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NGO slams IMF's 'double standard' on austerity

19 april 2013, 15:23
0
Photo courtesy of campusprogress.org
Photo courtesy of campusprogress.org
Jubilee USA Network, a debt-relief organization, on Thursday criticized the International Monetary Fund for using a "double standard" in prescribing austerity measures to troubled economies, AFP reports.

"There's a kind of schizophrenia at the IMF. Their latest economic projections show reduced economic growth in the US and around the globe due to the austerity policies the IMF previously promoted," the nongovernmental organization said in a statement.

"Since their fall meetings in Japan, they changed their tune for stimulus for wealthy countries, but are still holding most of the world hostage with IMF austerity policies."

Greece, Cyprus and Jamaica are among the countries hit hard by the IMF's promotion of austerity policies, said the Jubilee statement.

But while they are being held to crippling targets for deficit and debt reduction, the IMF has urged the United States to ease off of its severe "sequester" government spending cuts that began in March, to avoid overly crunching the US economy.

"It's ironic that the IMF still promotes austerity policies with certain countries and then says the same kind of policies harm economic growth," said Jubilee, an alliance of more than 75 US associations and 50 global partners fighting for the cancellation of poor countries' debts and an end to poverty.

Jubilee also called on the IMF to spearhead action to "curb illicit financial flows," which it blamed for crises and poverty.

"Stopping these flows and tax havens generates needed revenue to end the financial crisis and address the underlying drive of austerity policies."

The issue of combating illicit financial flows is expected to be on the agenda of the Group of 20 economic powers meetings on the sidelines of the IMF-World Bank spring meetings this week in Washington.

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