The Government has raised the Irish deposit guarantee to €100,000 for savers.

The measure will apply to people who have savings in credit unions as well as banks and building societies.

This new measure will take effect from today.

The guarantee of €100,000 is five times higher than the previous level of 90% of a deposit up to €20,000. That safeguard has remained unchanged since 1999.

The new measure means Ireland will have one of the highest levels of guarantee of any country in Europe.

Britain by comparison has €48,300, the Netherlands €38,000 and Italy €103,000.

Changing the guarantee has been under consideration for some time.

But the timing comes after a week of concerns among consumers prompted by unprecedented international banking meltdown.

The move requires legislation which will be back dated to today.