Troika-style targets set to go on after bailout exit

Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan said to like format of quarterly reports

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will make a public response to mark the end of the EU-IMF bailout programme, but no details have yet been released. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will make a public response to mark the end of the EU-IMF bailout programme, but no details have yet been released. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Mon, Dec 9, 2013, 01:00


The Government is to continue with the troika-style quarterly targets and reports even after the State formally exits the international bailout programme, high-level sources have said.

Senior figures in Government, including Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, are said to like the format of the memorandum of understanding with their quarterly targets and reports clearly specified.

The format was new to Ireland, but a form of it has since been incorporated by Government into its annual jobs plan, which sets out dozens of clear targets each quarter and then reports on whether they have been achieved.

“We had 270 actions set out in the four-year programme and at least another 270 which were not included. There are advantages to be able to present what you need to achieve in a clear way to the public and then show if you have achieved it,” said the source.

Marking occasion
Ireland will formally exit the programme on Friday, marking the occasion with several events and press conferences.

Mr Noonan and Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin will hold a joint press conference in Government Buildings on Friday and other key Ministers – including Joan Burton at Social Protection and Richard Bruton at Jobs and Enterprise – will be available for briefings throughout the day.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will also make a public response to mark the end of the programme, but no details have yet been released. Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore is expected to make a speech on the subject at the Institute of European and International Affairs.

While sources said the intention was to keep the bailout exit low-key and “with little fanfare”, it will be a high-profile event both domestically and internationally. The Department of Finance said last night it had been swamped with queries from international media and is expecting hundreds of reporters from other EU states and further afield to be reporting from Dublin on Friday.

Economic review
Ahead of the exit, Mr Noonan will be in Brussels today and tomorrow attending meetings with Europe’s finance ministers. He is expected to brief colleagues on the steps Ireland will take once the State formally leaves the programme on Friday.

The next significant event will take place next week when the Government publishes its medium-term economic review for the years 2014 to 2020. The document, which will run to about 40 pages, will not be specific but will set out high-level objectives as well as laying out the overall plan as to how Ireland will meet its fiscal targets.

“Our main aim is to keep the momentum going in terms of structural reform that will lead to job creation,” the Government source said.