The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) has said "substantial" extra borrowing will be required to cover the cost of tackling the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In an analysis published today, the PBO says the total cost of the spending already planned by the Government is €6.7bn.

This includes the Covid-19 unemployment pandemic payment, illness benefit and wage subsidy schemes.

It also includes the initial extra expenditure in health and business support programmes. 

But it does not include the cost of hiring retired healthcare workers, the deal to use private hospitals or additional supports for GP's and healthcare students. 

It says the final costs are difficult to predict, particularly as it is not known if the initial 12-week period of emergency measures will need to be extended. 

It says it is worth considering if the existing public expenditure plans will need to be reallocated in an emergency or supplementary budget 'at a future date'. 

It points out that the surplus of €2.5 bn in the public finances forecast for this year will be used up and there will be a knock-on negative impact on tax revenues.

That all means 'substantial additional borrowing' will be required.