Flood damage to affect tax estimates - Hayes

Disruption to business activity being discussed by Department of Finance and Revenue

The Department of Finance will have to adjust estimates on tax revenues for the year as a result of the storm damage suffered by businesses throughout the State, Minister of State Brian Hayes has said.

Mr Hayes, who is responsible for the Office of Public Works, said it was clear that there was going to be some reduction in the tax yield projected from commercial operations as a result of flood and storm damage suffered by businesses in Cork, Limerick, Galway, Waterford, Wexford and elsewhere.

“I have had discussions with the Department of Finance regarding the damage and it may well affect the degree of tax that we will see this year .... they have their own modelling system for an event like this in terms of the impact it has on the tax take,” he said.

“Given the severity of the storms and the way commercial operations have been knocked out in Cork and elsewhere, we are going to have to profile that in terms of how it’s going to affect the tax take this year in terms of VAT and other tax takes that could be detrimentally affected.”

Contacted by The Irish Times, a Department of Finance spokesman said the department is currently working with colleagues in The Revenue Commissioners to set out projected monthly tax receipts but the figures for February would not be available until early March.

Mr Hayes today visited Cork, where he opened a conference on Flood Risk Management organised by Cobh & Harbour Chamber and he conceded the government’s planned spend of €250 million over the period 2012-2016 on flood defences would not be sufficient.

“We will need more than €250 million over the five year period of the plan - there’s no doubt about that - we will need more money - we will need a greater capital budget if we are going to resolve all of the priority issues that we have set,” he said.

"That's why next week the Cabinet, through Minister Phil Hogan, will obtain a memo from his Department setting out the initial costs associated with this year's storm damage and additional funding will have to be found across a number of departments to deal with this."