A senior economist has warned that Ireland faces a further ten years of austerity budgets as the country concentrates on paying back debt while worldwide growth remains sluggish.

Richard Tol, who is leaving the Economic and Social Research Institute, also questioned the organisation's independence.

Mr Tol said the ESRI is not transparent about its funding.

Meanwhile, banks are reportedly cracking down on an estimated 20% of tracker mortgage holders who are renting out properties they used to live in.

This could mean they are breaking the conditions of their mortgage and banks are trying to make them pay.

A spokesperson for the Irish Bankers' Federation has said lenders can only do what is in the terms and conditions of their mortgage contracts.