Economists have warned that the UK's public finances are in such a bad state there is a real possibility that Britain will seek help from the fund.
The G20 agreed this week to establish a new scheme, controlled by the IMF, which countries of all backgrounds can go to if they are experiencing financial problems.
That coincided with a concerted push by British ministers to argue that there would no longer be any stigma attached to asking for cash.The previous Labour Government's bail-out by the IMF in 1976 was seen as a national humiliation and helped sweep the party from power for 18 years.
A senior Cabinet minister said, however, that the new fund would not be like the 1970s version and should not be seen as such. He said there would be nothing wrong if America or Britain used the facility.He said: "Previously a country would only go if they were in a very bad state. It was a bit like going to accident and emergency to get urgent help. "This new facility will not be like that. It is a bit more like getting wellbeing care or even like going to a spa to recuperate."
Isn't it strange how this Cabinet Minister remains anonymous and refuses to be named. You might almost think he had something to be ashamed of. A key part of the Tory attack on Labour now should be to drive the point home that Labour has plundered our public finances to such a state that we could be driven to seek emergency assistance from the IMF. Recuperation, my arse. More like resuscitation.