Ireland paid interest of €1 billion to IMF last year

State has spent €28.5 billion servicing the national debt since 2010

Ninister for Finance Michael Noonan. Ireland last year paid €405 million in interest to the European Financial Stability Facility and €661 million to the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism

Ninister for Finance Michael Noonan. Ireland last year paid €405 million in interest to the European Financial Stability Facility and €661 million to the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism

 

The State paid just more than €1 billion in interest on its International Monetary Fund bailout loans last year, according to figures from the National Treasury Management Agency.

This was just €13 million shy of the interest payment made to two euro zone funds even though those institutions provided almost twice as much financial assistance to Ireland as part of the country’s €68.2 billion bailout programme in 2010.

The figures make the case for Ireland’s decision to repay early some €18 billion of its €22.5 billion in IMF loans. To date, the NTMA has repaid €12.5 billion of the IMF money, replacing it with cheaper market funding.

It is expected to repay another €5.5 billion to the Washington DC-based IMF by the end of this year. The IMF loans were originally due to be paid back between July 2015 and December 2023.

Bailout funds

The State has paid the IMF €2.65 billion in interest costs on its bailout funds. By comparison, it has paid €2.99 billion on loans from EU member states.

The State last year paid €405 million in interest to the European Financial Stability Facility and €661 million to the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism. These institutions provided €40.9 billion between them in bailout funds to Ireland five years ago.

The NTMA also paid €75 million in interest to the UK, Sweden and Denmark on bilateral loans that amounted to a combined €4.83 billion.

Interest costs

The NTMA paid €7.59 billion in interest costs on Ireland’s national debt in 2014, an increase of 1.9 per cent on the previous year.

It has spent some €28.5 billion in interest payments over the past five years, while the annual cost of servicing Ireland’s national debt has more than doubled since 2010.

In additional to the bailout funds, the interest costs last year included just under €5 billion on sovereign bonds, €394 million on State savings schemes, and €64 million on other categories.

The figures show Ireland earned just €124 million in interest on the State’s cash reserves