Dáil Éireann - Volume 476 - 20 March, 1997
Written Answers. - National Debt.
Mr. Callely Mr. Callely
60. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Finance the total national debt; if he will give a breakdown of the national debt per head of population; the debt per head of each PAYE worker; the number of years it will take before the burden of the national debt is lifted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7835/97]
Minister for Finance (Mr. Quinn) Ruairí Quinn
Minister for Finance (Mr. Quinn): The national debt at 31 December 1996 stood at £29,912 million.
The most recent available estimate of total population is 3,621,000. On this basis, national debt per capita is estimated at £8,261. The total number of PAYE taxpayers for the 1996-7 tax year is estimated to be 886,300. Thus, the national debt per PAYE taxpayer is estimated at £33,749.
The number of years it would take to lift the burden of the national debt would depend on the level of the budget surplus achieved each year. The Government's policy is to continue the substantial reductions in the debt burden that have been secured in recent years. This will be achieved by having low budget deficits which are comfortably below the 3 per cent threshold required by the Maastricht Treaty and which will continue to reduce the ratio of general Government debt to GDP. This commitment is reflected in the 1997 budget which allowed for a general Government deficit of just 1.5 per cent.
Dáil Éireann 476 Written Answers. National Debt.