The national debt

 

Sir, – Jason Power asks why is the national debt not an election issue (Letters, January 22nd).

The simple answer is that there are no votes in in it. Politicians do not advertise that they are squandering our tax money.

To put it into perspective, the €5 billion paid out in interest annually equates to over €2,000, or (€40 per week) extra tax paid by every taxpayer in the country.

This is wasted money, for which we citizens get nothing. This could be better spent on providing enhanced services (such as reducing waiting lists for hospitals) or leaving us better off in our take-home pay.

Repayment of the debt is also never mentioned. If we use the normal capital recovery formula for this, and assume repayment over 20 years, we should be paying an extra €8 billion a year in taxes.

Mr Power is right about the effect of the huge national debt will have on the economy when the next recession hits.

If history teaches us anything, the past economic cycles would indicate a recession is due about now, although the trigger for it may not be known. – Yours, etc,

BRENDAN MURPHY,

Sandycove,

Co Dublin.