Dáil Éireann - Volume 420 - 27 May, 1992

Written Answers. - Group's Findings.

47. Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Finance if he will outline the action which has arisen from the work of the Black Economy Monitoring Group, established in April, 1990; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Finance (Mr. B. Ahern): The Group provide a forum for an exchange of views on the effectiveness of ongoing programmes to combat the black economy between the Federation of Irish [681] Employers, the Construction Industry Federation, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, the Department of Social Welfare and the Revenue Commissioners.

The Group have provided a useful information source to the Revenue Commissioners on black economy practices. As a result the Group has made an effective contribution to the targeting of the Revenue audit programme. The Revenue Commissioners also initiated investigations in a number of sectors as a result of information made available by the Group.

A number of recommendations by the Group have also been taken on board such as: tax clearance procedures on Government contracts and grants have been extended by reducing the limit above which tax clearance is required with effect from September 1991; the extension of the construction industry tax clearance requirements to the forestry sector was included in the 1992 Finance Bill; information sources which would help in tackling the black economy have been sought out and reviewed; the Social Welfare Regulations requiring employers to notify the Department of Social Welfare of all new employees commencing employment were extended during 1991 to cover road haulage, catering, private transport and licenced bar trades in addition to the construction, forestry and security industries already covered.