I would like to update the House on the loan to Ireland.
Ireland completed the sixth quarterly review of its International Monetary Fund and European Union programme of financial assistance on 21 June 2012, following which, the utilisation period for the fourth instalment of the UK bilateral loan began.
Upon request, the Treasury disbursed the fourth instalment of £403.37 million on 1 August 2012, with a maturity date of 3 February 2020.
The Treasury will provide a further report to Parliament in relation to the bilateral loan as required under the Loans to Ireland Act 2010 as soon as is practicable following the next reporting period, which ends on 30 September 2012.
As my written statement of 11 June outlined, agreement has been reached in principle on a new, lower interest rate on the bilateral loan to Ireland. This is subject to the loan agreement being revised to reflect the new interest rate. I will update Parliament once the revised loan agreement has been finalised and signed.
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.