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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 119 - Tax yield [32468/14].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 119 - Tax yield [32468/14]. (17 Jul 2014)

URL: http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/debates%20a...


Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the total tax revenue foregone on the total value of illicit trade included in the recent GDP figures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32468/14]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): As the Deputy is aware, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has recently released updated National Accounts statistics that implement new Eurostat standards. One element of the process is the inclusion of extended estimates for illegal economic activities defined as including prostitution, the production and trafficking of drugs, and alcohol and tobacco smuggling. This illegal economic activity is estimated by CSO at 0.72% of GDP or €1.26 billion in 2013. Furthermore, these estimates suggest that illegal activity has been relatively stable since 2010 (varying between 0.70% and 0.73% over the period).

It is important to note the new CSO estimates do not represent an increase in illegal activity, but merely reflect the inclusion in GDP, for the first time, by the CSO of an estimate for illegal activities. By their nature, when instances of such activity are identified and confronted by law enforcement agencies, those instances cease. Accordingly the question of tax foregone is theoretical and no measure of its quantum is available.

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