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Revenue needs to put in place another 81 staff ahead of 31 October Brexit date

Minister Paschal Donohoe has said 519 of the planned 600 new staff had been put in place so far.

File photo. Minister Donohoe said the extra staff will be in place by the end of next month.
File photo. Minister Donohoe said the extra staff will be in place by the end of next month.
Image: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

THE MINISTER FOR Finance has said that another 81 Revenue officers are set to be put in place ahead of the Brexit date of 31 October to fill the planned 600 posts needed to cope with Britain’s exit from the EU.

In September 2018, the government approved the phased recruitment of an additional 600 Revenue staff to cope with the demands that Brexit will put on its activities.

In Budget 2019, Revenue was provided with an additional €10 million pay provision, for 270 of the additional 600 staff to be recruited during 2019. 

Following a government decision in December 2018, it was agreed to accelerate Revenue’s recruitment programme in preparation for Brexit.

In July, the minister said that the majority of those hired so far had been deployed to import and export trade facilitation activities, and policy and operational roles. 

However, the extra 600 staff for Revenue was put in place on the basis of the “central case” scenario where the UK leaves the EU with a withdrawal agreement that includes a transition period where things stay the same until the end of 2020.

Donohoe stated: “Revenue will continue to adjust its recruitment and training plans in response to business needs, including Brexit-related developments.”

As of July, 281 staff have been assigned to Dublin in preparation for Brexit, including 213 in 2019.

In addition, 119 have been assigned in Munster including 104 this year with a further 40 assigned in Leinster, excluding Dublin and Louth.

Given the political chaos in Britain at present, it remains possible for the UK to leave without a deal on 31 October.

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European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said last weekend that there will be border checks between Ireland and Northern Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

“We have to make the sure the interests of the European Union and of the internal market will be preserved,” he said. “An animal entering Northern Ireland without border control can enter the European Union without any kind of control via the southern part of the Irish island. This cannot happen. We have to preserve the health and safety of our citizens.”

The minister said he expects the remaining Revenue staff to be in place in time for 31 October, whatever form Brexit may take.

In response to a parliamentary question last week, Donohoe said: “I am advised by Revenue that 519 of these staff have already been  appointed and trained, with the remaining staff to be in place and trained by 31 October 2019.”

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Sean Murray

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