THE TROIKA MAY have officially completed their final review of Ireland’s bailout programme but they weren’t slow giving some advice as they finished up.
“The implementation of the programme, which will expire in the coming months, has been steadfast, ” an official statement issued by the European Commission, the ECB and IMF said today.
The Troika sounded one major warning, however, and it focused squarely on the health service. They say that budget figures remained on track to October but that “spending control must be maintained, in particular in the healthcare sector.”
Echoing the continued debate surrounding the feasibility of saving in the Department of Health, the Troika sounded a note of concern, “Realising the proposed savings in health expenditure, while protecting core services, will require particular attention”.
The second area of continued concern for the Troika was a call for a durable resolution of mortgages in arrears. They called on the banks to do more:
The introduction of a target regime for arrears resolution has been helpful, but greater efforts are required by banks to find long-term sustainable solutions for borrowers in genuine mortgage distress. In other arrears cases, there is a need to restore full debt service payments.
The Troika were giving very little away about post-bailout financing options for Ireland, merely saying that “discussions continued” on “related options following the expiry of the current EU-IMF arrangements.”
The conclusion of this twelfth Troika review would allow for the disbursement to Ireland of the final €1.4 billion of loans under the bailout arrangement.
The Troika issues a positive not on Ireland’s growth prospects saying that Ireland’s economy has been growing above the euro area average since 2011 and is on target to record low growth in 2013.