I would like to update the House on the loan to Ireland.
Ireland completed the fifth quarterly review of its International Monetary Fund and European Union programme of financial assistance on 1 March 2012, at which point the utilisation period for the third instalment of the UK bilateral loan began.
Upon request, the Treasury disbursed the third instalment of £403.37 million on 28 March 2012, with a maturity date of 30 September 2019.
The Treasury will provide a further report to Parliament in relation to Irish loans as required under the Loans to Ireland Act 2010 following the end of the reporting period on 31 March 2012. Last year, the Chancellor committed to reduce the interest rate on the bilateral loan while still covering the UK’s cost of funding. To ensure that Parliament has the most useful and up-to-date information, subject to it being feasible to do so, I will lay this report alongside the finalised details of the new interest rate in the coming weeks.
The Government believe that it is in our national interest that the Irish economy is successful and its banking system is stable. The Government continue to support Ireland’s efforts to improve its economic situation.