Certainly I do approve of what is proposed here. Nítrigen Éireann Teoranta is a holding company which earns revenue, not from trading in the marketplace, but essentially from a gas contract it has and which it sells on to a trading company. As the Deputy will know, what happened over the years is that the revenue from that contract has not been sufficient to meet the accumulated debt passed to NET, when the old NET was being structured and Irish Fertiliser Industries was established. Effectively, therefore, NET is just a debt management company. There are considerable advantages in transferring the debt within NET to a larger debt management company, such as the National Treasury Management Agency, which has the resources to manage that debt effectively and, as the Deputy rightly pointed out, also has a strong record in achieving economies in debt management. Therefore, it represents a sensible application of the State resources to consolidate this debt in the National Treasury Management Agency.
The issue as to whether this will impact dramatically on the national debt, as the Deputy said, is a matter for another Minister but we realise that the NET debt is guaranteed and held by the State. This arrangement will move that debt to another company, the National Treasury Management Agency, for its management. It does not increase the debt burden of the taxpayer or the State, it is simply a matter of more efficient management.