Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Questions (195)

Michael McGrath


195. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the estimated national debt of Ireland at the present time; the amount of that national debt which is associated with rescuing the banks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24710/14]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

End-2013 general government debt, which is a gross measure, is estimated by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) at €202.9 billion or 123.7 per cent of GDP.

The proceeds of all borrowing as well as revenues including tax and non-tax, and capital receipts are lodged to the Exchequer account to fund general expenditure. In general terms, no specific tranches of borrowing were undertaken solely for the purpose of recapitalising the banking sector. Therefore, that part of the debt that relates to the recapitalisation of the banks can only be tentatively estimated.

The Deputy will be aware however that the IBRC promissory notes were cancelled in 2013, and replaced with a portfolio of eight floating rate Government bonds for a total amount of €25 billion.

Furthermore, the €3.06 billion Promissory Note instalment due to IBRC at end-March 2012 was settled with a Government bond.

By the end of 2013, it is estimated that €10 billion (net of the sale of Bank of Ireland equity in 2011, the sale of Irish Life and the sale of contingent capital notes in 2013) has been paid through direct payments from the Exchequer account to the banking sector*. The payment of the 2011 promissory note instalment of €3.085 billion was also made from the Exchequer account.

My Department therefore estimates the amount of debt associated with rescue operations during the financial crisis to be of the order of €41 billion at end-2013.

*This figure excludes the benefit of fees paid to the Minister under the Credit Institutions Financial Support and Eligible Liabilities Guarantee schemes amounting to €4.4 billion from 2008 to 2014. The figure also excludes any estimation of ongoing interest costs relating to rescue operations.