh round of financing would almost certainly be agreed on an ad hoc basis; the US has already ruled out taking part."
Britain must not even consider joining a bailout that does not include fundamental reform of the €urozone and that means that some countries like Greece, Portugal and Ireland leaving. The €urozone is currently an unemployment machine – "An astonishing 23% of the Spanish workforce is unemployed, including 45% of young people. 18% of the Greeks of working age, 14% of the Irish and 13% of the Portuguese rely on out of work benefits for their living. Even in France almost 10% of the workforce is without a job."
Tory members identified opposition to further bailouts as the policy most likely to help win the next election. Given Labour's caution on extra money for the IMF, any Tory decision to embrace further bailouts is a very good way of losing the next election.