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Minister will not welcome IMF remarks

THE IMF's report on debt relief will provide serious food for thought for the Government. The Washington-based organisation argues that targeted restructuring of mortgage debt can be effective. It cites the example of the US after the Great Depression and, more recently, that of Iceland.

The IMF didn't mention Ireland directly but it's clear that the remarks were directed at our Government, among others.

But the advice may not be welcome on Merrion Street where debt forgiveness is off the table.

Unfortunately for Minister Michael Noonan the huge levels of household debt are clearly limiting our economic growth as we enter a fifth year of falling GNP. With little change in sight the IMF's proposals, morally fraught as some may seen them, do merit some consideration.

Whether we proceed the IMF route or the austerity path, one thing is certain. We need action, not words.