The General Government1 (GG) consolidated debt to GDP ratio (using the categories of debt set out under the Excessive Deficit Procedure2) increased during 2021. By end-year it stood at €250.6bn which is equivalent to 58.8% of total economy GDP. Figure 5.1 shows GG Debt (at market value), and its ratio to GDP, over the years 2011 to 2021. Ireland’s debt level grew steadily in the period 2007-2013 and fell by €7.7bn in the period 2014-2019. It increased by €20.3bn in 2020 and €9.1bn in 2021, mainly to fund COVID-19 related expenditure.
|Government Debt (EDP)||GDP||Government Debt/GDP||MIP Threshold|
In contrast, Figure 5.2, which complements Figure 5.1, shows the evolution of General Government debt by financial instrument composition over the same period.
|AF.2 Deposits||AF.3 Securities||AF.4 Loans|
The official measure of Gross General Government Debt (GG Debt or “Maastricht Debt”) used for EDP purposes is reported at face value resulting in a ratio of 55.4% of GDP for end-20213, below its end-2020 value of 58.4% of GDP. The drop in the debt to GDP ratio during 2021 is due to an increase in GDP for the year. The relative composition of GG Debt is illustrated in Figure 5.3.
|AF.2 Deposits||AF.3 Debt Securities||AF.4 Loans|
Gross disposable income (B.6g) increased in 2021 by €15.9bn, to stand at €54.5bn at end-2021. This represented a rise of 41.4% over the year. Gross saving (B.8g) of general government increased by €11.8bn in 2021, resulting in an end of year value of €2.2bn and contributing to the decrease in the government deficit4 (B.9) which stood at €7.0bn for the year. Net borrowing decreased in 2021, following an increase in 2020.
|B.8g Gross Saving||B.9 Net Lending (+) / Net Borrowing (-)|
1Note the data estimates for the Government sector presented in this publication refer to the July 2022 vintage – please see Government Accounts for the most recent vintage of Government sector data.
2Defined under EU regulations governing the Excessive Deficit Procedure as the sum of gross liabilities of the consolidated General Government sector (S.13) in the categories AF.2 (Currency & Deposits), AF.3 (Debt Securities) and AF.4 (Loans) at market value.
3Further details on GGDebt and its components at nominal value can be seen in the CSO release Government Finance Statistics – Annual, October 2022.
4Technically this is known as the Net Lending/Net Borrowing (B.9).