Ireland has today (25th of October 2012) successfully concluded the eighth review mission of our EU-IMF Programme. In line with each of the previous quarterly reviews, Ireland has met all of the commitments and our continued strong programme implementation has been recognized by the Troika.
This review mission, which started on October 16th, has involved a detailed assessment of the fiscal position, the macroeconomic outlook, progress on the restructuring of the financial sector and broader structural reforms in line with the commitments set out for the third quarter of 2012. The review also included a forward looking element which culminated in the agreement of the programme commitments for the upcoming quarter and the remainder of the programme. The objective of all parties is to position Ireland to emerge from the programme next year and the commitments in the programme are designed to support the economy’s potential to grow and create jobs.
On welcoming the successful conclusion of the mission, Minister Noonan and Minister Howlin stated:
“We are pleased to confirm Ireland has successfully completed the 8th Review Mission and we continue to meet all of our targets. To date over 160 commitments have been fulfilled on time and we have drawn down some 80% of the funding. The Government remains fully committed to restoring order to the public finances, to building on and broadening the economic recovery and positioning Ireland to continue our return to the markets.
Throughout the course of the review we have demonstrated significant progress on delivering on these commitments. However, significant challenges remain and getting people back to work remains the key priority of the Government.”
Minister Howlin stated:
“ As I have previously stated there are three strands to our recovery; taking control of our public finances, dealing with the burden of banking related debt and generating domestic growth and confidence.
It is clear that significant progress is being made on reform across a broad range of areas, as is evidenced by this eighth review. We know we still have difficult and challenging decisions to make on the road to economic recovery. This Government is determined to meet that challenge.“
On the conclusion of the mission, Minister Noonan stated:
“We are delivering on our commitments but the real test of Ireland’s programme will be emerging from the programme, getting fully back into the markets and building a sustainable and long lasting economic recovery.
Since the last review of the programme in July the NTMA have returned to the financial markets and over €5 billion of private funding has been raised. There have also been a number of very important jobs announcements from both indigenous and foreign companies highlighting the improvements in Ireland’s competitiveness and the flexibility and skill of the Irish labour force.
However, many challenges remain including the heavy burden of debt associated with the recapitalization of the banking sector and work is ongoing with the Troika to reduce this burden in line with the June 29th Agreement.”
Both Ministers concluded:
“The programme remains on track and we continue to meet all of our targets. We are confident that the headline deficit targets of 8.6% of GDP will be achieved in 2012 and we remain fully committed to reducing our deficit to below 3% of GDP by 2015. The upcoming Budget will deliver a further budgetary correction. There is no doubt that this will be difficult but Budget 2013 will be as fair and equitable as possible and will be consistent with the Governments key objective of growing the economy and getting people back to work.”
Note to Editors
Key actions completed in the last quarterly reviews (Q3 2012) were:
The publication of legislation to establish a statutory credit risk register
The publication of the Personal Insolvency Bill
The publication of the General Scheme of the Credit Union Bill
Regulations for the Credit Institutions Resolution Fund Levy
The publication of legislation to anchor the already operational multi-annual expenditure limits
The publication of the Fiscal Responsibility Bill
The establishment of a programme to facilitate access by distressed borrowers to professional financial advisory services, funded by banks.
The coming into force of the Industrial Relations Act 2012