UK Commits Further £10bn To IMF Bailout Fund
Britain is to commit a further £10bn to the International Monetary Fund's bailout war chest.
George Osborne has confirmed the UK will give the extra cash in the face of fresh fears about a new economic and financial crisis in Europe.
In total, the IMF has said it has raised more than £269bn ($430bn) for its global bailout fund.
Although the loan from the UK is sizeable, the Chancellor will not have to seek Parliamentary approval because it narrowly falls within the headroom he already has to provide to the Fund.
It means that Britain's exposure to the IMF, which is deeply involved with the euro bailouts, will rise from just under £30bn currently to around £40bn.
Mr Osborne said: "The UK sees itself as part of the solution to the global debt crisis rather than adding to it.
"We need a strong IMF. We can be one of the many countries that can support the IMF. We will be part of the global effort to increase the resources of the IMF.
"Britain is willing to make a loan of around $15bn (£10bn) It's a loan with interest, and the number is within the ceiling set by Parliament.
"It comes with conditions that I set out in Davos: full IMF conditionality; that IMF programmes are for counties not currencies; that it happens alongside other contributions; and that it is made after the eurozone has increased its firewall.
"It does not add to our deficit or our national debt - it is part of our foreign exchange reserves. That money could not have been spent on public services."
The money is being put forward alongside a number of other countries.
Mr Osborne added: "This shows that the world can act together and can deliver on promises made last year."
The Fund has reached its target to up resources by $400bn (£248bn) to deal with a potential future crisis in the euro area. Its managing director, Christine Lagarde, had told Sky News on Thursday it was in Britain's interest to provide the extra money.
However, the Chancellor is likely to face controversy back in the UK since Parliament will not have a direct say on whether the cash is provided.
The last time Britain increased its contribution to the Fund, in the wake of the 2009 London Summit, it ultimately provoked a Commons rebellion in which 32 Conservative MPs voted against the Government.
Mr Osborne said he would have given extra cash - implying a Commons vote - if necessary. But he said such a large contribution was no longer needed.
"The pressure is less than it was last autumn," he said. "There isn't quite the same sense of crisis as there was then. If I felt we should go beyond the headroom then we would. But our contribution is proportionate to many non-euro countries.
"I'm sure it will be actively discussed in Parliament."