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National Debt.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 3 November 2009

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Ceisteanna (211, 212)

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

282 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Finance the national debt as of 31 December 1997, 31 December 2007 and the projections for 31 December 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38139/09]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael Ring

Ceist:

329 Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Finance the level of the National Debt at 31 December for each of the past ten years in tabular format; the percentage increase or decrease year on year; the projections for the debt levels at the end of 2009 and 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38456/09]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 282 and 329 together.

The level of national debt for the period 1997-2008 is outlined in the table below along with the percentage year-on-year change.

Year End

Total National Debt

% change year-on-year

€m

%

1997

38,966

2.6

1998

37,510

-3.7

1999

39,851

6.2

2000

36,511

-8.4

2001

36,183

-0.9

2002

36,361

0.5

2003

37,611

3.4

2004

37,846

0.6

2005

38,182

0.9

2006

35,917

-5.9

2007

37,559

4.6

2008

50,398

34.2

Taking into account the estimated end-year Exchequer Borrowing Requirement for 2009, which is forecast to be in the region of €26 billion, the anticipated level of national debt by end-2009 is some €76 billion. In respect of 2010, in the absence of any corrective action, an Exchequer deficit of the order of €25 billion would be in prospect and this would increase the level of national debt to approximately €100 billion by end-2010. As you know the Government plans to seek adjustments which would reduce the amount required to be borrowed next year by about €4 billion.

Continuing to borrow at a high level to bridge the gap between revenue and expenditure is not a sustainable solution in the medium to long-term. Therefore we must make the necessary adjustments in Budget 2010 to stabilise the deficit. Taking this action now will ensure that confidence is maintained in the Irish economy and that Ireland is favourably placed to benefit from global recovery as it takes hold. As part of the budgetary process, and taking account of the Budget day decisions, I will publish revised debt forecasts on Budget day.

It is intended that my Department will publish in mid-November the Pre-Budget Outlook (PBO). This will set out an updated macroeconomic assessment, based on the latest available data, and the emerging technical budgetary position.

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