Budget 2018: €11m to be spent on cleaning up dumps

Government spending plans include extra €4m for investigating tax evasion

The Government plans to spend €11 million cleaning up dumps next year. Photograph: Getty Images

The Government plans to spend €11 million cleaning up dumps next year. Photograph: Getty Images

 

The Government plans to spend €11 million cleaning up dumps next year, figures published alongside the details of Budget 2018 show.

A breakdown of the measures on which the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment will spend its €581 million allocation next year show that it will earmark €11 million for addressing “environmentally degraded landfill sites”.

Since 2006, the Government has been providing money to local councils to remediate and clean up disused, licensed landfill sites as the authorities themselves do not have the cash to deal with the problem.

The spending falls under the department’s environment and waste management programme, which includes provision for tackling waste sites to cut the potential risk to human and environmental health.

Meanwhile, the Revenue Commissioners will get €4 million extra towards investigating tax evasion next year.

The Revenue Commissioners will spend the cash on the ongoing provision of 100 extra compliance staff to investigate and audit taxpayers, as well as on boosting their IT systems.

The commissioners will also use some of the cash to build on knowledge gained during the National Compliance Imperative, a programme designed to identify tax evasion risks posed by ecommerce and online business.

Allocation

The money is part of the €483 million allocation to the Department of Finance in Budget 2018.

The department funds the Revenue Commissioners, which is an independent agency, which collects tax and duties and manages customs.

Part of the commissioners’ role is to ensure enforce tax laws and ensure compliance.

Met Éireann, the State agency that provides the Republic’s weather forecasting service, will get an extra €3 million to bolster its resources for predicting floods and other services next year.

Storms and heavy rainfall during the winter of 2015/16 hit many regions, particularly the midwest and the areas bordering the River Shannon, damaging property and displacing large numbers of people.

The cost of the damage left insurers facing a €65 million bill for the months of December 2015 and January 2016 alone and the subsequent cost was blamed for increased premium charges the following year. Local councils had to spend €14.6 million on immediate clean ups following the floods.

Flood defences

The Government last year pledged to provide €480 million for flood defences for vulnerable areas around the Republic. Councils are meant to spend the cash by 2020.

The extra cash allocated to Met Éireann comes under the €2.46 billion that the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government will receive next year under Budget 2018.

The State Laboratory will get an extra €500,000 next year to allow it to test cigarettes and other tobacco products to ensure that the Republic complies with its obligations under the EU’s tobacco products directive.

The new regulation came into force in the Republic last year and included stringent rules designed to control the use and sale of tobacco. It also included new guidelines for packaging and marketing cigarettes designed to make them less attractive to young people.