FIGURES RELEASED BY the Department of Finance show that an increase of 125 skilled Revenue staff at a cost of €6.5 million would generate revenue of €100 million per year.
Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty has called for the increase in staff to be implemented to focus on increased audit activity and tackling black market activity.
“We know from studies such as the recent Retail Ireland report that black market activity is rife in this state”, said Doherty. “We also know that the deficit has to be reduced through growth, revenue and savings measures.”
He said the government has an obligation to introduce imaginative proposals to generate revenue in the forthcoming budget, “rather than going to the same empty family purses each time”.
In response to a parliamentary question from Doherty, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said Revenue carried out over 11,000 audits in 2011 that resulted in an additional yield of €4440.5 million to the exchequer with a further €81.3 million collected from other compliance interventions and assurance checks.
Noonan said he is satisfied that Revenue is optimising the outputs from its existing audit and compliance resources but added that all proposals of this nature are kept under ingoing review.