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Warning on assets

PLANS to spend the remaining money in the national pension fund on stimulus investment risks tipping the national debt into dangerous territory, a new analysis suggests.

A report from Davy Stockbrokers says the important figure is "net debt" after allowing for assets held by the Government, such as the pension fund, and Ireland's favourable net position is often ignored.

"I meet people in New York and London and they talk about Irish debt of 120pc of GDP. In fact, Ireland holds liquid assets worth 12pc of GDP," Conall Mac Coille, chief economist at Davy, said.