UPDATE 1-IMF postpones work on Ireland loan

(Adds background, IMF comment on Ireland budget votes)

WASHINGTON, Dec 10 (BestGrowthStock) – The International Monetary
Fund on Friday postponed consideration of a 22.5 billion euro
loan for Ireland to allow the Irish parliament time to discuss
the wider joint IMF/European Union rescue plan.

“In deference to Ireland’s parliamentary process, the IMF
has decided to postpone consideration by its board of the
proposed loan under the Extended Fund Facility until after the
debate,” an IMF spokesperson said in a statement.

The spokesperson said the IMF’s board, which had been set
to vote on the loan on Friday, could consider the aid as early
as Thursday “assuming parliamentary support for the package.”

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen on Thursday called for
parliament to consider the joint 85 billion euro rescue
package, a surprise move aimed at embarrassing political
rivals. The parliament is scheduled to vote on Wednesday.

Ireland has already moved to put in a place an austerity
budget required as a condition for the release of IMF/EU rescue
funds. Ireland’s lower house on Friday approved the third of
four bills that would underpin the 2011 budget .

The IMF said the votes on the budget reflected Ireland’s
determination to tackle its debt problem.

“We welcome the first implementation measures of the 2011
budget — stipulating the fiscal consolidation path and
important reform measures involved in the program — have
recently been passed by the Irish Parliament, confirming
Ireland’s strong commitment to the program and the policies
involved,” the IMF spokesperson said.
(Reporting by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)

UPDATE 1-IMF postpones work on Ireland loan