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Our borrowings slashed by e6bn

IRISH borrowings are being slashed by €6bn next year.

The Government will be allowed to borrow significantly less than expected to fund the Irish economy for 2015.

The new figures are a result of the bailout loan extensions agreed at last April's meeting of European finance ministers.

The agreement will not change the size of Ireland borrowings, however it will ease the repayment schedule.

Next year, the Government will have to borrow €4.4bn instead of €10.6bn, pending approval of the plans in June.

This will make it easier for National Treasury Management Agency to borrow in bond markets as we leave the EU/IMF/ECB bailout programme at the end of the year.

The deal will mean reductions in borrowing of over €20bn between 2015 and 2022.

However, it is expected that the Government will still have to take over €3bn out of the budget in 2014 and over €2bn in budget 2015 in a bid to fix our finances.

The reductions are separate to ongoing discussion being headed up by Finance Minister Michael Noonan with Europe over a restructuring of billions in legacy bank debt when financial institutions were bailed out during the crisis.

Mr Noonan said the new figures showed that discussions on Ireland's borrowing needs are progressing.