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E-mail: Ciaran Judge (+353) 1 498 4360 Rod O'Mahony (+353) 1 498 4304
For general information on CSO statistics: (+353) 21 453 5000 On-line ISSN 2009-616X
CSO statistical release, , 11am

Government Finance Statistics - Annual

2009 to 2012 (October 2013 Results)

General Government Debt, Deficit and Net Worth
 GG Gross DebtGG DeficitGG Net Worth
End of year€m% GDP€m% GDP€m% GDP

Government Deficit of 8.2% of GDP in 2012

Figure 1 General Government Deficit, Debt and Net Worth
go to full release

Government deficit of 8.2% of GDP in 2012

 General Government experienced a deficit of €13,511 million (8.2% of GDP) in 2012 - an improvement on the 2011 deficit of €21,358 million (13.1% of GDP). Government revenue increased from €55,331 million in 2011 to €56,524 million in 2012 while there was a decline in expenditure from €76,557 million to €69,812 million over the same period (Table 1).

Taxes and social contributions formed by far the largest component of Government revenue over the period, representing just under 87% of total Government revenue in 2012.  Social benefits accounted for just over 40% of Government spending in each year.

The 2012 deficit has been substantially revised since first estimates were published in April of this year mainly due to a change arising from the sale of mobile telephone licences by the State (see Changes since April results below).

GG Gross DebtGG Net Debt

General Government Gross Debt at 117.4% of GDP in 2012

The gross debt of General Government stood at €192,458 million at the end of 2012 - up from €169,226 million at the end of 2011. The corresponding percentages of GDP were 117.4 % and 104.1%, respectively. 

General Government Net Debt for 2012 amounted to €151,979 million or 92.7% of GDP.  This net debt figure is obtained by deducting the value of the financial assets corresponding to those categories of financial liabilities which comprise General Government Debt from the gross debt figure (Table 2).

Government Net Worth of -47.2% of GDP in 2012

When financial assets of €73,696 million and non-financial assets of €57,865 million are taken into account, the General Government Net Worth amounted to -€77,352 million (-47.2% of GDP) at the end of 2012 (Table 2). The corresponding end 2011 net worth was -€46,912 million (-28.9% of GDP).

This detailed release along with the headline figures published on 14 October 2013 together comprise the second official publication by CSO of annual Government Finance Statistics results for years 2009 to 2012, following the first release in April 2013.

Because audited accounts for many government bodies become available between April and October, this second release allows us to present more final data for 2012 than the provisional outturn published in April.

The data published in both the April and October releases are consistent with the General Government Deficit and Debt levels for 2009 to 2012 reported to Eurostat at end-March and end-September under the EU regulation governing the Excessive Deficit Procedure.  Consequently they may not always be fully aligned with the National Income and Expenditure and related publications such as the Institutional Sector Accounts.


Changes since April results

Treatment of sale of mobile phone licences.

For the April estimates Government revenue from the sales of mobile phone licences was recorded as having being received in 2012, reflecting the fact that the contract was entered into in 2012. CSO subsequently obtained clarification from Eurostat, that as the date of the legal allocation of the licences (as opposed to the contract date) was in the first quarter of 2013, the correct statistical treatment is to record this revenue in 2013.  The effect of this change of treatment is a worsening of the 2012 deficit in the amount of €723 million.  This forms the main component of the change in the reported deficit from €12,461 million in April to €13,511 million in October.

Updated data sources/processing

In many cases the April EDP estimates are based on preliminary outturn figures. Final audited accounts are available for a much greater proportion of Government bodies by the time of the October notification.  Data from these accounts (where available) are used for the production of the current estimates.

In addition more detailed data sources have become available to us, in particular in relation to Local Authorities and Institutes of Technology, since the April EDP notification. On-going improvements to data processing systems are also reflected in these results, in particular in relation to taxes data and the use of Appropriation Accounts balance sheet data for Government Departments and Offices.

Change in Net Worth

Change in the reported net worth of General Government since April is mainly explained by the higher reported deficit, offset by a somewhat larger increase in the value of fixed assets and equity held by Government.

Revisions to GDP

The GDP figures used in the current publication are consistent with those published in the National Income and Expenditure 2012.  This has some effect on the calculation of the percentages shown in this release when compared to the April version.

Table 1 General Government transactions: revenue, expenditure, financing and deficit    
DescriptionESA code2009201020112012
General Government transactions     
Taxes and social contributions47,85346,31447,76349,104
TaxesD2 + D5 + D9135,85434,83137,62439,453
Social contributions D6111,99911,48410,1399,651
Sales of goods and servicesP1O4,5435,2415,0864,868
Investment incomeD41,9822,1101,9972,249
Current transfer revenue (excluding taxes)D7151161100100
Capital transfer revenue (excluding taxes)D9N1,4341,323386203
Compensation of employeesD120,70519,28419,11318,784
Use of goods and services plus taxes payableP2 + D5 + D2910,2239,2528,7718,429
Depreciation (Consumption of fixed capital)K12,6582,6472,6232,423
Interest (excluding FISIM)D413,2904,9845,1905,912
Social benefitsD62 + D63128,47128,41028,95228,960
Other current transfersD72,0911,8741,7841,798
Capital transfersD95,58532,8577,3921,249
 Net operating balance -18,748-45,736-19,844-12,571
Net acquisition of non-financial assetsP5 + NP - K13,4172,6621,382717
 Net lending (+) / net borrowing (-)B9-22,165-48,398-21,226-13,288
Net acquisition of financial assets2,915-7,7533,52810,174
Debt instrumentsF2 + F33 + F45,154-8,926-3938,774
Shares and other equityF5-2,3571,4303,5831,815
Other financial assetsF34 + F61 + F62 + F7118-257338-415
Net incurrence of liabilities25,08040,64524,75423,462
Debt instrumentsF2 + F33 + F425,87940,89724,68322,859
Other liabilitiesF34 + F5 + F61 + F62 + F7-799-25271603
General Government Deficit     
Net lending / net borrowing-22,165-48,398-21,226-13,288
Adjustment for swaps-710-132-223
General Government Surplus/Deficit  -22,172-48,388-21,358-13,511
General Government Surplus/Deficit (% of GDP) -13.7-30.6-13.1-8.2
Table 2 General Government Net Worth, Gross and Net Debt     
Description ESA code2009201020112012
General Government net worth     
Net worth at market value, excluding pension liabilitiesNW20,070-14,217-46,912-77,352
Non-financial assets at market valueNFA61,02058,42557,14857,865
Financial net worth at market value, excluding pension liabilitiesFNW-40,950-72,642-104,060-135,217
Financial assets at market valueFA72,48965,18263,00973,696
EDP debt instrumentsAF2 + AF33 + AF441,86832,77030,95040,479
Shares and other equityAF521,79423,91622,87024,524
Other financial assetsAF34 + AF61 + AF62 + AF78,8278,4969,1898,693
Liabilities at market value113,439137,824167,069208,913
EDP debt instrumentsAF2 + AF33 + AF4108,031132,647161,048201,529
Other liabilitiesAF34 + AF61 + AF62 + AF75,4085,1776,0217,384
Memo: Estimated pension liabilities of government116,000116,000116,000116,000
Memo: Net worth, including pension liabilities-95,930-130,217-162,912-193,352
Contingent liabilities287,666163,376153,258125,327
 Memo: Net worth, including pension liabilities and contingent liabilities -383,596-293,593-316,170-318,679
General Government: changes in net worth     
Opening net worth46,97920,070-14,217-46,912
Change in net worth due to transactions-18,748-45,736-19,844-12,571
Net acquisition of non-financial assets P5 + NP - K13,4172,6621,382717
Net lending/net borrowingB9-22,165-48,398-21,226-13,288
Change in net worth due to other economic flowsKx-8,16111,449-12,852-17,869
Other changes in non-financial assets-11,694-5,257-2,6600
Other changes in financial assets3,079446-5,701513
Other changes in liabilities45416,260-4,491-18,382
Closing net worth 20,070-14,217-46,912-77,352
General Government Debt (GGDebt)     
Debt instrument liabilities at market value108,031132,647161,048201,529
+ Difference between EDP face value and market value-3,48711,5178,178-9,071
 Gross General Government Debt (EDP face value) 104,544144,164169,226192,458
less EDP debt instrument assets-41,868-32,770-30,950-40,479
 Net General Government Debt  62,676111,394138,276151,979
Closing Net Worth (% of GDP) 12.4-9.0-28.9-47.2
Gross General Government Debt (% of GDP) 64.491.2104.1117.4
Net General Government Debt (% of GDP) 38.670.585.092.7
Table 3 General Government: detailed classification of revenue and output     
DescriptionESA code2009201020112012
Total RevenueTR55,96355,14955,33156,524
 Taxes and social contributions 47,85346,31447,76349,104
  TaxesD2 + D5 + D9135,85434,83137,62439,453
   Indirect taxes (taxes on production and imports)D218,19617,99917,60617,997
    Taxes on productsD2116,14315,68615,24615,609
    of which Value-Added TaxD21110,1619,8739,56210,028
    Other taxes on production D292,0532,3142,3602,389
   Direct taxesD517,40016,59619,31620,691
    Taxes on income, profits and capital gainsD5116,62215,84118,58019,930
    Other current direct taxesD59778755736761
   Capital taxesD91258235702765
  Social contributions D6111,99911,48410,1399,651
   Actual social contributionsD6119,3309,0827,8197,186
   Imputed social contributionsD6122,6692,4022,3202,466
 Sales of goods and servicesP1O4,5435,2415,0864,868
  Sales of market establishments (= market output)P11907877905949
  Imputed sales related to production of own-use capital assets (= output for own final use)P1264585858
  Incidental sales and fees of non-market establishmentsP1313,5724,3064,1233,862
 Investment incomeD41,9822,1101,9972,249
  Interest (excluding FISIM)D41978850917819
 Current transfer revenueD39 + D7151161100100
  Other current transfersD7151161100100
   Non-life insurance claimsD7214141313
 Capital transfer revenueD9N1,4341,323386203
Output P133,84831,43730,78729,964
 Market output (sales of market establishments)P11907877905949
 Output for own final useP1264585858
 Non-market outputP1332,87730,50229,82428,957
  = Non-market compensation of employeesD1_nonmarket20,64119,22619,05518,726
   = Total compensation of employeesD120,70519,28419,11318,784
   - Compensation of employees of market establishmentsD1_market0000
   - Compensation related to production of own-use capital assetsD1_own-use-64-58-58-58
  + Non-market intermediate consumptionP2_nonmarket9,9989,0288,5438,202
   = Total intermediate consumptionP210,2239,2518,7708,428
   - Intermediate consumption of market establishmentsP2_market-225-224-227-227
   - Intermediate consumption related to production of own-use capital assetsP2_own-use0000
  + Non-market consumption of fixed capitalK1_nonmarket2,2382,2482,2252,029
   = Total consumption of fixed capitalK12,6582,6472,6232,423
   - Consumption of fixed capital by market establishmentsK1_market-420-399-397-394
   - Consumption of fixed capital related to production of own-use capital assetsK1_own-use0000
  + Other taxes on production, payable D29_pay0000
  - Other subsidies on production, receivable (D.39 R)D39_rec0000
Table 4 General Government: detailed classification of expenditure and consumption     
DescriptionESA code2009201020112012
Total ExpenditureTE78,128103,54776,55769,812
 Expense 74,712100,88575,17569,095
  Compensation of employeesD120,70519,28419,11318,784
   Of which: Related to production of own-use capital assets 64585858
  Use of goods and services plus taxes payableP2 + D5 + D2910,2239,2528,7718,429
   Use of goods and services [Intermediate consumption]P210,2239,2518,7708,428
    Of which: Intermediate consumption of market establishments 225224227227
   Taxes, payableD50111
  Depreciation (Consumption of fixed capital)K12,6582,6472,6232,423
    Of which: Depreciation by market establishments 420399397394
  Interest (excluding FISIM)D413,2904,9845,1905,912
   Product subsidiesD31920801793920
   Other subsidies on productionD39770776556620
  Social benefitsD62 + D63128,47128,41028,95228,960
   Social benefits in cashD6224,50524,20124,76024,623
   Social benefits in kind (via market producers)D6313,9664,2094,1934,336
  Other current transfersD72,0911,8741,7841,798
   Net non-life insurance premiumsD7162737391
   Current international cooperationD74557529529523
   Miscellaneous current transfersD751,4721,2721,1831,185
    GNI-based EU own resourcesD75_GNI1,147973956999
    Other miscellaneous current transfersD75_other325299226186
  Capital transfersD95,58532,8577,3921,249
   Investment grantsD921,0931,203426614
   Other capital transfersD994,49231,6546,966635
 Net acquisition of non-financial assetsP5 + NP - K13,4172,6621,382717
  = Gross investment in non-financial assetsP5 + NP6,0745,3104,0053,140
   Gross fixed capital formationP516,0755,3903,8943,057
   Net acquisition of stocksP52-1-8011183
   Net acquisition of unproduced assetsK20000
  - Consumption of fixed capitalK1-2,658-2,647-2,623-2,423
Net expenditure on current goods and servicesP3 - D63229,30426,19625,70125,096
 = OutputP133,84831,43730,78729,964
 - Sales of goods and services P11+P12+P131-4,543-5,241-5,086-4,868
   Market output (sales of market establishments)P11-907-877-905-949
   Output for own final useP12-64-58-58-58
   Incidental sales and fees of non-market establishmentsP131-3,572-4,306-4,123-3,862
Final consumption expenditureP333,27030,40529,89429,432
 = Net expenditure on current goods and servicesP3 - D63129,30426,19625,70125,096
 + Social transfers in kind via market producers D6313,9664,2094,1934,336
made up of      
 Individual consumption (= social transfers in kind)P31 (= D63)22,42921,31921,02220,875
  Social transfers in kind (via market producers)D6313,9664,2094,1934,336
  Social transfers in kind (provided directly by government)D63218,46317,11016,82916,538
 Collective consumption (= actual final consumption of government)P3210,8419,0868,8728,558
Total social transfersD62 + D6346,93445,52045,78145,498
 Social benefits in cashD62 24,50524,20124,76024,623
 Social transfers in kind (= individual consumption)D6322,42921,31921,02220,875
Table 5 General Government financial transactions
DescriptionESA code    
 Net lending (+) / net borrowing (-)B.9-22,165-48,398-21,226-13,288
Net acquisition of financial assets ΔA2,915-7,7533,52810,174
EDP debt instruments F2 + F33 + F45,154-8,926-3938,774
 Currency and deposits F2909-11,221-4005,735
Securities other than shares, excluding financial derivatives F334,1231,857-1,3361,169
Short-term F33143-37-361,085
Long-term F3324,0801,894-1,30084
Loans F41224381,3431,870
Short-term loans F41008851,408
Long-term loans F42122438458462
Shares and other equity F5-2,3571,4303,5831,815
Other financial assets F34 + F61 + F62 + F7118-257338-415
Financial derivatives F3416254-2710
Insurance: reserves and premium prepayments F61 + F62100-1
Net equity of households in life insurance reserves and in pension funds reserves F610000
Prepay. of ins. premiums and reserves for outstanding claims F62100-1
Other accounts receivable/payableF7101-511609-414
Net incurrence of liabilities ΔL25,08040,64524,75423,462
EDP debt instruments F2 + F33 + F425,87940,89724,68322,859
Currency and deposits F21,4643,4021,5072,253
Securities other than shares, excluding financial derivatives F3324,4416,106-9,049396
Short-term F331-4,887-13,109-3,383-1,235
Long-term F33229,32819,215-5,6661,631
Loans F4-2631,38932,22520,210
Short-term loans F4123758-1641,289
Long-term loans F42-26331,33132,38918,921
Other liabilities F34 + F5 + F61 + F62 + F7-799-25271603
Financial derivatives F340030
Shares and other equity F50000
Insurance: reserves and premium prepayments F61 + F620001
Net equity of households in life insurance reserves and in pension funds reserves F610001
Prepay. of ins. premiums and reserves for outstanding claims F620000
   Other accounts receivable/payableF7-799-25268602
Table 6 General Government: detailed breakdown of net worth    
DescriptionESA code2009201020112012
General Government balance sheet     
 Net worth at market value, excluding pension liabilities 20,070-14,217-46,912-77,352
  Non-financial assets at market value 61,02058,42557,14857,865
  Financial net worth at market value, excluding pension liabilities -40,950-72,642-104,060-135,217
   Financial assets at market value 72,48965,18263,00973,696
    EDP debt instrumentsF2 + F33 + F441,86832,77030,95040,479
     Currency and depositsF229,87018,90718,52524,421
     Securities other than shares, excluding financial derivativesF338,70010,1147,3349,097
      Short-term loansF41008852,293
      Long-term loansF423,2983,7494,2064,668
    Shares and other equityF521,79423,91622,87024,524
    Other financial assetsF34 + F61 + F62 + F78,8278,4969,1898,693
     Financial derivativesF34410606704642
     Insurance: reserves and premium prepaymentsF61 + F621110
      Net equity of households in life insurance reserves and in pension funds reservesF610000
      Prepayment of insurance premiums and reserves for outstanding claimsF621110
     Other accounts receivable/payableF78,4167,8898,4848,051
   Liabilities at market value 113,439137,824167,069208,913
    EDP debt instrumentsF2 + F33 + F4108,031132,647161,048201,529
     Currency and depositsF210,30813,71115,21817,472
     Securities other than shares, excluding financial derivativesF3394,66084,04879,67596,557
      Short-term loansF417097355741,891
      Long-term loansF422,35434,15365,58185,609
    Other liabilitiesF34 + F61 + F62 + F75,4085,1776,0217,384
     Financial derivativesF3416388131,572
     Shares and other equityF50000
     Insurance: reserves and premium prepaymentsF61 + F620001
      Net equity of households in life insurance reserves and in pension funds reservesF610001
      Prepay. of ins. premiums and reserves for outstanding claimsF620000
     Other accounts receivable/payableF75,3925,1395,2085,811
  Memo: Estimated pension liabilities of government 116,000116,000116,000116,000
 Memo: Net worth, including pension liabilities -95,930-130,217-162,912-193,352
  Contingent liabilities 287,666163,376153,258125,327
   Guarantees 282,617158,327148,209120,278
   Off-balance sheet PPPs 5,0495,0495,0495,049
 Memo: Net worth, including pension liabilities and contingent liabilities -383,596-293,593-316,170-318,679
Change in net worth of government     
 Opening net worth 46,97920,070-14,217-46,912
 Change in net worth due to transactions -18,748-45,736-19,844-12,571
  Net acquisition of non-financial assets  3,4172,6621,382717
  Net lending/net borrowing -22,165-48,398-21,226-13,288
   = Net acquisition of financial assets 2,915-7,7533,52810,174
   - Net incurrence of liabilities -25,080-40,645-24,754-23,462
 Change in net worth due to other economic flows -8,16111,449-12,852-17,869
  Other changes in non-financial assets -11,694-5,257-2,6600
  Other changes in financial net worth 3,53316,706-10,192-17,869
   = Other changes in financial assets 3,079446-5,701513
     EDP debt instruments -65-172-1,427755
     Shares and other equity 3,102692-4,629-161
     Other financial assets 42-74355-81
   - Other changes in liabilities 45416,260-4,491-18,382
     EDP debt instruments 32716,281-3,718-17,622
     Other liabilities 127-21-773-760
Closing net worth 20,070-14,217-46,912-77,352
Table 7 General Government Gross and Net Debt     
DescriptionESA code2009201020112012
General Government Debt     
  Debt instrument liabilities at market value 108,031132,647161,048201,529
  + Difference between face value and market value -3,48711,5178,178-9,071
Gross General Government Debt (face value) 104,544144,164169,226192,458
By category:     
 Currency and deposits F210,30713,70715,21617,465
 Securities other than shares, exc. financial derivativesF3391,39196,31788,55089,289
less EDP debt instrument assets 41,86832,77030,95040,479
 By category:     
 Currency and deposits F229,87018,90718,52524,421
 Securities other than shares, exc. financial derivativesF338,70010,1147,3349,097
 Net General Government Debt (face value) 62,676111,394138,276151,979
 By category:     
 Currency and deposits F2-19,563-5,200-3,309-6,956
 Securities other than shares, exc. financial derivativesF3382,69186,20381,21680,192
Table 8 Reconciliation of Exchequer Balance to General Government Deficit    
      € million
Description 2009201020112012
Exchequer balance-24,641-18,745-24,918-14,892
Deduct cash inflows which do not increase financial net worth-3-382-62-9
Inflows from sale or redemption of financial assets-3-382-62-9
Incurrence of Exchequer liability to Central Bank for notes and coins in circulation0000
Exclude cash outflows which do not reduce financial net worth316507,3272,309
Acquisition of financial assets16424,8102,282
Repayment of promissory notes notional loan principal002,5170
Redemption of Exchequer liability to Central Bank for notes and coins in circulation309027
Impact on financial net worth of Exchequer cash transactions-24,613-18,477-17,653-12,592
Adjust for impact of non-cash revenue and disposals of non-financial asset (+)-204-180719-747
Difference between Exchequer cash tax revenue and time-adjusted Revenue Net Receipts-331-20555-232
Receipts due from EU (Agriculture grants, Cohesion Fund, ESF and ERDF)129-16236-65
Accrual of interest due on contingent capital assets assigned to banks001280
Licence sales000-450
Other accrued revenue-2100
Adjust for impact of non-cash expenditure (-)75-31,82487-609
Capital transfers to financial institutions financed by promissory notes0-30,85000
Difference between interest paid and accrued-229-1,326-38-447
Difference between Exchequer cash issues and accrued net spending of departments and offices306318102-173
Other accrued expenditure-2332211
EDP Net lending (+) / net borrowing (-) of Exchequer-24,743-50,481-16,847-13,948
Net lending (+) / net borrowing (-) of extra-budgetary bodies, funds and accounts consolidated with Exchequer386518-74147
Bank Guarantee Scheme receipts - special account439-259-3-67
Capital Services Redemption Account0600-6000
Small Savings Reserve Fund-243000
Other Extra-Budgetary Funds1911374296
Health Service Executive171167155-82
EDP Net lending (+) / net borrowing (-) of Budgetary Central Government-24,357-49,963-16,921-13,801
Net lending (+) / net borrowing (-) of other Central Government bodies4,6782,387-4,396367
National Pensions Reserve Fund4,4332,116-4,373334
Non-market State corporations and agencies218269-6-21
Voluntary and joint board hospitals282-1754
EDP Net lending (+) / net borrowing (-) of Central Government (S.1311)-19,679-47,576-21,317-13,434
EDP Net lending (+) / net borrowing (-) of Social Insurance Fund (S.1311)-2,483-915-813
EDP Net lending (+) / net borrowing (-) of Local Government (S.1313)-10103-32-90
EDP Net lending (+) / net borrowing (-) of General Government (S.13) (=GGDeficit)-22,172-48,388-21,358-13,511
Table 9 Reconciliation of National Debt to General Government Debt    
           € million
Audited National Debt75,15293,445119,082137,632
Composed of    
Gross National Debt96,968109,609136,774161,482
Medium/long term debt71,52890,775120,612144,524
Irish Government Bonds71,07590,70485,91288,455
EU/IMF Programme Funding0034,62952,905
EIB and bilateral loans0003,071
Short term debt18,0448,4964,6163,476
Commercial Paper16,2616,9722,9201,299
Treasury Bills0001,014
Borrowings from Funds under the control of the Minister for Finance1,7831,5241,696786
Miscellaneous (Exchequer Notes, Central Treasury Notes)000377
State Savings Schemes7,39610,33811,54613,482
Liquid assets-21,816-16,164-17,692-23,850
Reverse deduction of liquid assets held by Exchequer21,81616,16417,69223,850
Add EFSF prepaid margin00530530
Outstanding principal value of promissory notes030,85028,33325,261
Liability for coinage in circulation674673694670
Accrual adjustments (Small Savings Reserve Fund)346368464548
Adjustment from discounted to nominal value557246
Gross treatment of collaterals0111701,431
 Other adjustments (repurchase agreements and OPW contracts)14-19-169
Unconsolidated Exchequer Debt (Maastricht definition)98,057141,564166,953189,937
of which: Liabilities to other Central Government bodies2,3942,4402,6152,305
Exchequer contribution to Central Government debt95,663139,124164,338187,632
of which: Liabilities to Local Government (Local Authorities and VECs)19321930
Exchequer contribution to General Government debt95,644139,092164,319187,602
Housing Finance Agency (HFA)    
Gross debt of HFA4,9414,5124,4144,501
 of which: Liabilities to other Central Government bodies303,6123,8513,987
HFA contribution to Central Government debt4,911900563514
of which: Liabilities to Local Authorities182220179179
HFA contribution to General Government debt4,729680384335
Other Central Government    
Liabilities of Post Office Savings Bank Fund to Post Office Savings Bank1,8922,3302,5122,770
Health Service Executive and Voluntary Hospitals187146151132
National Oil Reserves Agency444336321258
Irish Rail12829170
Westlink buyout: imputed loan from National Toll Roads to National Roads Authority510460410360
 All other bodies363279105
Other bodies' contribution to Central and General Government debt3,1973,3333,4903,625
Total Central Government debt103,771143,357168,391191,771
of which: Liabilities to Local Government201252197201
Central Government contribution to General Government debt103,570143,105168,194191,570
Local Government - Local Authorities    
Borrowing from Housing Finance Agency4,5834,4494,3584,439
Borrowing from other Central Government bodies1041096130
 Other borrowing9541,0401,050889
Local Authorities' contribution to Local Government debt5,6415,5985,4695,358
 VECs and Institutes of Technology191900
Total Local Government debt5,6605,6175,4695,358
of which: Liabilities to Central Government4,6864,5584,4374,470
Local Government contribution to General Government debt9741,0591,032888
General Government Debt104,544144,164169,226192,458

Background Notes


This release contains detailed annual government finance statistics for the period 2009-2012, consistent with the results from the end-September Excessive Deficit Procedure notification by Ireland in 2013.  These figures are compiled in accordance with the ESA95 system of accounts, as used in all member states of the European Union.  Their publication coincides with the official publication by Eurostat of deficit and debt levels for all EU member states on Monday 21 October.

This detailed release along with the headline figures published on 14 October 2013 together comprise the second official publication by CSO of annual Government Finance Statistics results for years 2009 to 2012, following the first release in April 2013.

Because audited accounts for many government bodies become available between April and October, this second release allows us to present more final data for 2012 than the provisional outturn published in April.

The data published in both the April and October releases are consistent with the General Government Deficit and Debt levels for 2009 to 2012 reported to Eurostat at end-March and end-September under the EU regulation governing the Excessive Deficit Procedure.   Consequently they may not always be fully aligned with the National Income and Expenditure and related publications such as the Institutional Sector Accounts.


Reclassification of Public Universities and Fee-Paying Schools

Since the publication of Government Deficit and Debt data in April 2013, the seven public universities and certain publicly funded fee-paying secondary schools have been reclassified from the Non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH) economic sector to the Non-financial corporations economic sector. This change has been made following an analysis by the CSO that these entities are ‘market producers’ – that is, they cover a majority of their costs through their own sales of education and research services.  While not affecting the overall deficit this has resulted in a number of reclassifications within the expenditure of General Government.

Specifically, the changes shift expenditure from D.7 (transfers to NPISH) to a combination of

  • P.2 (government purchases of goods and services), for certain research grants deemed to represent sales of services
  • D.31 (product subsidies), for subventions directly linked to student numbers
  • D.39 (other subsidies on production) for general subventions to promote research etc.)
  • D.6313 (social benefits in kind provided via market producers) for payments to universities that directly replace student fees that would otherwise be payable by the students themselves (the ‘free fees’ initiative).


Government Finance Statistics – Concepts and Definitions

Government Finance Statistics (GFS) form the basis for fiscal monitoring in Europe, in particular in relation to the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP).  

European GFS, including EDP statistics are produced according to the legally binding accounting rules of the European System of Accounts 1995 (ESA95).  The Manual on Government Debt and Deficit (MGDD) provides further guidance on the implementation of ESA95 in the context of GFS. 

The ESA 95 regulation sets out both a methodology for the compilation of National Accounts and a programme of transmission of key economic aggregates which are a subset of the full set of accounts set out in ESA 95.  In relation to GFS aggregates of interest include: general government revenue and expenditure, general government surplus/deficit, general government consolidated gross debt and their main components.

EU Member States are required to report government deficit/surplus and debt data biannually under the EDP (before 1 April and 1 October in year N) for years N-4 to N-1 calendar years as well as a forecast for the current year. The data are reported in harmonised tables, which provide a consistent framework for the presentation of this data by Member States. The tables provide a structure for linking national budgetary aggregates with government deficit and debt.

Detailed statistics on Government revenue and expenditure are also provided to Eurostat under the ESA95 transmission programme.  For annual data the main tables reported are:
Table 0200      Main aggregates of general government,
Table 0900      Detailed tax receipts by sector
Table 1100      General government expenditure by function.

These data are available on the Eurostat website.

Total general government expenditure and revenue are defined according to Commission Regulation (EC) No 1500/2000 of 10 July 2000 on general government expenditure and revenue. They comprise specific categories of ESA 95.


Definition of general government and its subsectors

The general government sector of the economy, is defined in ESA95, paragraph 2.68: 'All institutional units which are other non-market producers [institutional units whose sales do not cover more than the 50% of the production costs, see ESA95 paragraph 3.26] whose output is intended for individual and collective consumption, and mainly financed by compulsory payments made by units belonging to other sectors, and/or all institutional units principally engaged in the redistribution of national income and wealth. General government comprises the sub-sectors central government (S.1311), state government (S.1312 - where applicable), local government (S.1313), and social security funds (S.1314).

As part of the GFS production process CSO is required to define the General Government and public sectors for Ireland. In this context, the public sector includes all bodies that are directly or indirectly controlled by a Government department or office, or by a local authority.  General Government, in turn, includes all public sector bodies that are also mainly financed by Government bodies.  The decision rules governing the classification of bodies to the public and General Government sectors are set out in detail in the Manual on Government Deficit and Debt.  A detailed explanation of the application of these rules and the most up-to-date list of public sector and (including general government bodies) for Ireland are shown at


General Government Deficit/Surplus (GG Deficit) is the standard European measure of the fiscal balance, which is used to monitor compliance with the Stability and Growth Pact.  It is the difference between the revenue and the expenditure of the general government sector. The government deficit data related to the EDP (EDP B.9) differs from the deficit according to ESA95 (B.9) in the treatment of interest relating to swaps and forward rate agreements.

Net Lending/Net Borrowing, that is, the GGDeficit excluding flows on interest swap instruments, is by definition equal to both Total Revenue less Total Expenditure, and Net Acquisition of Financial Assets less Net Incurrence of Liabilities. In order to respect this accounting identity, a technical adjustment is made to the level of transactions recorded in liability category F332 (long-term securities other than shares) to eliminate any statistical discrepancy between the two approaches to the calculation of Net Lending/Net Borrowing This adjustment has no impact on Net Worth, gross or net debt.

 General Government Debt (GG Debt) is defined in the EU regulations implementing the Maastricht Treaty as the gross debt liabilities of the consolidated General Government sector, at nominal value.
‘Gross’ means that the value of any financial assets held by General Government cannot be deducted from the GGDebt. In Ireland’s case, this means that the liquid assets which are deducted from the ‘gross’ National Debt in arriving at the audited National Debt cannot be deducted from the GGDebt.
‘Debt liabilities’ are defined as the ESA categories AF.2 (Currency and deposits), AF.33 (Securities other than shares, excluding financial derivatives), and AF.4 (loans).
This definition excludes liabilities in derivatives (AF.34), equity liabilities (AF.5), pension and insurance liabilities (AF.6) and accounts payable (AF.7).
‘Consolidated’ means that any money owed by one entity within General Government to another is excluded from the total GGDebt.
‘Nominal value’ is defined in the governing regulation as face value.  If debt is sold at a discount, it is the undiscounted value of the instrument, rather than the amount actually received, that is shown in the GGDebt. In other statistical contexts, ‘nominal value’ means face value plus any interest accrued but not paid; however, such interest is excluded from GGDebt by definition.

ESA 95 codes and an explanation of each are shown below for the main components of Government revenue and expenditure as well as for types of financial flows. More detailed codes and technical definitions can be seen in the ESA 95 manual available at


Main Components of General Government Expenditure and Revenue

P.2   Intermediate consumption – value of goods and services used in the process of production, excluding fixed assets

P.5   Gross capital formation

P.51     Gross fixed capital formation - acquisitions, less disposals, of fixed assets during a given period plus certain additions to the value of non-produced assets realised by productive activity. Fixed assets are tangible or intangible assets produced as outputs from processes of production that are themselves used repeatedly, or continuously, in processes of production for more than one year
P.52     Changes in inventories
P.53     Acquisitions less disposals of valuables

D.1  Compensation of employees – the total remuneration of government employees

D.11    Wages and salaries, in cash and in kind
D.12    Employers social contributions – actual (D.121) and imputed (D.122)

D.29 Other taxes on production (payable) all taxes that enterprises incur as a result of engaging in production, independently of the quantity or value of the goods and services produced or sold. These include taxes on use or ownership of land or buildings, taxes on use of fixed assets, taxes on total wage bill and payroll, taxes on international transactions related to production.

D.3   Subsidies (payable) - current unrequited payments which general government or the Institutions of the European Union make to resident  producers, with the objective of influencing their levels of production, their prices or the remuneration of the factors of production

D.4   Property income (payable) - the income receivable by the owner of a financial asset or a tangible non-produced asset in return for providing funds to, or putting the tangible non-produced asset at the disposal of, another unit

D.41    Interest (payable) - excludes settlements under swaps and forward rate arrangements, as these are treated as financial transactions in the ESA 95

D.5  Current taxes on income, wealth, etc, (payable)  - all compulsory, unrequited payments, in cash or in kind, levied periodically by general government and by the rest of the world on the income and wealth of units in the economy, and some periodic taxes which are assessed neither on income nor wealth

D.6  Social contributions - transfers to households, in cash or in kind, intended to relieve them from the financial burden of a number of risks or needs, made through collectively organised schemes, or outside such schemes by government and non-profit institutions. These include payments from general government to producers which individually benefit households and which are made in the context of social risks or needs

D.62    Social benefits in cash - social benefits and pensions paid in cash;
D.631  Social transfers in kind, via market producers - can be subdivided into those where beneficiary households actually purchase the goods and services themselves and are then reimbursed, and those where the relevant services are provided directly to the beneficiaries

D.7  Other current transfers

D.9  Capital transfers - involve the acquisition or disposal of an asset, or assets, by at least one of the parties to the transaction.

K.1  Consumption of fixed capital - the amount of fixed assets used up, during the period under consideration, as a result of normal wear and tear and foreseeable obsolescence, including a provision for losses of fixed assets as a result of accidental damage which can be insured against.


Categories of Financial Flows

F.1  Monetary gold and special drawing rights (SDRs)

F.11     Monetary gold
F.12     Special drawing rights (SDRs)

F.2   Currency and deposits

F.21     Currency
F.22     Transferable deposits
F.29     Other deposits

F.3   Securities other than shares

F.33   Securities other than shares, excluding financial derivatives  (F.331 - Short-term, F.332 - Long-term )
F.34   Financial derivatives

F.4   Loans

F.41 - Short-term loans
F.42 - Long-term loans

F.5   Shares and other equity

F.51 Shares and other equity, excluding mutual funds shares (F.511 - Quoted shares, F.512 - Unquoted shares, F.513 - Other equity )
F.52 Mutual funds shares

F.6   Insurance technical reserves

F.61 Net equity of households in life insurance reserves and in pension funds reserves
F.611 - Net equity of households in life insurance reserves
F.612 - Net equity of households in pension funds reserves,
F.62 - Prepayments of insurance premiums and reserves for outstanding claims

F.7   Other accounts receivable/payable

F.71     Trade credits and advances
F.79     Other

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