Overall public borrowing has increased to €148bn at the end of 2010, according to the latest report of the Comptroller and Auditor General.

However, State spending fell by almost 10% to €53.8bn.

The national debt at the end of 2010 was almost €95bn.

Total debt increased to €148bn, partly due to €30.9bn in promissory notes issued to recapitalise the banks.

Debt service costs increased by €1bn, or 31%, in 2010 mainly due to the increase in the amount of the debt.

Over 11% of tax revenues went to pay interest on the national debt in 2010.

The State pension liability for public servants remains at €116bn, but it has not been recalculated since the end of 2009.

However, the cost of running the Oireachtas fell from €123m to €107m.

Payments for salaries of Oireachtas members (TDs and Senators) fell from €23.7m in 2009 to €20.98m in 2010.

This did not include additional elements of salary due to the Taoiseach or ministers, which are paid by the relevant department.

However, Oireachtas travel expenses rose from €5.2m in 2009 to just under €6m.

Cash management criticised

The report also criticised cash management practises in relation to grants received by many State bodies.

It outlines how bodies such as the Tourism Development Authority and the National Roads Authority receive State grants and some had a surplus at the end of their cash year.

The report said cash management of this kind did not seem consistent “with the principle of economy in the management of State funds”.

It also said payments to State bodies should be aligned with their “actual cash funding needs”.

The C&AG report criticised accounting practises at the State Examinations Commission, saying it had not put in place an integrated accounting system, leaving it dependent on the Department of Education for assistance in processing the salaries and expenses of staff.

This led to a delay in accounts for 2008 and 2009, which were only certified this month.

It said arrangements need to be put in place for more effective accounting at the body, which had committed to doing this.


Source RTE News