By Tom Prendeville
The Irish Government has been warning for months that unless we reduce our spending the International Monetary Fund (IMF) could arrive at the door in the middle of the night and impose savage cuts regardless of local sensibilities.
However, it might come as a surprise to many, but the IMF has been quietly sitting at the Cabinet Table for quite some time.
finance Minister Brian Lehihan is a Governor of the IMF and when he is not available to attend meetings, Junior Minister Martin Manseragh stands in for him as a Governor. Elsewhere, no less a figure than the Taoiseach Brian Cowen is a former Governor of the IMF.
Last year (October 17th) Health Minister Mary Harney warned that that the International Monetary Fund pirates will be called in if the Government does not reduce public expenditure, and that they would impose budgetary savage cuts of up to 40% per cent:
“If the Government hasn’t the capacity to do what’s needed, then others will come in, like the IMF, and overnight they will make decisions.”
“Then they will immediately start cutting expenditure by maybe 30% or 40% per cent, and that is a fact,” warned Mary Harney.
A spokesperson for the Department of Finance confirmed that the IMF sits at the Cabinet Table, and that Brian Cowen is a former Governor of the IMF:
“Brian Lenihan is a Governor of the IMF on a permanent basis. The IMF meets three or four times a year and when Martin Manseragh attends on behalf of the Minister of Finance, he is designated as a Governor whilst the meeting is taking place.”