A surge in Corporation Tax payments last month will go towards making Ireland's finances safer by the end of the year, the Minister for Finance has said.

When asked whether the additional money could be spent on alleviating the housing crisis, Paschal Donohoe said he has made some of the funding available for the needs of today.

However, he said that "the right thing to do" is to allow the "higher than expected tax collection to flow through into improving the position of our national finances".

Exchequer returns for November show corporation tax receipts brought in almost €500 million more than anticipated.  

That 21% surge - or €470 million - left the total amount of Corporation Tax paid last month at €2.7 billion.  

Mr Donohoe added that in light of the Brexit challenge "becoming even more acute", the challenge is striking a balance between additional investment in social needs and making sure the Government "doesn't take expenditure and taxation decisions that could be vulnerable".

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy also said the difficulty in building new homes "isn’t necessarily a financial one".

He said: "If we doubled capital expenditure we wouldn't get twice as many homes in half the time".

Mr Murphy said planning and procurement processes have to be gone through to provide this housing.

The ministers were speaking at the announcement of a new company which will finance commercially viable residential developments.

Home Building Finance Ireland has €750m of funding  available from the Strategic Investment fund for these projects, and will begin accepting loan applications by the end of January next year.