Written Answers. - Internal Market.

Michael Bell


104 Mr. Bell asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the representatives of the Dundalk-Carrickmacross and Clones-Monaghan branches of the Public Service Executive Union, operating at Border posts, were informed at a meeting in Dundalk that the reasons more progress was not being made with regard to staff matters on the completion of the Internal Market was due to the failure of the Government to take a political decision on recommendations made by the board of the Revenue Commissioners with only nine months remaining and the very uncertain and unfair situation that these workers find themselves in; if he will now clarify the situation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

I recently announced that the Government had decided to assign to Revenue two important areas of new work arising from the Single Market and that these would be administered from two new decentralised offices in Dundalk and Wexford.

The area of new work relating to the collection of EC Trade Statistics post-1992 and the new VAT information system will be administered from Dundalk. This work will generate about 100 jobs in Dundalk as well as about 30 jobs for field force operations throughout the country. The other area of new work relates to the administration of the motor vehicle registration tax and this will provide about 30 jobs in Wexford and will support the equivalent of about 100 jobs throughout the country.

The Revenue Commissioners are also actively pursuing the following options to provide employment opportunities for Customs and Excise staff: (i) Negotiation with relevant Unions to absorb surplus staff in other areas of Revenue and to involve the Customs and Excise service in the continued drive for better collection and enforcement of taxes and detection of evasion and avoidance; (ii) Opening of redeployment opportunities in other Departments such as Agriculture, Marine and Justice and (iii) Allowing Customs and Excise staff into the Decentralisation Programme.
I am satisfied that the new work areas and the other options referred to will provide jobs for the Customs and Excise staff whose current jobs are affected by the completion of the Single Market in or near the areas referred to by the Deputy.