Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (232)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

232. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Finance the amount of interest paid on the national debt in 2019 that was contracted since 2008. [33526/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

Exchequer cash interest paid in respect of Ireland’s National Debt for the six-month period January to June 2019 was just over €3.7 billion. This is a provisional, unaudited figure, as provided to me by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA). It is close to €160 million or just over 4% lower than the same period in 2018.

It includes interest paid on Government bonds, EU Programme loans, other medium/long term debt, short-term debt, and State Savings products.

It is difficult to say precisely how much of this interest relates to borrowing contracted since 2008 due to certain complexities in the debt portfolio. Examples of these complexities include (i) certain State Savings products allow additions, reinvestments and withdrawals before maturity and (ii) bonds can be auctioned or cancelled from any series regardless of their original issue date.

However, given that a large majority of the debt currently outstanding was issued since 2008, it is the case that the vast bulk of the interest paid in the first half of 2019 relates to debt contracted since 2008.