22 NOV 2010
By Tim Shipman and Hugo Duncan | Mail
• Irish government in crisis as Greens call for election
• Osborne: Helping Ireland is in national interest
• He confirms UK contribution will be around £7bn
• Critics insist Britain should not prop up euro
• Markets are buoyed and euro also strengthens
Bailing out the ailing Irish economy to the tune of billions is in Britain's 'national interest', George Osborne insisted today.
The Chancellor described Ireland as a 'friend in need' as he defended plans to pay more than £7billion into an international bailout worth up to £85billion.
British taxpayers will be landed with an increase in the colossal debt burden - already £952billion - at a time of desperate cost cutting.
They will be stung three times because Ireland will receive funds from the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and direct loans from Britain.
The £7.5billion liability for British taxpayers is the equivalent of £288 for every household in the UK.
If Ireland were to default on its debts, losses of around £5billion on toxic bank debts held by Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group would push the liability to British taxpayers up to £12.5billion - though the bailout should prevent that happening.
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