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Friday 6 December 2019

Lenihan claims Budget cuts saved us €3.6bn

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

FINANCE Minister Brian Lenihan is claiming to Fianna Fail supporters that his budgetary measures have saved Ireland from €3.6bn in higher debt repayment costs.

He has sent a personal email to party members showing how the cost of interest repayments on funds borrowed by the Government dropped since the December Budget -- while those paid by the Greek government soared.

But the opposition say Mr Lenihan is indulging in "fantasy" and "typical Fianna Fail boasting".

International experts such as German lender Commerzbank have said the interest payments on the bonds could narrow because of Mr Lenihan's plan to cut spending and set up NAMA.

Mr Lenihan has also asked members to pass the email entitled 'Three Months On: Our Plan is Working' to friends, family and colleagues. "Over the last 20 months, we have taken decisive and bold action to bring this country back from the brink of economic and financial ruin," the email reads.

"These measures have stabilised our public finances and greatly increased international investor confidence . . . The benefits are there for all to see."

His figures are based on the fact that Ireland is taking out €20bn of loans this year.

He claims that, if his budget changes had not been introduced, Ireland would be paying the same interest as Greece, which would be €360m more per year or €3.6bn more over 10 years.

Irish Independent

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