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11/04/2014 12:00:00 AM


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Noonan, Michael

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Finance Bill 2014

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Finance Bill 2014\Second Stage
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Finance Bill 2014

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Senator


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Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan)

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Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan)

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Michael Noonan

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Snippet Contents:

I move: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."
The economy is growing at the fastest rate in the European Union; the public finances are under control and our debt is on a downward trajectory. Budget 2015 was designed to sustain this recovery, broaden it throughout the country and continue the prudent and safe management of the public finances that has got us to this point.
The Finance Bill outlines the details of the budget measures. The budget has been designed to reduce our deficit to 2.7% in 2015 as a next step on the road to a balanced budget. The 2.7% deficit is inside our Stability and Growth Pact target of under 3% and highlights the Government's commitment to stable and prudent economic policies. The 2.7% deficit forms a prudent buffer to allow for possible external shocks to the economy and will reassure the markets of Ireland's steadfast commitment to restoring stability in the public finances.
A debt stabilising primary balance is forecast for 2014, an important metric in assessing long-term debt sustainability. Our debt is now on a downward trajectory and our debt ratio will drop below 100% of GDP in 2018. The cost of our borrowing continues to fall and this afternoon the National Treasury Management Agency successfully raised €3.75 billion in a new 15 year bond issuance at the rate of 2.487%, an historic low for a 15 year bond issuance by Ireland. This is the first time the State has issued debt of such length since 2009 and there was strong investor demand, with €8.4 billion offered. The yield achieved of 2.487% is a record low and provides a major vote of confidence in Ireland by investors. By comparison, the yield on the 15 year bond issued by the NTMA in October 2009 was 5.472%.
The policies the Government has pursued and the sacrifices of the people have got us to this point. The fiscal policy must aim at maintaining sustainable growth. As I said on budget day, there will be no return to the boom and bust model of the past. The people have made major sacrifices and the Government will not take risks with the recovery. While the majority of people will not see the full benefits of the budget until they open their pay packets in January next year, for the first time in several years they will see an increase in their take-home pay which will provide a further boost for households and the domestic economy.