Saturday 14 December 2019

Irish attempts to get finances in order overshadowed by eurozone problems – NTMA chief reporters

Irish progress in tackling our finances are being superseded by problems in the greater eurozone area, the State debt management agency said today.

National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) chief executive John Corrigan said: “International investors acknowledge the strong progress Ireland is making in tackling its domestic problems but the stresses in the Eurozone overshadow everything else.

“Resolution of these wider eurozone issues is fundamental to Ireland being able to regain access to the markets.”

Mr Corrigan said the State is fully funded until 2013 and to date Ireland has borrowed €23bn from the EU/IMF bailout loans at an average interest rate of 5.6pc.

But general government debt is projected to increase by €25bn to €173bn or 11pc of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and is projected to peak at 118pc in 2013 and will then decline, the NTMA said in its annual report.

Salaries at the agency are amongst the highest in the public sector and have proved controversial as Reform minister Brendan Howlin is capping and cutting wage bills.

Earlier this year it emerged that Mr Corrigan, waived a bonus payment of nearly €250,000 for last year.

His salary was €430,000.

At the time, a spokesman said the agency was “acutely aware” of the financial challenge facing the State and was at the forefront of the State’s response to the crisis.

He said the executives had foregone the bonuses in light of those circumstances.

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