The Department of Finance paid a number of law firms more than €1 million in a nine-month period this year and last, new figures show. They also disclose that Cork based economist and lecturer Seamus Coffey was paid almost €25,000 for a review of Ireland's corporation tax regime. Mr Coffey also heads the State's independent budgetary watchdog, the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council.
The figures on the tax review, which was published last year and informs the department's recently published Corporation Tax Roadmap, come in a new document published by the department on Tuesday. The document, which discloses professional, legal and consultancy fees paid by the department in the first six months of the year, shows that Seamus Coffey Consultancy received a payment of €24, 907 during the period. Mr Coffey is also chairperson of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council.
Other creditors of the department during the period include law firms William Fry, Arthur Cox and A&L Goodbody, who were paid €770,825 in total, during the first six months of the year.
Economist Jim Power was paid €17,220 for his work on evaluating the department's macroeconomic and fiscal forecasts between 2013 and 2016, while the department made a contribution of €17,074 to the Central Bank, towards the Financial Stability Group, a forum for various departments and the regulator to discuss financial stability issues.
Figures for the period October 1st-December 2017, also published on Tuesday, show payments of some €420,303 to law firms (William Fry and Arthur Cox), as well as a payment of €67,121 in professional fees to economic consultancy firm Indecon. Indecon has been hired by the department to perform a number of studies in recent years, including a review of the Employment and Investment Incentive (EII) and the Start-Up Refunds for Entrepreneurs scheme, and an impact assessment of the Help to Buy scheme.
The department paid Maltese law firm Mamo TCV €2,460 in relation to the liquidation of Setanta Insurance Company, and UCD economist Colm McCarthy €4,920 for economic consultation.