Ireland’s debt still over €200bn despite fall in borrowing

CSO figures show Government ran a deficit of €1.27bn in first half of 2016

In the first six months of this year Government revenue increased 3.4% t to €34.5bn when compared with the same period last year

In the first six months of this year Government revenue increased 3.4% t to €34.5bn when compared with the same period last year

 

Ireland’s national debt stood at €200.1 billion at the end of June, equating to 77.8 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

New figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show this represented a €6.5 billion drop on the previous quarter, when debt represented more than 80 per cent of GDP.

At the height of the financial crisis, Ireland’s debt was more than 120 per cent of GDP. Last year it fell from 105 per cent to 78 per cent as a result of a 26 per cent leap in GDP linked to the relocation of multinational assets here.

The shift was considered to have flattered Ireland’s debt metrics. As a result the Government revised its debt reduction target down to 45 per cent of GDP, significantly lower than the EU’s target of 60 per cent.

The CSO figures also show the Government ran a deficit of €1.27 billion, equivalent to 1 per cent of GDP, in the first half of 2016, compared to 1.9 per cent last year, putting it on course to come in just below its 1 per cent for 2016.

In the first six months of 2016 Government revenue increased 3.4 per cent to €34.5 billion when compared with the same period last year. This increase was driven by a 7.1 per cent increase in taxes which was partially offset by a reduction in investment income of €654 million.