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Revenue spent €31,000 on interpreters since 2007

Finance Minister says Revenue sometimes requires interpreters when questioning passengers who have insufficient Irish or English.

Image: AP Photo/David Goldman/PA

THE REVENUE Commissioners spent €31,000 on hiring interpreters since 2007, according to figures released by the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.

Details about the use of interpreters also shows that the four top languages for which they were required last year were Slovakian, Czech, Lithuanian and Romanian.

In 2007, the top four languages were Japanese, Russian, Latvian and Polish. That year, €4,598 was spent on interpreters. That figure dipped to €3,016 in 2009 and rose to €7,035 in 2011. So far this year €4,834 has been spent by Revenue on interpreters.

This is the first year since 2007 that Russian and Polish were not among the top four languages for which Revenue required interpreters.

Noonan was responding to a parliamentary question from Labour TD Seán Kenny when he released the figures from the Revenue Commissioners.

Revenue sometimes requires interpreters at airports or ports where there may be an issue concerning smuggling or import duty, the minister said.

“It is essential that passengers with insufficient Irish or English, who are interviewed in relation to potential tax, duty or other offences that could lead to prosecution, understand the questions and their answers are correctly interpreted,” Noonan added.

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