News Politics

Saturday 23 March 2019

Donohoe to give extra resources to Revenue if required

Paschal Donohoe: Finance Minister will spend more. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Paschal Donohoe: Finance Minister will spend more. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has said he will provide more resources to Revenue if it needs it in the event of a no-deal Brexit, including for issues that may arise with the "supply chain".

He also said the Government will spend at least €115m on Brexit preparations this year.

Mr Donohoe said the Revenue Commissioners are being provided with €21.7m, most of which will be used to cover the cost of hiring 600 customs officers and other measures like investing in information technology.

He said 400 officers will be in place at ports and airports by the end of March when the UK is due to leave the EU.

Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty asked if Mr Donohoe believed Revenue was getting an appropriate level of extra funding in the context of a no-deal Brexit.

He said there was no agreement on how the issue of the Border with Northern Ireland would be dealt with if this happened and the only statement the Government had made was that "difficult conversations will have to be had with the European Union".

Mr Doherty pointed out the EU has said the integrity of the single market will have to be maintained.

Mr Donohoe said he believed the funding for Revenue was appropriate for a no-deal scenario - but he added that if it said additional issues were developing and resources needed to be made available, he'd respond quickly.

He said it would be completely new territory in the context of a no-deal scenario and he expected "there may well be things happening, particularly in our supply chain".

"In what would be an utterly unprecedented period, that may mean the Revenue Commissioners need further support," he said. "And if they do, I will supply that to them."

A spokesperson for Mr Donohoe could not elaborate further on what he meant by his remarks about the supply chain. Mr Donohoe said additional spending on Brexit this year included €71m at the Department of Agriculture, €14m by the Department of Business, €5m by Foreign Affairs, and €25m elsewhere.

Irish Independent

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