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Tuesday 24 October 2017

National debt doubles to €75bn in two years

Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

The national debt doubled in two years to €75bn as the Government needed to increase borrowing when the public finances collapsed.

In 2007, the debt stood at €37.560bn, rising to €50.398bn in 2008 and jumping to €75.152bn in 2009.

In his report on the accounts of the Public Services, Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) John Buckley said this was down to funding the growing exchequer deficit.

The C&AG's conclusions showed the dramatic decline in the public finances:

  • The General Government Debt had increased to €104.7bn at the end of 2009 with the Gross National Debt accounting for nearly €97bn of that liability.
  • When account is taken of €21.8bn in liquid assets held as a liquidity buffer for the Exchequer, the Net National Debt amounted to €75.2bn at the end of December 2009.
  • The increase of €24.5bn in the Gross National Debt in 2009 was mainly due to the funding of the exchequer deficit for 2009.
  • In the 18 months to June 2010, the structure of the debt, in terms of duration, had altered significantly. The proportion of the Gross National Debt made up of short-term borrowings had decreased from 30pc at the end of 2008 to 7.6pc at the end of June 2010.
  • Debt service costs when measured on an accruals basis increased by €1.3bn in 2009 (or 68pc).

Irish Independent

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