Special Savings Incentive Account

A Special Saving Incentive Account (SSIA) is a type of interest-bearing account in the Republic of Ireland. These accounts were available to open between 1 May 2001 and 30 April 2002, and featured a state-provided top-up of 25% of the sum deposited. The SSIA was structured so that the government contributed one euro for every four invested by the account holder. The maximum contribution is €254 per month. For deposit account SSIAs, banks paid interest on top of the government bonus and principal accumulated. Equity SSIAs were also available to investors seeking higher returns than the state-guaranteed minimum of 25%. The scheme, which was restricted to those over eighteen, was most popular among middle-income earners. All SSIAs mature five years from the date of opening.

Opposition parties have questioned the effectiveness of the scheme in dampening inflation (running at 7% at its peak) and also the timing of the maturities, which they claimed would benefit the government at the 2007 general election.

In 2006/7 the maturing SSIA funds were hoped to boost the slowing Irish economy. The funds amounted for 10 billion euro and would increase the purchasing power of Irish consumers who were expected to help Irish economy by their spending. Due to weak external contribution and slowing construction sector the consumer spending was expected to help in sustaining the relatively high economic growth in the Republic of Ireland in 2006/7 and the coming years. This consumer expenditure was an important factor in increasing government's tax revenue as it had ambitious capital expenditure plans and was over relying on the construction sector.


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