Sunday 17 November 2019

Ireland is at serious risk from higher interest rates on its 'chimney stack' €201bn debt, Dáil warned

Independents 4 Change TD Tommy Broughan Photo: Tom Burke
Independents 4 Change TD Tommy Broughan Photo: Tom Burke
John Downing

John Downing

Ireland should move to quickly re-finance its “debt chimney stacks” of €201bn before interest rates start to rise again, the Dáil has heard.

Independents4Change TD, Tommy Broughan, said Ireland was one of the most indebted nations in the world meaning every single man, woman and child owed the equivalent of €46,000.

But he argued that a huge chunk of the debt, amounting to €42bn, will have to be re-borrowed in the years 2018-2020.  And there was a risk that international interest rates will rise significantly by then, so he urged that this re-borrowing should happen now.

The Dublin Bay North TD warned that Brexit brought daily news of increased economic threats, citing the example of restrictions to fishing in British waters. “Ireland is moving into an era of increased uncertainty,” Mr Broughan said.

Replying on behalf of the Government Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald said steps were being taken to deal with Ireland’s economic problems including debt. She said Mr Broughan should acknowledge the progress being made with unemployment down from 15pc to just over 6pc.

“You didn’t support many of the policies which helped tackle the economic crisis,” Ms Fitzgerald told Deputy Broughan.

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