JUST as we were beginning to get used to the country doing well economically, along comes National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) boss Conor O'Kelly to spoil the party by telling the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee (PAC)
JUST as we were beginning to get used to the country doing well economically, along comes National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) boss Conor O’Kelly to spoil the party by telling the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee (PAC) earlier this month that the chances of ‘a recession in Ireland are 100%.’ Just like death and taxes, it seems there is an inevitability about it, but when?
Undoubtedly, a ‘no-deal Brexit’ would hasten another recession coming our way what with recent estimates of running a deficit instead of a budget surplus in 2020, costing a possible €30bn over the next five years that would have to be borrowed and added to the current €205bn national debt, described as ‘a mountain’ by Mr O’Kelly and on which over €60bn has been paid in interest over the past decade – three times more than was paid between 2003 and 2009.
Ireland’s economy is more vulnerable to shock because of its high level of debt and the PAC was told Ireland is more at risk than other countries due to 90% of our borrowing coming from foreign capital.
Before the last recession, the national debt stood at 27% of gross domestic product (GDP). Currently, it is around 67% without any additional Brexit factor.
Our much talked-about €1.5bn ‘rainy day fund’ has not built up enough yet to make a decisive impact on a downturn scenario, but at least it’s better than nothing.
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