Howlin confirms that common sense is alive and well in government.

‘Desirable’ if Ireland could reschedule debt

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform has said it would be desirable if Ireland could reschedule its debt.

Brendan Howlin – Would like to see escheduling of debt

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform has said it would be desirable if Ireland could reschedule the loans provided by the EU and IMF and pay back the debt over a longer period of time.

In an interview with the Reuters news agency, Brendan Howlin said the Government would deal with the issue of rescheduling the debt in due course. He said the ‘long-term rescheduling’ of the financial assistance package is something that would be desirable for the Government’.

Stretching out the loan and interest repayments over a longer period would reduce the immediate burden on the state if the EU and IMF were to consent to a change in the terms.

The Minister did not outline a time frame for any such negotiations saying simply the Government would deal with the issue. In the meantime, the issue of securing a lower interest rate for the bail-out package is of more pressing concern.

Brendan Howlin said the Government wanted a better rate and would not accept being treated less favourably than any other euro zone partners receiving financial assistance.

The Minister did not accept that any reduction in the interest rate would have to be accompanied by either stricter austerity measures or any compromise on Ireland’s corporate tax rate.