Annual Report on Public Debt

It seemed to slip under the radar but last week the Department of Finance published the first Annual Report on Public Debt Debt in Ireland.  It is a really useful publication and the first report reviews public debt developments since 1995 and particularly the huge build-up of debt since 2008.  The forward-looking analysis is also very good.

The report can be accessed here.

6 thoughts on “Annual Report on Public Debt”

  1. The gross public debt increased at an annual rate of 20% p/a, compounding, from 2017 until 2013 – [from Fig. 1; 2]. Nice one!

    “Prudent management of the public finances is essential and, at a minimum, it is important that the budget is balanced over the economic cycle.” [Exec summary; iii]

    The ‘economic cycle’ being as long as that proverbial piece of string. Basically, the stated political objective is never to attempt to reduce the official debt to zero – ie: to establish, and to maintain, a sustainable, balanced, fiscal regime, but to ‘roll-over’ the public debt ad infinitum? That’s clearly an unsustainable proposition given that a unfortunate combination of technology, innovation and aging demographics, in the western industrial economies, is exerting an insidious dampening effect on waged-labour income growth across a broad swathe of the middle income and less well-off class groups. There may indeed be more folk labouring – but on static or reducing nett incomes. Ta ra growth!

    “Government held debt of around €42,000 for every individual resident in the State.” [5.3; 17]. Oppps!

    This approximates to €100,000? per adult* in the full-time workforce? That’s an awful lot of debt for one person to carry. Each person would need to set aside nearly € 3,000 per year, each year, for 35 years to pay it off. Good luck with that one.

    * I’m guessing here. So a correction is invited.

    1. Mr Woods Senior : The gross public debt increased at an annual rate of 20% p/a, compounding, from 2017 until 2013 – [from Fig. 1; 2]. Nice one!

      Perhaps you mean 2007 to 2013. If so, it is a rather impressive increase in public debt which should (but may not be) a warning for the next decade. Dr Varadkar’s move to lower the target from 45% to 55% of GNP shows how the lessons can so easily be ignored for political priorities.
      Average public debt per working person is a good, sobering figure which could do with wider coverage.

      1. Gerard – thanks. I noticed the mix-up after I posted!!! The only, possibly the only, sustainable level of public expenditure is that it is always equal to, or is slightly less than, taxation incomes. Won’t happen. But sure enjoy the day.

  2. The EZ still doesn’t have bank recap. QE reduced interest rates but not debt. The 2 big risks are Lehman 2.0 and inflation for the people by the people to reduce the value of debt. Cos private losses public responsibility is probably dead.

  3. A key strategic goal of the Department of Finance is the achievement of a “sustainable macro-economic environment and sound public finances”.

    Better living through increased property prices?

  4. Ta for link:

    Sore reading … very sore ….

    …. and then I spotted those promissory notes in fancy dress ….

    …. and Nietzsche’s eternal recurrence strikes again ….

    Conflationist Fallacy now a Reality.

    Sore … very sore.

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