Written answers

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Department of Finance

General Government Debt

8:00 pm

Photo of Michael McGrathMichael McGrath (Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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Question 124: To ask the Minister for Finance if he will provide the outstanding General Government Debt as at 31 December 2011 or most recent available date; its composition in terms of Exchequer Debt, Retail Debt, Promissory Notes and EU / IMF obligations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1504/12]

Photo of Michael NoonanMichael Noonan (Minister, Department of Finance; Limerick City, Fine Gael)
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The latest data for which the General Government Debt can be disaggregated is 30/09/2011. This estimate is produced by the Central Statistics Office using data from the NTMA and the Department of Finance. The CSO compiles quarterly estimates of General Government Debt one quarter in arrears. General Government Debt at 30 September 2011 is reported as EUR162 billion, of which EUR130 billion is Gross National Debt and EUR28 billion is debt outstanding on the promissory note.

The composition of the General Government Debt on 30 September is as follows:

Euro Billion

Government bonds90
State savings (retail debt)114
Promissory note obligation28
Debt to EFSM/EFSF/IMF26
Other2 4
Total162

1 State savings are defined on page 10 of the NTMA Annual Report 2010

2 'Other' includes accruals and debts of other General Government bodies

The Department of Finance estimate of General Government Debt for the end of 2011 is EUR167 billion or 107% of GDP. This forecast was given in the Budget 2012 publication and is the latest official estimate of General Government Debt. The estimate is based on the available data from the NTMA, the CSO and from within the Department.

Photo of Michael McGrathMichael McGrath (Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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Question 125: To ask the Minister for Finance the change in the General Government Debt from December 2007 to December 2011; the way this is broken down between the building up of cash balances, paying for Government goods and services, and recapitalisation of the banks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1505/12]

Photo of Michael NoonanMichael Noonan (Minister, Department of Finance; Limerick City, Fine Gael)
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General Government Debt grew from 25% of GDP in 2007 to 107% of GDP in 2011. The change in nominal terms over the entire period is EUR119m. The official measures of General Government Debt for 2007 to 2010 are given in the table below, along with an estimate for 2011. These are based on data published by the CSO, the NTMA and Department of Finance. The estimate for 2011 is based on the Budget 2012 forecast of debt of 2011 at 107% of GDP and is based on the latest Department of Finance, CSO and NTMA data.

Table General Government Debt 2007-2011 (EURbn)

20072008200920102011
aGeneral government debt47.479.8104.8144.3166.6
bChange in gen gov debt32.424.939.522.3
cChange in cash balances17.6-0.2-9.2*-1.3
dNet bank recapitalisation (direct from Exchequer)040.76.6
eBank recapitalisation (promissory notes)0030.9-2.5
fOther net borrowing of General Govern [=b-(c+d+e)]14.921.117.119.3

*In this table the change in cash balances in 2010 includes EUR3.6bn spent on the purchase of HFA commercial paper by the NTMA

Rounding may affect totals

The change in debt over the entire period can be broken down as follows:

(c) EUR7bn is due to a build-up of cash balances;

(d) EUR11bn is due to bank recapitalisation of certain banks;

(e) the obligation of the promissory notes (used for recapitalisation of Anglo Irish Bank, INBS and EBS) added EUR31bn to our debt in 2010, of which EUR3bn is paid off in 2011;

(f) other net borrowing including exchequer items, not already included in d and e, and payment for goods and services by other general government bodies added EUR73bn to the debt.

Please note that bank recapitalisations paid out of NPRF funds (amounting to EUR 20.7 billion over the period) does not add to General Government Debt, as no new liabilities are incurred.

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