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Written Answers - Income Statistics

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 754 No. 3

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 106.  Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming  asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny  the reason there was more than a two-year time lag when the Central Statistics Office issued county incomes and regional GDP for 2009 in view of the fact that this statistical release was issued on the 26 January 2012; if measures will be put in place to ensure that information on this basis is issued within 12 months of the end of the year to which it relates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6678/12]

[368]Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe The compilation of the Regional Accounts and County Incomes requires detailed accounting data at regional or county level. This is mainly provided through the structural business surveys conducted by the CSO e.g. the Census of Industrial Production and the Annual Services Inquiries. Final results of these inquiries only become available approximately eighteen months after the end of the year to which they relate. Account must be taken of the fact that, in order to facilitate businesses, data can be provided for the nearest accounting year in these surveys. The accounting years of some firms can relate to the year ending in May, for example, and in such cases an inquiry form may not even be issued to these companies until some months after the end of the year. The main delay is in the completion and return of the survey forms by enterprises.

It should be noted that Ireland meets its international deadlines for the completion of the Regional Accounts by transmitting data to the EU Commission within two years of the reference year. The fact that the Commission allows two years for the transmission of the data indicates that this is the earliest date by which most member states could provide the results. The results for Ireland are not unduly delayed therefore by comparison with other member states.

The CSO could not commit itself to produce the results within 12 months of the end of the reference year as the matter is not entirely within their control. However every effort is being made by the CSO to shorten the time limit within which results of its inquiries are published. Several initiatives have been taken in the survey areas such as the use of electronic versions of the forms etc. to improve the timeliness of response. CSO will continue with its endeavours in this regard and is mindful of users’ requirements to obtain results of the Regional Accounts and County Incomes at the earliest possible date.

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