As set out in the Budget 2020, Economic and Fiscal Outlook document, an important milestone is expected to be achieved this year, namely that the debt-to-GDP ratio is projected at below the 60 per cent threshold set out in the Stability and Growth Pact, for the first time in the post crisis era.
Ireland’s position in terms of gross general government consolidated debt is below the average level of gross general government consolidated debt for both the Euro Area and the European Union when measured as a percentage of GDP.
However, modified gross national income (GNI*) is a more accurate measure of repayment capacity in Ireland, as it excludes many of the factors that artificially inflate the level of GDP in Ireland. On this basis, Ireland’s gross general government consolidated debt as a percentage of GNI* is above the average level of the gross general government consolidated debt as a percentage of GDP for both the EU 28 and the Euro Area.
My Department has published, for the third year, the Annual Report on Public Debt in Ireland 2019 which highlights that public indebtedness remains very high in Ireland, reaching an estimated 100.2 per cent of GNI* this year. This is a vulnerability that must be addressed and is why reducing public indebtedness remains a key priority for Government.