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It is important that the developed world do what it can to assist poorer countries in combatting this crisis. First and foremost, this must involve a deal on current levels of sovereign debt in the Global South. Social Justice Ireland supports the call for the permanent cancellation of all external debt payments due from developing countries in 2020, with no accrual of interest or charges or other penalties, and the provision of additional emergency finance that does not create more debt.

The COVID-19 crisis will impose its heaviest tolls on the most vulnerable. It is understandable that national leaders are focused on tackling this crisis in their own backyards, but countries must find the space for supporting other nations too, if humanity is to successfully defeat this disease. It is therefore incumbent on rich world countries to help poorer countries. It is also in rich countries’ interests to think and act globally as well as locally.

The IMF has just published the 8th Review and Country Report on Ireland.  The report outlines the substantial challenges facing Ireland in 2013.  Growth projections for our trading partners have been revised down and domestic demand is expected to contract again in 2013.  The IMF also notes that if growth projections for 2013 were to disappoint, any additional fiscal consolidation should be deferred to 2015 to protect the recovery.

The Great Recession of 2007-09 has led to a significant increase in public debt, in large part due to the collapse in tax revenues as incomes fell. Other contributors to the debt build-up were the costs of financial bailouts of banks and companies, and the fiscal stimulus provided by many countries to stave off a Great Depression. As a consequence, in advanced economies public debt has increased on average from 70 percent of GDP in 2007 to about 100 percent of GDP in 2011—its highest level in 50 years (IMF Fiscal Monitor, 2012).

A recently published IMF working paper ‘The Distributional Effects of Fiscal Consolidation’ shows that austerity does not work and will not work for Ireland. 

The findings of the paper shows that fiscal consolidation has had significant distributional effects by raising inequality, decreasing wage income shares and increasing long-term unemployment.

A new study from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) raises very serious questions concerning the approach to recovery being followed by the ‘troika’ in EU countries including Ireland. The CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot claims this study shows that “… the IMF appears to be pursuing a political and ideological agenda in Europe, with a very strong prejudice toward spending cuts and smaller government,”

The International Monetary Fund published the 8th Review and Country Report for Ireland as part of the economic adjustment programme in December 2012.

Social Justice Ireland met the IMF/ECB/EC 'troika' on Monday, October 17, 2011. We presented them with a Briefing document setting out a fully-costed set of proposals which would see the terms of the Bailout Agreement met but which would ensure that poor and vulnerable people were not further burdened

In September 2012, the IMF published its Article IV Country Report for Ireland as well as its Seventh Quarterly Review under the Bailout Agreement.