Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - British Import Deposit Scheme.

42.

asked the Minister for Finance the financial arrangements which will be made to help exporters to deal with the British import deposit scheme which has been extended; and the cost to the Exchequer of assistance to exporters in regard to this arrangement.

43.

asked the Minister for Finance the cost to date borne by Irish taxpayers of interest payments on bank advances to exporters to overcome the effects of the British imports deposit scheme; and if he will take steps to recover the cost by special levies on imports from Britain or by other means; and the estimated cost of such interest payments on bank advances to be made over the next twelve months.

I propose, with your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, to take Questions Nos. 42 and 43 together.

Total payments to date in respect of interest payments on deposits made by banks on behalf of Irish exporters amount to £805,000. It is estimated that the cost to the Exchequer in a full year will be of the order of £1¾ million.

Discussions have been arranged with the Irish banks with a view to continuing in operation the present financial arrangements for the payment of deposits on Irish goods.

The issues arising for this country from the extension of the scheme will be discussed at an early meeting with the British authorities.