The Minster for Finance has said Ireland will be asked to pay more into the next EU budget - in part to make up for the drop in funding caused by Brexit.

However Paschal Donohoe told the Oireachtas Finance Committee that the Government is not opposed to making increased payments to the EU budget "as long as they are in line with the principle of EU added value".

Asked by Fianna Fáil's finance spokesperson Michael McGrath to indicate how much the Irish contributions might be, the minister said "I have a figure in mind that we can afford, but we are at an early stage in a very complex negotiation, and I don't think it would be wise to disclose the figure we have in mind."

In this year's stability programme update, the Department of Finance said Ireland will pay €2.7bn into the EU budget this year, and will pay €2.9bn next year.

Mr Donohoe said in the current seven-year EU budget Ireland will get about €12bn back from the budget, mostly in the form of agriculture payments. 

He said Ireland has been a net contributor - on a cash flow basis - to the EU budget since 2014. 

Because of very strong economic growth in Ireland, and less strong growth levels elsewhere, the formula used to determine contributions has meant a rapid increase in the amount Ireland pays into the EU budget.

About 70% of the EU budget is sourced from member state contributions based on Gross National Income.

The remainder come from a share of VAT receipts and customs receipts levied on goods coming into the EU, which has been declining in line with reductions in Free Trade Agreements between the EU and other countries.

To help plug the "Brexit Gap" in the next EU budget - set to run for seven years from 2020 - the commission has proposed some revenue raising measures that would lift spending on the budget from 1% of GNI for the EU 28 to 1.11% of GNI for the EU 27.

The budget plan presented by the European Commission also calls for a 5% cut in spending on agriculture and cohesion funding, and an increase in spending on research, the digital economy, border security and defence. 

Funding for the Erasmus student exchange programme is to be doubled.

One of the new revenue sources proposed by the commission is a levy of 3% of money raised from the introduction of the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base. 

However Mr Donohoe told Mr Mc Grath that CCTB had not been agreed, required unanimity, and Ireland will not change its opposition to CCCTB. 

He said the CCCTB measure was designed to raise about €12bn for the EU budget over the next seven year cycle, and as CCCTB was not agreed, this money would have to be sourced in another way.

He said cohesion funding is an important tool for the EU that "enables less developed member states of the union to unlock their economic potential, which will benefit all of us in the long run". 

He also said Ireland was opposed to cuts in the Common Agriculture Policy, and said Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed had joined with agriculture ministers in France, Spain and Portugal to organise a caucus against the Commission proposals.

Responding to questions from Sinn Féin Senator Rose Conway Walsh he said the best way to deal with the commission proposal was to assemble a coalition of countries that felt the same, and that other countries were joining this group.

Questioned by committee chairman John McGuinness (Fianna Fáil), the Department of Finance's chief economist said the Central Bank/ECB had bought between €40bn and €50bn worth of Irish Government bonds under various programmes - out of a total stock of approximately €200bn in outstanding bonds.

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy noted a large increase in the EU budget allocation to defence, and also a €25bn "Reform Stability Programme", which he said aimed to institutionalise austerity budgeting in states that run into financial difficulties.

Mr Donohoe disagreed, saying one of the criticisms during the last financial crisis was that the EU lacked the tools to help member states, and that this budget line was one of two new tools for dealing with financial difficulties facing member states. 

He agreed that there was a near doubling of defence spending in the new budget, but said it was coming from a very low base. 

The figure of €13bn had to be seen in the context of a seven year budget in excess of €1tn.

He said it is very unlikely that Ireland would try to eliminate the defence spending line in the budget negotiation "because I know how important it is for other member states".

Sinn Féin's finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty asked the minister if he had gotten the balance right in economic planning, contrasting Eurostat data showing Ireland had the highest childcare costs in the EU with another finding that 23% of Irish GDP in the period 2010 to 2015 was comprised of Royalty Payments to multinational companies, compared with an EU average of 0.34%. 

He said this was proof that the country was being used for aggressive tax planning by multinationals.

The minster disputed this characterisation, saying the large amount of royalty payments were evidence of the fact that the Irish economy is very highly integrated into global supply chains.  But he said he did agree with Mr Doherty that childcare costs were far too high, adding that in October 2016 the Government had introduced the "steady implementation" of a childcare support scheme.