Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - State Debt.

Tuesday, 16 December 1980

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 325 No. 7

First Page Previous Page Page of 111 Next Page Last Page

21.

Mr. O'Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  asked the Minister for Finance the figures for (a) national debt, (b) borrowings of State-sponsored [1168] bodies and (c) local authority debt for the years ending December 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979 and the estimated figures for the year ending December 1980.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  As the reply is in the form of a tabular statement I propose, with the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, to circulate it with the Official Report.

Following is the statement:

Borrowings at end December
1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 (Est.)
£m £m £m £m £m
(a) National Debt 3,612 4,229 5,167 6,540 7,500
*(b) State-sponsored bodies (Commercial and industrial) 606 745 1,014 1,322 1,733
*(c) Local Authorities 43 44 48 (Est) 52 (Est) 55 (Est)
*(d) Other Government Bodies 9 13 14 17 16
*(e) Other Local Bodies 35 30 29 29 29

* Note: Loans from the Exchequer, either direct or through the Local loans Fund are not included in these figures.

Mr. O'Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  I should like the Minister to tell the House the figure for the national debt for 1980?

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  It is estimated that it will be £7,500 million.

Mr. O'Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  Is the Minister concerned to be departing from the scene leaving such a huge crippling debt on the country, bearing in mind that it has doubled over the last three years?

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  No. I will give further details when I am replying to other questions which indicate that it has not doubled in terms of GNP, an important indicator. I will also give the purposes for which it is being used.

Mr. O'Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  Noting that the Minister is not concerned about the figure I should like to know if he accepts that the figure has doubled over the last three years?

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  It has not doubled over the last three years and if the Deputy reads my reply he will see that.

Dr. FitzGerald: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  Over the last three and a half years?

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  As Deputies are aware, it is not just the amount of borrowing but the purposes for which the money was required.

Dr. FitzGerald: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  The current deficit?

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  In relation to the current deficit, if I had met just one-fifth of the demands from the other side of the House during the last 12 months the current deficit would be three times what it is now.

Mr. P. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  The deficit was arranged last February.

[1169]Dr. FitzGerald: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  It was the Minister's budget that created the deficit.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  If the Deputies opposite were consistent I could deal with them.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Padraig Faulkner  Zoom on Padraig Faulkner  Will the Minister and Deputies allow Deputy L'Estrange to ask a supplementary?

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  Does the Minister agree that the national debt was £3,600 million in 1976 and that it is estimated it will now be £7,500 million? Does the Minister agree that in 1976-77, when the national debt was only half the present figure, he was talking about the country sinking deeper and deeper into debt and that he had an advertisement showing a pawnbroker's sign on it? What has happened since? The Minister has doubled the national debt and I should like to know if that is in order simply because Fianna Fáil borrowed the money?

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  The pawnbrokers have taken down the sign.

[1170]Mr. Horgan: Information on John S. Horgan  Zoom on John S. Horgan  They are in charge.

Mr. O'Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  Are they on the dole?

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  The Deputy's figures are wrong.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  They are not. They are the figures the Minister used one month ago. Will the Minister tell the House the extent of the National debt in 1976?

22.

Dr. Browne: Information on Noel C. Browne  Zoom on Noel C. Browne  asked the Minister for Finance if he will indicate the size of the total (a) national debt and (b) foreign borrowings by the Government in relation to gross national product in 1930, 1940, 1950, 1960 and 1970 and each subsequent year.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  As the reply is in the form of a tabular statement, I propose with the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, to circulate it with the Official Report.

The data requested are as follows:

Financial year ended1 Amount of National Debt As % of Gross National Product Foreign Borrowing As % of Gross National Product
£m. £m.
31 March 1931 27.5 n.a.2
31 March 1941 48.2 n.a.2
31 March 1951 158.3 39.8
31 March 1961 427.3 66.0
31 March 1971 1,105.9 67.1 25 1.5
31 March 1972 1,251.4 66.6 17 0.9
31 March 1973 1,421.1 63.0 18 0.8
31 March 1974 1,622.2 60.0 40 1.5
31 December 1974 1,957.9 65.7 144 6.4
31 December 1975 2,743.8 74.1 249 6.7
31 December 1976 3,612.0 80.1 352 7.8
31 December 1977 4,228.6 79.2 181 3.4
31 December 1978 5,167.1 82.7 353 5.7
31 December 1979 6,540.1 90.8 459 6.4

1 National debt and foreign borrowing figures are not available on a calendar year basis prior to 1974. National Debt and foreign borrowings as a percentage of GNP in the prior years have been calculated using the GNP figure for the calender year immediately preceding the end of the financial year in question.

2 Gross national product figures are not available for 1930 and 1940.

3 For the transitional financial year April to December 1974 the percentage is calculated using foreign borrowing in that period and three-quarters of GNP for the calendar year 1974.


Last Updated: 14/09/2010 11:05:21 First Page Previous Page Page of 111 Next Page Last Page