Written answers

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

11:00 pm

Photo of Michael McGrathMichael McGrath (Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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Question 124: To ask the Minister for Finance the details of the national debt; the amount owed, broken down to its component parts; the persons to whom it is owed; the level the debt is expected to rise to in 2010; and the estimated amount of interest on the debt to be paid in 2010. [46686/09]

Photo of Brian Lenihan JnrBrian Lenihan Jnr (Minister, Department of Finance; Dublin West, Fianna Fail)
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The national debt stood at €72.3 billion at end-November 2009. In addition the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) held Exchequer cash balances which amounted to just over €29 billion at end-November. The NTMA advise that the overall gross debt at end-November comprised approximately 70% long-term bonds, 21% short-term debt and 9% government savings schemes.

Based on the projected Exchequer Borrowing Requirements for 2009 and 2010, as published in Budget 2010, it is estimated that the national debt, excluding the cash balances, will be some €76 billion at end-2009, and just under €95 billion at end-2010. While the nature of the international markets makes it difficult to quantify, the NTMA advise that it is estimated that almost 80 per cent of Ireland’s gross debt is currently held by international investors. As outlined in the Stability Programme Update – December 2009, published on Budget day, it is estimated that interest costs on the national debt will amount to some €4.4 billion in 2010.

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