Ireland's contribution to the European Union's Budget will increase by €280m as a result of the controversial re-calculation of the country's economic statistics, the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has confirmed.
Minister Noonan made the comments in a Dáil reply to Fianna Fáil's Finance spokesman Michael McGrath.
Last week the Central Statistics Office said that Ireland's economy had expanded by an enormous 26% in terms of Gross Domestic Product.
The figures are distorted by tax inversion deals by pharmaceutical companies and aircraft purchase by leasing companies. However, the methodology complies with rules set by Europe's statistical body Eurostat.
The revisions by the CSO also resulted in a significant increase in the country's Gross National Income which is used to calculate Ireland's contribution to the EU Budget.
Mr Noonan said the revision meant an additional €380m would have to be contributed to the EU Budget.
However, a number of mitigating factors meant the increase would now be "in the order of €280m" when compared to the Government's Summer Economic Statement which was published last month.
"Confirmation that the artificially inflated GDP figure for 2015 will cost Ireland an extra €280m in hard cash brings into sharp focus the need for the Department of Finance to give a credible explanation as to how Ireland's growth rate could be distorted in such an unexpected and dramatic fashion," commented Deputy McGrath.
"Given the impact this extra liability will have on public services that people rely on, the Minister for Finance needs to urgently clarify whether this will have an impact on October's Budget," he added.
The Department of Finance said today the increased Irish contribution to the EU will not impact on the fiscal space available to the Government, which is around €1 billion for 2017 budget.
In a statement the department said: "This does not change as it is fixed each spring. All EU Member States do this so that you can begin planning the Budget without having to wait for the most up to date figures.
"Because of that, prior calculation of our fiscal space will remain the same i.e. about €1 billion. This is fully within the relevant rules."
Fianna Fáil's Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath said last week's CSO figures were very damaging to Ireland's reputation.
He said there is now "a sting in the tail" given that Ireland's contribution to the EU budget is directly linked to the official level of national output.
Speaking on RTÉ's Six One, he said the Department of Finance and the CSO need to engage with Eurostat around the calculation of the national output.
Mr McGrath said "it's lumped us with a bill of €280m" and greater engagement with Eurostat is needed to see if a more meaningful analysis can be achieved.
He questioned whether the payment will have to be accounted for in October's Budget and asked what impact it will have on Department of Finance resources.
"My understanding is that they are going to have to engage now with the EU commission, for example, to see if it will have any impact, so it's not absolutely certain."
Mr McGrath said that it is a distinct possibility that Ireland will have to contribute more to the EU budget as a consequence of Brexit.