Ireland needs bailout backstop, says top Government advisor

Ireland needs bailout backstop, says top Government advisor

The head of the Government's economic advisory body has recommended that Ireland take a precautionary credit line from the EU on exiting the bailout.

The advice comes as the Troika concludes its 12th and final review of Ireland's bailout programme today.

The EU, ECB and IMF say they are broadly satisfied with the progress made, but that there are some criticisms of spending in the health sector and they say more could have been done to tackle the mortgage arrears crisis.

They have also recommended that we do not exit the programme until early next year - instead of December 15, as planned by the Government.

Chairman of the Fiscal Advisory Council, Professor John McHale, says Ireland is not in a strong enough position to stand on its own two feet just yet.

"We've certainly made huge progress bringing sustainability to public finances and restoring the buying capacity of the State," he said.

"But things are still quite fragile.

"Particularly there's a risk that there might be another flare-up on the European front, so we need to have various means of self-protection in place.

"Building up the cash reserves is certainly one, but I think a very useful addition would be to have a backstop."

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