Written Answers. - IMF Restructuring Programmes.

Mary Flaherty

Question:

86 Miss Flaherty asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the fact that international monetary fund restructuring programmes in the poorest of the world's nations are forcing the best workers out of low paid State employment and into the private sector; and if he will undertake to raise this issue at the appropriate level in order to effect a change of policy.

Restructuring programmes which are endorsed by the IMF must be based on sound economic policies, including a strong budget. They must also be the country's own programme: IMF experience has shown that a programme can only be effective if the authorities of the country concerned are genuinely committed to it and it is supported by a broad consensus of the population. In order to help protect vulnerable sectors of the population when corrective policies are implemented, the IMF advises the authorities to give due weight to poverty and income-distribution issues.

I am not aware of the particular problem to which the Deputy refers but, if she would give me details of specific instances of it, I shall arrange to have them brought to the attention of the authorities of the IMF.