Thursday, 26 March 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
68. Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Finance the details of direct contacts, whether formally or informally, he or his officials have had with credit rating agencies over the past six months in respect of Irish sovereign debt; the details of briefings he or his officials have had on such meetings which have occurred between the Governor of the Central Bank or the chief executive of the National Treasury Management Agency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12316/09]
Minister for Finance (Deputy Brian Lenihan): In the normal course of events, officials in my Department regularly brief and meet with representatives of international credit rating agencies in order to provide information on the Irish economy. As part of my function as Minister for Finance, I meet with a wide variety of organisations, including on occasion, credit ratings agencies. In the past six months I have only met with representatives of Standard and Poors on 18 February 2009 to discuss the budgetary and economic outlook for Ireland.
The rating agencies as a matter of course also meet with a wide variety of public and private sector organisations in Ireland, including the Central Bank and the NTMA, on a regular basis as part of their process of keeping themselves informed of developments in the Irish economy. In addition, National Treasury Management Agency officials regularly brief the rating agencies on various issues related to the public finances.
Minister for Finance (Deputy Brian Lenihan): In line with normal budgetary practice, the Government will consider and decide upon expenditure policy options, and the decisions will be announced on Tuesday 7 April next.
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