Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Ceisteanna (99)

Brendan Howlin

Ceist:

99. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Finance the additional budget for 2018 or other years, provided to his Department and all agencies and bodies within his remit to plan or prepare for Brexit; the number of additional staff that have been recruited to work on this policy area in each body, agency and his Department; the number of dedicated staff planning and working on Brexit matters in each; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6322/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I wish to inform the Deputy that the Assistant Secretary who heads the EU and International Division of my Department is designated as the lead official in the Department for Brexit matters.  A dedicated Brexit Unit within the EU and International Division was established in July 2016 to oversee and coordinate Brexit work across the entire Department and to act as a key liaison point, in particular with the Departments of the Taoiseach and of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  There are currently four staff in the dedicated unit which is led at Principal Officer level.  Also, an additional staff member has been assigned to the Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels specifically to deal with Brexit.

We have appointed lead Brexit coordinators at Principal Officer level across all divisions of the Department.  The challenges which we face as a result of Brexit are mainstreamed across all divisions of my Department and this is reflected in business planning.

Brexit resourcing has been managed within the existing paybill allocation.  My Department will continue to monitor the resources needed to respond to specific policy challenges on an ongoing basis.

I am informed that the majority of the seventeen bodies under the aegis of my Department do not have additional funding or additional staff working on Brexit-related matters.

The budget of the Office of the Revenue Commissioners provides for up to 40 additional staff for Brexit planning and preparation. This work is carried out by a significant number of staff, currently estimated as 21 full-time equivalents, of whom 12 are dedicated to Brexit work full time, supported by additional staff throughout the organisation as required. Preparations will intensify once the Article 50 negotiations progress and clarity has been provided as to the nature of the future trading relationship between the EU and the UK and the customs regime that will apply. Additional resources will be allocated in line with these requirements.

Many staff across the Central Bank are working on Brexit-related matters on a daily basis in the course of their duties.  Given the nature of this work and how it relates to their role, the Central Bank has indicated that it is not feasible to capture the total staff working on matters related to Brexit in the manner requested by the Deputy. In 2017, the Central Bank allocated an additional 28 staff to address specific Brexit-related new business needs within existing divisions. Of these 28 staff, 18 have been allocated to supervisory divisions to address specific Brexit-related new business needs within existing divisions.  In 2017, the Central Bank Commission also approved an additional 36 resources principally to support increases in Brexit-related authorisation/supervisory activity, as well as to support extensions to the post crisis regulatory framework.

The National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) has indicated that its direct exposure to the UK market is, at this stage, very limited, it continues to monitor any Brexit impact on the Irish assets securing its residual loan portfolio.

The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) has not recruited or allocated staff to work exclusively on Brexit-related matters. The NTMA is, however, continually monitoring Brexit developments and regards these as key considerations for 2018. The NTMA has internal working groups relating to Brexit which have been staffed by existing employees.

The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) has not allocated staff to work exclusively on Brexit-related matters. The only identifiable direct budget item is the 2018 budget allocation of €600,000 towards the Brexit Loan Scheme 1. However, Brexit-related solutions remain a key consideration and focus for the SBCI and it expect that the overall cost for 2018 (or possibly 2019) may be higher than the budget allocation as it is expected that a second Brexit related scheme will be developed and rolled out in late 2018/early 2019.

Question No. 100 answered with Question No. 96.