By Sarah Keane • 08 March 2021 • 13:44
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IRELAND will have the highest debt per head in Europe in 2021
Ireland’s national debt this year is set to be the highest in Europe, with an average of €20,000 more per person owed, according to the latest figures from the European Commission. The debt for 2021 is expected to sit at €241.6 billion, up 10 per cent on last year, the highest across the entire European Union and the UK.
Moreover, the debt is forecast to increase again in 2022. Understandably enough, the country has increased its borrowing since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, with Ireland forking out €140 million per week in unemployment payments alone. However, financial experts claim that the situation isn’t as dire as it might first appear, as Ireland’s capacity to repay the debt is actually quite good.
According to Austin Hughes, chief economist with KBC Bank Ireland, while it is “undoubtedly the case that debt per capita is elevated,” by supporting the population during times of crisis by borrowing to support the economy, the country should be in a better position in the future to pay off what is owed.
“In that respect, our capacity to weather this is significant,” he told The Irish Times.
“Provided you’re doing the right thing, and in this instance it is unquestionably the right thing [to borrow to support the economy], in that respect, you’re actually increasing the capacity of future generations to pay the burden of the interest on it.”
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Former teacher and health services manager with a Degree in English, Sarah moved to Spain from Southern Ireland with her husband, who runs his own car rental business, in 2019. She is now enjoying a completely different pace and quality of life on the Costa Blanca South, with wonderful Spanish and expat friends in Cabo Roig. Sarah began working with Euro Weekly News in 2020 and loves nothing more than bringing all the latest national and international news to her local community.
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