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Ireland's local authorities are over €4 billion in debt

Minister Simon Coveney says he doesn’t believe that any of the loans are unsustainable.

Image: Shutterstock/Maria J

FIGURES RELEASED BY the Minister for the Environment Simon Coveney show the loan books as of the end of 2014 for all local authorities amounts to over €4 billion.

Dublin City Council has outstanding loans of €637,703,649, followed by Cork City Council which has outstanding loans of €426,497,964.

Other councils with loans amounting to over €150 million include Fingal County Council with loans of €416,064,917, South Dublin County Council with €228,705, 121 and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council with €150, 679876.

Councils with the least amount of debt on the books are Roscommon County Council with €15, 977, 008 and Leitrim County Council with just €7, 393, 563.

The total amount for all councils is €4,064,688,138.

These figures are based on audited Annual Financial Statements.

Debt problems

Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen asked the minister what he planned to do to address the “unsustainable debt problems” in each local authority.

Minister Coveney said it is a matter for each local authority to manage its own finances in a “prudent and sustainable manner”.

He said that under the Local Government Act 2001, a decision to borrow money is a reserved function of the elected members of a local authority.

In order for a local authority to borrow money it must get the sanction of the appropriate minister. As a pre-condition to borrowing, local authorities must ensure they can achieve balanced revenue and capital accounts and demonstrate how the loan will be serviced by the council.

My department has not classified the borrowings of any local authority as unsustainable nor has any authority indicated to my department that they believe their borrowings to be unsustainable.

The outstanding borrowings per local authority are set out below.

debt

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