Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Ceisteanna (110)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

114 Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the size of the Government debt between 2006 and 2011 as a percentage of GDP and in monetary terms; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14393/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Finance)

The figures for National Debt and General Government debt for the years 2006-2010 as well as the latest estimates of each for 2011 are set out in the following table. National debt is defined as the total outstanding amount of principal borrowed by Central Government and not repaid to date less liquid assets available for redemption of those liabilities at the same date.

General Government debt is the standard measure used within the EU for comparative purposes. It includes the National debt as well as Local Government debt and some other minor liabilities of Government. In addition, General Government debt is a gross measure and it does not allow for the netting off of cash balances, which had been built up considerably in recent years, so adding greatly to General Government debt. The main reason for the large increase in the gap between National debt and General Government debt at end-2010 is the €31 billion in Promissory Notes committed to financial institutions in 2010. Due to the fact that the General Government debt operates on an accruals basis, this amount was added in full to the General Government debt in 2010 but the cash borrowing to fund these payments will only take place on a phased basis, beginning in 2011, and so only adds to the National debt on a phased basis also.

As the General Government debt is the standard measurement of gross indebtedness used for comparative purposes within the EU, it is often referenced as a percentage of GDP. The debt/GDP ratios for the years 2006-2011 are also shown in the following table.

Revisions to the GDP level could impact on the General Government debt/GDP ratios

National Deb

General Government Deb

€ billion

€ billion

% of GDP

2006

35.9

44.1

25

2007

37.6

47.4

25

2008

50.4

79.8

44

2009

75.2

104.8

66

2010

93.4

148.1

96

2011 (Forecast)

122.0

173.0

111