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03/12/2019 [Bills] Sections 1 to 8, inclusive, agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] SECTION 9Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Question proposed: "That section 9 stand part of the Bill."Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Section 9 deals with the special assignee relief programme, SARP, an income tax relief for some of the highest earners in the State. It is a relief on salaries between €75,000 and €1 million. We know for a fact that some of those who benefit from the scheme have salaries of over €3 million...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [722]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Sinn Féin opposes this measure because of its cost. In 2010, SARP cost the taxpayer €28.1 million.[Conway-Walsh, Rose]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [723]
03/12/2019 [Bills] If its cost continues to increase at the same rate of 55% between 2017 and 2020, it could be as much as €105 million next year. Under the scheme, an employee earning a salary of €1.1 million will be able to write off 30% of his or her income in excess of €75,000, which would reduce income t...Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Will the Minister of State clarify whether an Irish citizen who has been resident abroad and is posted back to Ireland by his or her employer is entitled to this relief?[McDowell, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [723]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Yes, such an employee is eligible for the scheme. It is important to understand that the development agencies working on behalf of Ireland are operating in a competitive sector. It is easy for the Senator to offer a figure of €105 million but there no structure on which that figure is base...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [723]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Will the Minister of State clarify the figure?[Conway-Walsh, Rose]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [723]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I am doing so. In 2017, which is the last year for which we have a final figure, the cost of the SARP scheme was €28.1 million. The Senator's extrapolating of numbers upwards is a concoction.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [723]
03/12/2019 [Bills] What does the Minister of State estimate the total to be in 2020?[Conway-Walsh, Rose]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [723]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I am not sure how the Senator's figure of €105 million was constructed. I know she does not like dealing with actual numbers.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [724]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I do, which is why I want to know the number for 2020.[Conway-Walsh, Rose]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [724]
03/12/2019 [Bills] We do not have the figures for 2018 or this year. I am giving the Senator the figures I have.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [724]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Minister of State is not giving us the figures.[Conway-Walsh, Rose]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [724]
03/12/2019 [Bills] We do not have the figures for last year or this year.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [724]
03/12/2019 [Bills] How can the Minister of State ridicule the figure I gave when he does not have the data himself?[Conway-Walsh, Rose]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [724]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I said that the Senator concocted a figure for 2020.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [724]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I did not. I indicated the basis on which I calculated the figure for next year.[Conway-Walsh, Rose]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [724]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Senator is plucking a number from the sky so that she can pretend that this scheme is a terrible thing. She referred to specific allocations for healthcare and social protection but she did not mention the overall healthcare allocation of €19 billion for 2020, which is the highest amoun...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [724]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It worries me that the Minister of State does not know the figures after 2017 and cannot give a projected figure for 2020. A payment of €2.5 billion in corporation tax suggests that these are wealthy companies. The question is why they do not pay their employees sufficiently to incentivise...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [724]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It is concerning that we do not have the 2018 figure when we are considering the budget for 2020. When it comes to smaller-ticket measures that come under the social protection budget, for example, we have to look at their exact impact and prove their benefit up, down and sideways if we wan...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [724]
03/12/2019 [Bills] This is a healthy debate, but the context is that we are operating globally and we must compete at international level. It is all about intellectual property and people coming back here and bringing experience with them. In many of the multinational companies that have thrived here, and co...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [725]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Apparently, we could not afford an increase in the minimum wage this year.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [725]
03/12/2019 [Bills] As I have seen on many occasions, we have kept multinational companies in Ireland because the top managers are based here and many of them are Irish. An expansion has taken place. There must be an element of looking at the overall market in which we are competing and assessing whether havi...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [725]
03/12/2019 [Bills] To put it in context, approximately 270,000 people are employed by foreign direct investment companies. For each one of those jobs there is another job that is linked to those companies. These are extremely valuable companies for Irish employment. The conversations in political chambers c...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [725]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Senators will have an opportunity to speak again.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [726]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Have they read it?[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [726]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Yes.[Conway-Walsh, Rose]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [726]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The report says that this is good value. It is money well spent.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [726]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Minister of State is editorialising.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [726]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I agree with it. We will not be changing our view on this at all. The issue here is the amount of tax to be paid. One of the figures I have is very important. The top 1.5% of income earners in the State pay 25% of all income tax and USC. Other figures can show the Senators the position ...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [726]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Before calling Senators Conway-Walsh and Higgins I wish to point out that at least four sections of the Bill are opposed and there are 22 amendments, but we have not yet reached amendment No. 1. It is a very useful debate that has lasted 25 minutes, but if we do this on all the amendments w...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [726]
03/12/2019 [Bills] You are theorising that this will not help.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [726]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I will let you back in, Senator. Members should try not to be repetitive. I am not saying anybody was, just that they should try not to be repetitive.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [726]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I will not be repetitive. It is clear that the Minister of State will not turn on this. We are here to represent people. In fact, the answer the Government got in the by-elections should have made it re-examine things like this and tax fairness. People have nothing left in their pockets ...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [726]
03/12/2019 [Bills] With respect, I ask the Minister of State not to editorialise in sweeping generalisations on what he thinks we think and what he believes our beliefs are. We have many specific amendments-----[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [727]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I am just responding to the Senators.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [727]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I am saying the debate will move better if we do not have to go back and forth on those matters. I do not believe any of us is interested in talking about what Sinn Féin and Fine Gael like. Let us focus on the proposals at hand.
If I was a shareholder in a company in which the CEO was ma...
Vol-268 Book-11 Page [727]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I am not sure that the Senator understands the concept of hollowing out the tax base because we have done the opposite. We have broadened the tax base since entering Government in 2011. I am not editorialising under any circumstances.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [727]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Government is hollowing out the income taken from higher earners.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [727]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I am saying that we will lose these jobs. This is part of the armoury that is required, although not all of it. The Senator questioned somebody's patriotism if they have left and returned. That is not all of it.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [727]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Again, the Minister of State-----[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [727]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Senator did question it.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [727]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I did not question somebody's patriotism if they went away and came back. I must call on the Acting Chairman.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [727]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I accept-----[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [728]
03/12/2019 [Bills] That is not what I said. I referred to where somebody needs a tax relief in order to return.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [728]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It is exactly what the Senator said.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [728]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It is actually what the Senator said.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [728]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It is actually not what I said.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [728]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It is what you said. You may not have meant it but I will let you come back in to clarify what you said.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [728]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I do not want to keep going on this. I would just like it to be clarified.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [728]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Let the Minister of State respond.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [728]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Everything we are doing is to expand the tax base we have. We have brought the corporate tax yield from €4.5 billion to €10 billion. We have brought the income tax take from €11 billion to €22 billion, and that is why we are able to spend more on health, social protection, education and ot...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [728]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I would have said Fine Gael was pretty irrelevant in the recent by-election.[Conway-Walsh, Rose]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [728]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Let us stick to section 9, if we can, on every side.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [728]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Well done to Sinn Féin. If the Senator wants to bring in the politics of elections, that is fine.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [728]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Minister of State did.[Conway-Walsh, Rose]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [728]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Senator started it, if she remembers. The Senator brought in the politics of elections.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [728]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah.[Devine, Máire]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [728]
03/12/2019 [Bills] We are not in pantomime season yet.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [728]
03/12/2019 [Bills] We will not bring up the Acting Chairman's local elections. Half his county council seats-----[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [728]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Minister is goading his audience as much as it is goading him now.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [728]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I guess I am doing a bit of goading. I apologise.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [729]
03/12/2019 [Bills] We have a long night ahead of us.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [729]
03/12/2019 [Bills] To clarify, I did not question people who leave and come back. I am delighted that people who leave come back. I questioned the narrative that they would come back only if offered a tax relief.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [729]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Senator has made that point and clarified it. I thank her.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [729]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Let us be very clear on it.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [729]
03/12/2019 [Bills] A good and long-standing family friend of mine, Mr. Garret FitzGerald, was once alleged to have asked, "That is all right in practice but does it work out in theory?" It is not true that he was the first to have said it. If one googles the phrase, one will find out it was said about 30 yea...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [729]
03/12/2019 [Bills] That topic was introduced by the Minister of State.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [729]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I know but I am just referring to the view that people who stay outside the country might not return because of an absence of patriotism. It does not really matter to me very much what the internal thought processes of those people are; it is about the practical effect on the Exchequer in t...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [729]
03/12/2019 [Bills] We are on section 9. I am indulging the Senator for now.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [729]
03/12/2019 [Bills] We are talking about residency.
I ask Senator Higgins to take on board the point that Mr. Charlie McCreevy, when Minister for Finance, cut the rate of capital gains tax from 40% to 20%. By doing so, even at that stage, when tax rates were not as high as they were after the economic crisis...
Vol-268 Book-11 Page [729]
03/12/2019 [Bills] This is not a discussion on ideology, wishful thinking and so forth. There is ideology at play across the House, and there is also pragmatism at play on both sides. They entail very different perspectives and we simply disagree but the fact is that it is still the view that a trickle-down ...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [730]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It is not true to-----[McDowell, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [730]
03/12/2019 [Bills] No, leave that aside. What I am speaking to-----[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [730]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Senator Higgins has made that point two or three times already.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [730]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Excuse me, but I was told I was talking about theory and that others were speaking about pragmatism. I would like to point out-----[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [730]
03/12/2019 [Bills] But the Senator made that point already.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [730]
03/12/2019 [Bills] On Report Stage, we may hear an answer from the Minister of State in respect of the IMF analysis of real play-out in real economies in 100 countries over 30 years. It suggests that when the income share of the top 10% is increased, it damages GDP. When the income of the bottom 10% is incre...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [730]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Senator made that point. She has made it very well but does not need to make it again.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [730]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I need to make it in the sense of indicating I am not talking theory while others talk pragmatism. I am talking evidence and I would like to hear answers in terms of evidence. We can move on but perhaps we can come back to this point on Report Stage.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [730]
03/12/2019 [Bills] This is probably what we should be doing. We probably do not have enough time to have a debate at this level.[O'Donnell, Kieran]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [730]
03/12/2019 [Bills] We have had 45 minutes.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [731]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I am just making a general point. The Senator's point is out of context. This is not about creating a rate within Ireland; it is about creating something that will bring extra jobs into the Irish economy.[O'Donnell, Kieran]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [731]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It is about creating something that would bring additional jobs into the economy. It is a particular measure. It may not even be a long-term measure. I disagree with Senator Higgins's general point about the trickle-down effect in the context of what we are looking at here. It is not an....Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] I apologise for goading Senators. Sometimes it is not difficult.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [731]
03/12/2019 [Bills] What did the Minister of State say?[Conway-Walsh, Rose]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [731]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I said sometimes it is not difficult to goad Senators.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [731]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Would the Minister of State stop? He is doing it again.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [731]
03/12/2019 [Bills] On whether it relates to ideology or practicality, it is due to practicality. We need €62 billion to run the State every year. That is the level of expenditure we have. We have never spent more under current expenditure and we have to get the money in. If ideology prevents us getting mon...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [731]
03/12/2019 [Bills] NEW SECTIONVol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] I move recommendation No. 1:
In page 11, between lines 19 and 20, to insert the following:
“Report on special assignee relief programme
10. Within 6 months of the passing of this Act, the Minister shall produce a report on special assignee relief programme to include a quantification of reve...
Vol-268 Book-11 Page [732]
03/12/2019 [Bills] There is an exemption from income tax on any gain realised on the exercise of a qualifying share option under the key employee engagement programme, KEEP, scheme.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [732]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I note we are on recommendation No. 1.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [732]
03/12/2019 [Bills] This is recommendation No. 1. We are still on SARP. We have not got to the KEEP programme yet.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [732]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I have discussed SARP earlier.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [732]
03/12/2019 [Bills] So the Minister of State does not agree with Senator Higgins's recommendation.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [732]
03/12/2019 [Bills] When does the Minister of State anticipate that we might get the 2018 figures?[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [732]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The figures tend to be two years behind. We will the figures for 2018 next year in 2020. That is the way it works with Revenue. We do not do the figures. Revenue allocates the figures to us.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [733]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Recommendation put and declared lost.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Section 10 agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] SECTION 11Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Question proposed: "That section 11 stand part of the Bill."Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] I oppose the section and I have also tabled recommendations to the section. Section 11 concerns the KEEP scheme. It is the one the Minister of State was preparing to discuss earlier. Section 11 is an extension of the KEEP scheme. My core issue is not with the measures concerning the exte...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [733]
03/12/2019 [Bills] For example, they could get up to €100,000 a year in stock and share options and up to 50% of the total emoluments could be treated and take the form of shares. This is a real concern because it is another measure that means people will potentially be paying less tax to the Exchequer relati...Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] The KEEP scheme is not for the wealthy elite. The KEEP scheme was designed for people working in a particular sector. The challenge for smaller companies in that sector is that they are not able to hold on to their staff. Staff retention is a major issue in many sectors. The objective he...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [733]
03/12/2019 [Bills] As I understand it, people can have up to €100,000 in stocks and shares, and up to 50% of their income come in the form of stocks and shares. This would mean people covered by this could be getting up to €200,000, which is quite a large amount. I would question the small-scale employee. T...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [734]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It does not.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [734]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Minister of State may come back in again later.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [734]
03/12/2019 [Bills] While I agree that people get taxed on their stocks and shares, these people would have been taxed at 40% and are being taxed at a lower rate because it is on stocks and shares at point of exit. That is an overall reduction in our tax and revenue. The aspect of pay later and pay less has b...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [734]
03/12/2019 [Bills] With respect, you are taking an ideological viewpoint.[O'Donnell, Kieran]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [735]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Senator should speak through the Chair.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [735]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Skip the ideological-----[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [735]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Hold on. Senator Higgins will have another opportunity to come back in.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [735]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I wish to finish my point. The Senator is making the point that this is a tax-avoidance measure and that it should come in the form of income and be subject to income tax at the higher rate. I see this as a practical measure that allows companies operating in a very competitive environment...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [735]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I call the Minister of State and Senator Higgins may come back in after that.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [735]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Since I have been accused of an ideological-----[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [735]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Senator may come back in after the Minister of State.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [735]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I have a single question to move it on.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [735]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I am letting the Minister of State in next. That is the order and the Senator may come back in to conclude.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [735]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I have a single sentence.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [735]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I have no more to add.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [735]
03/12/2019 [Bills] As the Minister of State has no more to add, I call Senator Higgins.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [735]
03/12/2019 [Bills] In an earlier contribution I asked the Minister of State a direct question and did not get an answer. It might be useful on this. Does he believe in progressive taxation? Does he believe that the SARP scheme and the KEEP scheme satisfy the principles of progressive taxation?[Higgins, Alic...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [735]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Before I call the Minister of State, I note-----[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [735]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Since I have been accused of having an ideological position, let us go there.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [735]
03/12/2019 [Bills] -----the Minister of State made the point that 1.5% of the population are paying 25% of the tax. Therefore, the Minister of State has addressed that point to my mind.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [735]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Unfortunately, the Senator's ideology is clouding her practicality. If we go down the road of her ideology we would not have enough money to spend the-----[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [735]
03/12/2019 [Bills] What is the ideological point on which the Minister of State disagrees with me?[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [736]
03/12/2019 [Bills] She is trying to portray the Irish income tax as not being progressive. It is the most progressive income tax system in the OECD countries. The more people earn in Ireland, the more they pay. We have a number of targeted schemes designed to increase the overall pot. The Senator's ideolog...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [736]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Are the KEEP and SARP schemes progressive?[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [736]
03/12/2019 [Bills] That is the Senator's ideology.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [736]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It is not ideology; it is a direct question.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [736]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Hold on-----[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [736]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I am simply asking whether the KEEP scheme and the SARP scheme are progressive taxation measures. That is not ideological. The Minister of State has spoken about progressive taxation.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [736]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I will allow the Minister of State in to reply.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [736]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It is not an outlier notion.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [736]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I ask the Minister of State to go ahead.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [736]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I will give the Senator actual numbers. A total of 87 people benefited from KEEP in 2018, its first year of operation.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [736]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It is not a case of tens of thousands of people scamming the system and the income tax structures. It involves a very small number of people, so it has not had the take-up we wanted. We wanted thousands of people who are working within the SME sector to be able to take share options and ha...Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] What was the cost of the scheme?[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [736]
03/12/2019 [Bills] We do not have it because the shares must be retained for a period of time.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [736]
03/12/2019 [Bills] So we do not know how much it cost for the 87 individuals who benefited.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [736]
03/12/2019 [Bills] We do not have the cost because the shares must be retained for a period of years.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [736]
03/12/2019 [Bills] While the Senator can come back in, this is not a to-and-fro session.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [736]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Senator's ideology prevents her from allowing those 87 people to benefit. We want that figure of 87 to increase to hundreds, perhaps even thousands of people who are taking up these share options because then they have buy-in with regard to their company and are far less likely to move ...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [736]
03/12/2019 [Bills] What ideology?[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [737]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Pardon?[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [737]
03/12/2019 [Bills] To what element of ideology is the Minister of State referring?[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [737]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Senator's ideology is that none of this should happen. It is very clear. Most schemes to prevent-----[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [737]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Is my ideology one of progressive taxation? Is that the tension?[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [737]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Senator ignores the fact that the Irish income tax system is the most progressive in the OECD. She chose to ignore that.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [737]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Can we refrain from-----[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [737]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I will let the Senator back in but-----[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [737]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I do not want to come back in.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [737]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The rules do not permit me to allow people to throw in heckles, digs, questions or whatever one wants to call them. This applies to the Minister of State as much as to the Senator. The Senator says her piece, the Minister of State responds and the Senator can come back in. That is the way...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [737]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I see that. I am just asking whether we could stop getting the exact same answer, which is that I have ideology, so that we can move forward. Can we stop throwing that in?[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [737]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I have asked the Minister of State-----[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [737]
03/12/2019 [Bills] If the Minister of State has a view on the scheme and I have a view on it-----[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [737]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Senator keeps saying the same thing. It is the same answer regarding the same silly question.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [737]
03/12/2019 [Bills] That is not helpful either.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [737]
03/12/2019 [Bills] With respect to the Chair, can we just focus on-----[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [737]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I am going to put the question.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [737]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Question put and declared carried.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] NEW SECTIONVol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] I move recommendation No. 2:
In page 16, between lines 6 and 7, to insert the following:
"Report on key employee engagement programme
12. Within 3 months of the passing of this Act, the Minister shall produce a report on the implementation of the key employee engagement programme, to include...
Vol-268 Book-11 Page [737]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Recommendation, by leave, withdrawn.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Question, "That section 12 stand part of the Bill", put and declared carried.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Sections 13 and 14 agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] I want to check. I might have the original. Section 18-----[O'Donnell, Kieran]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [738]
03/12/2019 [Bills] We are not there yet.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [738]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Section 18 concerns the living city initiative.[O'Donnell, Kieran]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [738]
03/12/2019 [Bills] No, section 18 deals with flat rate expenses.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [738]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Which section deals with the living city initiative? Recommendation No, 3, which concerns a report on the review by the Revenue Commissioners on flat rate expenses does not appear to be in any way in sync with section 18.[O'Donnell, Kieran]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [738]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Is the Senator referring to the Bill, Committee Stage recommendations or the Bill as passed?[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [738]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I want to speak on that recommendation but I do not want it passed.[O'Donnell, Kieran]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [738]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I think it is section 17 but I am not sure. Is it the living city initiative? It is section 17.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [738]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Is it definitely section 17?[O'Donnell, Kieran]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [738]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The version I have here is-----[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [738]
03/12/2019 [Bills] -----is section 18 but what I am saying is that with regard to section 18, recommendation No. 3 states that on page 20-----[O'Donnell, Kieran]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [738]
03/12/2019 [Bills] My apologies, I might have the Bill, as amended on Committee Stage, rather than the Bill, as amended on Report Stage.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [739]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It is a bit out of sync. Is the Senator moving recommendation No. 3, which deals with a report on flat rate expenses, under section 18 because it has nothing to do with the living city initiative?[O'Donnell, Kieran]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [739]
03/12/2019 [Bills] That is not my recommendation. We are only on section 15.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [739]
03/12/2019 [Bills] We are dealing with section 15. We will then take sections 16 and 17 and when we get to section 18, we can deal with Senator Kieran O'Donnell's point.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [739]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I am just concerned about the recommendation.[O'Donnell, Kieran]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [739]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Section 15 agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] SECTION 16Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Question proposed: "That section 16 stand part of the Bill."Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Section 16 concerns the help to buy scheme. We disagree with this scheme. The original costing suggested that the scheme would cost €130 million in total, however, we know that by August 2019, the cost was €206.4 million. The aim of the scheme is to help first-time buyers raise the 10% de...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [739]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Senators will be aware that the help to buy scheme was announced in budget 2017 and back dated to apply to 19 July 2016. It is an income tax incentive measure designed to assist first-time buyers with the deposit required to purchase or self-build a new house or apartment to live in as thei...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [739]
03/12/2019 [Bills] That is why I am out of one chair and into another. I want to speak on this issue.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [739]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I would not like to try to buy something for €225,000 in the area in which Senator Boyhan lives. Senator Conway-Walsh quoted a figure of €375,000. A person might buy something very small in Dún Laoghaire for that amount but then again, he or she might not. I accept that the figures quoted...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [739]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Senator Conway-Walsh's ideology is incorrect. Somebody who is in County Dublin should be entitled to this as well as somebody living a long way from the city centre, from the capital or from the county who has the benefit of buying a house for a much lower price. One could buy a house in m...Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] With the greatest respect, I acknowledge that property values where Senator Conway-Walsh is living are not the same as those in the general local authority area I represented.
The help-to-buy scheme was very much a Fianna Fáil initiative in the confidence and supply agreement with the Gove...
Vol-268 Book-11 Page [740]
03/12/2019 [Bills] [Conway-Walsh, Rose]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [740]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Section 17 agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] NEW SECTIONSVol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] I move recommendation No. 3:
In page 20, after line 33, to insert the following:
"Report on flat rate expenses
18. The Minister shall, within 3 months of the passing of this Act, prepare and lay before the Oireachtas a report on the review by the Revenue Commissioners on flat rate expenses ...
Vol-268 Book-11 Page [741]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It is good to see Senator Horkan is inclusive.[O'Donnell, Kieran]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [741]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I am inclusive always.
My three recommendations are about preparing and laying before the Oireachtas a report on the review by the Revenue Commissioners on flat-rate expenses and ways in which low and medium income earners can be protected from any change that may arise.
The point, as no...
Vol-268 Book-11 Page [741]
03/12/2019 [Bills] We need to examine the impact on low and medium earners before that is changed.[Conway-Walsh, Rose]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [742]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The flat-rate expense allowance regime is an administratively-based practice operated by the Revenue Commissioners where specific commonality of expenditure exists across an employment category and the statutory requirement for a tax deduction for expenses, as set out in section 114 of the T...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [742]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Until all that is done, can the flat-rate expense allowance regime not just be extended for another year until the impact has been properly assessed? The Minister of State said it will be introduced in January 2020.[Conway-Walsh, Rose]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [742]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I accept the point that the Minister of State made but there needs to be a genuine understanding by the Revenue and the Government of the effect of this change. I will not press the recommendation and I am happy to withdraw it, although I do not know what Senator Conway-Walsh wants to do. ...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [742]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I cannot accept this. I am worried about the impact that this will have on low and middle income workers and this cannot be left up to Revenue. I will press the recommendation.[Conway-Walsh, Rose]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [743]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Many flat-rate expenses have been there for years and many workers are not claiming flat-rate expenses to which they would be entitled. I appreciate the cautious approach that the Government has taken. The relevant term was always that the relevant expenses were wholly, exclusively and...[...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [743]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Soon is very soon - a matter of days rather than weeks.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [743]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I move recommendation No. 4:
In page 20, after line 33, to insert the following:
“Report on re-introduction of trade union tax relief
18. The Minister shall, within 7 months of the passing of this Act, prepare and lay before Dáil Éireann a report on the re-introduction of the trade union ta...
Vol-268 Book-11 Page [743]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The concern is that we have heard a lot of comment in many debates in this House about partnership and balance between all parties but it is inequitable if tax relief is only applied to professional body membership. I do not oppose that but it needs to be matched by addressing the issue of ...Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] I understood that Sinn Féin had sorted out this section in the Dáil. Can the Minister of State clarify that?[Conway-Walsh, Rose]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [744]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Minister for Finance has committed to preparing a report on the tax treatment of union subscriptions. I was not going to take the recommendation.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [744]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I am fantastically delighted because I automatically put it forward three years in a row. I congratulate those who put it forward.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [744]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It is my pleasure to have fantastically delighted the Senator.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [744]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Recommendation, by leave, withdrawn.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] SECTION 18Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Question proposed: "That section 18 stand part of the Bill."Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Section 18 covers the living city initiative. It has been in place for a few years. It is a big issue for us in Limerick city where we have a Georgian quarter. I have spoken to the Minister of State and his officials in the past about the take-up of this scheme, how it has worked and whet...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [744]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I know the Senator has been asking about this for several years. A total of 228 applications have been received since the start of the scheme: 92 in Dublin, 71 in Cork, 19 in Limerick, 32 in Waterford, 11 in Kilkenny, and a low number for Galway. A total of 20 individuals have made claims ...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [745]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Those figures are disappointing. The Minister of State mentioned 228 applications nationally but only 19 came from Limerick. That is low and disappointing. I welcome the extension of the scheme for a further two and a half years. I would like him to commit to reviewing the scheme in some...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [745]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I will be glad to follow it up with the Senator.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [745]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Question put and agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Sections 19 to 26, inclusive, agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] NEW SECTIONSVol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] I move recommendation No. 5:
In page 33, between lines 2 and 3, to insert the following:
“Report on income tax relief
27. The Minister shall, within 6 months of the passing of this Act, prepare and lay before Dáil Éireann a report on an income tax relief equivalent in value to one month’s re...
Vol-268 Book-11 Page [745]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The previous tax relief for rent paid was abolished in budget 2011 and is no longer available to those who commenced renting for the first time from 8 December 2010. This followed a recommendation in the 2009 report by the Commission on Taxation that rent relief should be discontinued. The...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [746]
03/12/2019 [Bills] That is why within our alternative budget we cited an emergency freeze on rents for three years to address the question of the transfer to landlords.[Conway-Walsh, Rose]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [746]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I move recommendation No. 6:
In page 33, between lines 2 and 3, to insert the following:
“Report on introduction of a progressive wealth tax
27. The Minister shall, within 6 months of the passing of this Act, prepare and lay before Dáil Éireann a report on options available for the introduct...
Vol-268 Book-11 Page [746]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I will not be accepting the amendment.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [747]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It is a recommendation.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [747]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I note that we have wealth taxes. We tax wealth in a variety of ways, including capital gains tax and capital acquisitions tax. These taxes are levied on individuals or companies on disposal of an asset in the case of capital gains or the acquisition of an asset through gift or inheritance...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [747]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I point out that we are talking about 0.25% of the wealthiest people in the State and we are talking about a 1% tax on amounts over €1 million. That would bring in €89 million. I really think this needs to be reviewed.[Conway-Walsh, Rose]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [748]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I will take up that last point on the percentage of people that do not pay income tax, because it is trotted out by conservative politicians all the time. I respectfully remind the Minister of State that those people pay plenty of VAT. As the Minister of State knows, VAT is not correlated ...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [748]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Minister of State noted that he was referring to income tax.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [748]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It is important to note I was discussing income tax. Of course everyone pays VAT, but about 30% of the 2.3 million people who work in Ireland do not pay any income tax. I support that wholeheartedly, because as I said to Senator Higgins earlier, we have a very progressive income tax system...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [748]
03/12/2019 [Bills] We support a second home tax. That is another distortion of the truth.[Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [749]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Minister of State forgot to mention that we also have the third-highest rate of low-wage earners in Europe. That is why they do not pay tax. Their wages are so bad that the State subsidises low-wage employers, to the tune of €300 million a year. We should be ensuring those employers p...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [749]
03/12/2019 [Bills] In case the Senator was unaware, when Fine Gael came back into government the first thing we did was to reverse Fianna Fáil's decision to reduce the minimum wage by €1.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [749]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Government has now frozen it.[Gavan, Paul]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [749]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It is now €9.85, which is the second-highest minimum wage in Europe. The Senator has chosen to ignore that fact. We also have a social protection payment which used to be called the family income supplement, though I am not sure what it is called now.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [749]
03/12/2019 [Bills] That is the one.[Gavan, Paul]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [749]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It is a superb payment.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [749]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It is, for bad employers.[Gavan, Paul]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [749]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Many people benefit from getting a payment into a household on top of their net pay. It is a superb payment because it benefits so many families. It is a family income supplement. Many people find that they have to earn a huge amount more money in gross to get beyond the net effect of the...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [749]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It would not be necessary if workers were paid a living wage. That is the point I am making.[Gavan, Paul]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [749]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Hear, hear. That is the point.[Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [749]
03/12/2019 [Bills] In many cases it is a subsidy to low-wage employers. As it stands, the minimum wage law has an appeals mechanism in place whereby an employer who cannot afford to pay the minimum wage can appeal that and go through a process to agree it. The same practice would be possible with the living ...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [749]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Senator made a point about bad employers. I am not here to defend bad employers. Some sectors pay above the minimum wage because there are sectoral agreements in place for €10 an hour. The Senator should not say that the people paying those amounts-----[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [749]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The rents in Dublin-----[Ó Donnghaile, Niall]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [749]
03/12/2019 [Bills] If the Senator will allow me to finish-----[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [749]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Minister of State, without interruption.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [750]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Senator should not say that those people are bad employers. I know both good employers and bad employers. Most employers do their best to continue employing people and the people doing the employing are often the last to be paid. That is how things are for many businesses, both big an...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [750]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The conversation has strayed quite widely. The Minister of State referred to the family income supplement, which is now called the working family payment. People are very aware of that payment because they are all struggling to make ends meet and people rely on it. It is an indictment if ...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [750]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I will reiterate the Senator's last point. The Minister of State mentioned good and bad employers. Let us be very specific here. The hospitality industry has refused point-blank to engage with trade unions or the industrial relations machinery of the State, specifically the Workplace Rela...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [750]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It is very easy to stand up and decry a whole sector as bad employers but it is wrong to do so. I know huge numbers of people who work in the hospitality sector. They work in that sector to provide excellent employment. The Senator may not agree with it-----[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [750]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I do not.[Gavan, Paul]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [750]
03/12/2019 [Bills] -----but the hospitality sector employs tens of thousands of people and it is wrong for someone to stand up in a Chamber where he or she has privilege and call all those people bad employers. I am from a county with a huge amount of hospitality sector employers and employees.[D'Arcy, Michae...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [750]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Why will they not engage with trade unions?[Gavan, Paul]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [750]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Senator Gavan should allow the Minister of State to speak.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [750]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Senator should not do that, because it is wrong. If he thinks certain companies are bad employers, he should go out onto the plinth and name them and see where he finds himself.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [750]
03/12/2019 [Bills] What the Minister of State has said is quite outrageous. The Irish Hotels Federation has point-blank refused and has stated with pride that it will not engage with trade unions or the industrial relations machinery of the State. I have cited that example several times in this Chamber. Wil...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [751]
03/12/2019 [Bills] He says he is not a conservative.[Ó Donnghaile, Niall]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [751]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I would suggest that he is somewhere to the right of the Tories.[Gavan, Paul]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [751]
03/12/2019 [Bills] In power-----[Feighan, Frank]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [751]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Senator Feighan does not have the floor just yet. We are currently dealing with an amendment proposing a wealth tax, from which we have strayed a fair bit. One could say that everything is linked to a wealth tax, but we must deal with the amendment. I ask the Minister of State to conclude...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [751]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Sinn Féin is always hypocritical when it comes to a wealth tax. The highest form of wealth in this State is property but Sinn Féin will not tax it because it is populist. That is purely what Sinn Féin is about.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [751]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Minister of State spoke about hoteliers and the hospitality sector. In Donegal and rural areas throughout the west of Ireland, the sector the Minister of State would claim to champion and laud is outraged that the Government has increased its rate of VAT from 9.5% to 13.5%. The Governm...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [751]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Government is using the hospitality sector to impose a tax that is not progressive, VAT being applicable to everybody in the same way. Everywhere it turns, the Government does not have friends. It is a foolish policy and the Government needs to address it.
In regard to this recommend...
Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] I support the property tax and I also support Sinn Féin's proposal to introduce a progressive wealth tax.[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [751]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The point about VAT is that we brought the numbers back up to where they were. I am not sure whether Senator Mac Lochlainn knows how we paid for that in the first place. We did so by putting a levy on people's pension pots, which generated hundreds of millions and eventually billions of eu...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [751]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Apple is fairly wealthy.[Ó Donnghaile, Niall]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [752]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I move recommendation No. 7:
In page 33, between lines 2 and 3, to insert the following:
"Report on revised threshold for High Wealth Individuals
27. The Minister shall, within 3 months of the passing of this Act, prepare and lay before both Houses of the Oireachtas a report on the introduct...
Vol-268 Book-11 Page [752]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Following a review, Revenue recently revised the threshold for high net worth individuals downwards from €50 million to €20 million. The review was conducted in the first quarter of 2019 and the report was published in June. The rationale for setting the threshold at €20 million included.....Vol-268 Book-11 Page [753]
03/12/2019 [Bills] As part of its ongoing management of the case, I understand Revenue will continue to prepare reports and evolve its case base. In these circumstances, a review is not appropriate at this time. It would not be a productive use of resources coming so soon after the previous review. It does ...Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Just to clarify, was €10 million considered or lower? Was €15 million considered?[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [753]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It was €50 million.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [753]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Yes, I know, and it was reduced. In terms of the risk issues that were identified, was there a specific consideration of risks in reducing the threshold to €10 million?[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [753]
03/12/2019 [Bills] No, €20 million was deemed appropriate.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [753]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I think €10 million might be worth considering and reviewing because if there is a substantial-----[Higgins, Alice-Mary]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [753]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Revenue Commissioners have just concluded a review. They are the people who deal with people of high net worth. They have made a judgment call based on their knowledge, experience and abilities in terms of the risk to be applied and how those high net worth people are configured with t...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [754]
03/12/2019 [Bills] With due respect, the decisions in respect of policy around revenue and the direction of it, they actually are political decisions. Lots of decisions have been made around tax reliefs and measures and how we set the bands. I do not think we can abdicate that issue entirely to Revenue in th...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [754]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The point I am making is that Revenue has just concluded a review and says that the appropriate figure is €20 million, not €10 million.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [754]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Recommendation put and declared lost.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Section 27 agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Section 28 agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] NEW SECTIONVol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Senator Higgins has left the Chamber. Recommendation No. 8 is in her name. Does Senator Gavan wish to speak on her behalf?[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [754]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I move recommendation No. 8:
In page 50, between lines 32 and 33, to insert the following:
“29. Within 7 months of the passing of this Act, the Minister shall produce a report on the potential introduction of a financial transactions tax to include a consideration of—
(a) the potential for I...
Vol-268 Book-11 Page [754]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I note that moving the recommendation is not sufficient to bring it back in on Report Stage if the substance has not been discussed. The Senator does not have to speak on it but not doing so may make it more difficult to bring it back on Report Stage.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [755]
03/12/2019 [Bills] That is fine. I think it is a very reasonable proposition on the part of Senator Higgins to produce a report on the potential introduction of a financial transactions tax. It is very relevant and timely. It is funny; a few years ago when I was a trade union official I had an informal...[G...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [755]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I am in the Chair but let us not be provocative.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [755]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Recommendation, by leave, withdrawn.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Recommendation No. 9 not moved.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Section 29 agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Sections 30 to 34, inclusive, agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] NEW SECTIONVol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] I move recommendation No. 10:
In page 93, between lines 1 and 2, to insert the following:
“Report on restoring cap on intangible assets
35. The Minister shall, within 6 months of the passing of this Act, prepare and lay before Dáil Éireann a report on restoring the 80 per cent cap on intangi...
Vol-268 Book-11 Page [755]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Capital allowances for intangible assets were introduced in the Finance Act 2009 to support the development of the knowledge economy and the provision of high-quality employment. This recognises the fact that growth in OECD economies is increasingly driven by investment in intangible assets...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [755]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Recommendation, by leave, withdrawn.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Sections 35 to 38, inclusive, agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] NEW SECTIONVol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] I draw to the attention of the House an error on the recommendation list. Recommendation No. 11 should be listed under section 39 rather than section 37.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [756]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I move recommendation No. 11:
In page 94, after line 34, to insert the following:
“Report on applying CGT to all sales of property by IREFs
39. The Minister shall, within 6 months of the passing of this Act, prepare and lay before Dáil Éireann a report on applying the full rate of Capital Ga...
Vol-268 Book-11 Page [756]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Finance Act 2016 introduced the IREF regime. The regime provides that profits arising to Irish funds from Irish property remain within the charge to Irish tax. An IREF is an investment undertaking where 25% or more of the value of the assets of the undertakings is derived from real est...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [757]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I will press this recommendation.[Gavan, Paul]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [757]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Sections 39 to 41, inclusive, agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] SECTION 42Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Question proposed: "That section 42 stand part of the Bill."Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] It seems as if this section is, essentially, a tax rebate scheme-----[Hackett, Pippa]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [758]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Order for Senator Hackett, please.[An Leas-Chathaoirleach]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [758]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Section 42 looks as if it is, essentially, a tax rebate scheme for road hauliers and one would have to question why this particular sector is being supported in this way. My colleague, Senator Higgins, wishes to submit amendments on Report Stage.[Hackett, Pippa]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [758]
03/12/2019 [Bills] That is a matter for Senators when we get to Report Stage.[An Leas-Chathaoirleach]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [758]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Question put and agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Sections 43 to 46, inclusive, agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Recommendation No. 12 not moved.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] SECTION 47Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Question proposed: "That section 47 stand part of the Bill."Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Senator Higgins has serious concerns that the measures in this section will encourage high-stakes gambling and she intends to submit amendments on Report Stage.[Hackett, Pippa]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [758]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Question put and agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Sections 48 to 50, inclusive, agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] SECTION 51Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Question proposed: "That section 51 stand part of the Bill."Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] There is an anomaly that allows businesses to reclaim VAT on diesel but not on petrol. I do not propose a recommendation but I ask the Minister of State to examine how diesel and petrol are treated differently. There may be an issue on how hybrids are being treated and so on. This is sepa...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [758]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I acknowledge what the Senator said and I will look at it.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [759]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Question put and agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] NEW SECTIONSVol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] I move recommendation No. 13:
In page 108, between lines 3 and 4, to insert the following:
"Anti-smuggling measures
52. The Minister shall, within 3 months of the passing of this Act, prepare and lay before the Oireachtas a report on the operation of section 136 of the Finance Act 2001 and t...
Vol-268 Book-11 Page [759]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Revenue has indicated that it uses a range of measures to target those involved in the illegal smuggling of goods, which include sharing intelligence on a national, EU and international basis, utilising analytics and technology, and ensuring the optimum deployment of resources. Revenue and ...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [760]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I thank the Minister of State for his response. The recommendation does not seek to take powers from Revenue but, rather, to facilitate its officers in working with An Garda Síochána. Retailers have argued that gardaí are being hampered in their work in circumstances where a Revenue office...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [760]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Recommendation, by leave, withdrawn.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] [Gavan, Paul]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [760]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The same health warning applies to this recommendation as applied to the previous one.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [761]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Recommendation, by leave, withdrawn.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Sections 52 to 55, inclusive, agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] NEW SECTIONVol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] I move recommendation No. 15:
In page 109, between lines 21 and 22, to insert the following:
"Report on VAT on food supplements
56. The Minister shall, within 3 months of the passing of this Act, prepare and lay before the Oireachtas a report on the treatment of food supplements in terms of ...
Vol-268 Book-11 Page [761]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Senator Conway-Walsh and I are not always on the same page but we certainly are so on this issue. One of the changes provided for in the Finance Bill is the imposition of the 13.5% rate of VAT on food supplements. This provision was discussed at great length during the passage of the Bill ...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [761]
03/12/2019 [Bills] There is a false economy in what we are trying to do here. I appreciate that the rate of VAT on food is 0% and food supplements are effectively a form of food. They supplement food. This is a relatively short-sighted measure, which is unhelpful for public policy, the improvement of health...Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] I will not go over what Senator Horkan highlighted because much of it was cases presented. This is not a revenue-raising exercise. Changing the VAT rate on food supplements will result in a net neutral figure because while some supplements will go from 0% to 13.5%, others will go from 23% ...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [762]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I do not think that is valid.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [762]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Sorry, that statement was meant for the Dáil.[D'Arcy, Michael]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [762]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Minister of State should not use its answers for us.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [762]
03/12/2019 [Bills] It is important to clarify that foods for specific groups, such as infant follow-on formula and infant foods, foods for special medical purposes and specially formulated foods will continue to be zero-rated. Foods that were correctly zero-rated in the early 1990s will remain at 0% VAT. Fol...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [762]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Either Senator Horkan or Senator Conway-Walsh may speak next.[O'Donnell, Kieran]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [763]
03/12/2019 [Bills] While I am not delighted with the Minister of State's response, as my party is involved in the confidence and supply arrangement I will withdraw my support for the amendment, having had a decent and robust debate on it. The Minister of State may argue that this is not a revenue-raising meas...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [763]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Does Senator Conway-Walsh wish to press the recommendation?[O'Donnell, Kieran]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [763]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Yes.[Conway-Walsh, Rose]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [763]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Recommendation put and declared lost.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Sections 56 to 60, inclusive, agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] NEW SECTIONVol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] I move recommendation No. 16:
16. In page 111, between lines 11 and 12, to insert the following:
“Report on restricting banks from carrying forward losses
61. The Minister shall, within 6 months of the passing of this Act, prepare and lay before Dáil Éireann a report on restricting the banks...
Vol-268 Book-11 Page [763]
03/12/2019 [Bills] During the Dáil Committee Stage of the Finance Bill 2017, the Minister for Finance, Deputy Donohoe, committed to providing a report to the Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach on the possible consequences of changes to the treatment of corporation tax los...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [763]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I was just reflecting when the Minister of State was talking that a significant amount of taxpayers' money went into the banks and is still in them. I would like to see that coming back for the taxpayer. As to what I believe would be the best way for it to come back, we must ensure that th...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [764]
03/12/2019 [Bills] There were certainly intended consequences when the banks were up to their necks in reckless trading. I think it is obscene that we are rewarding these banks now. We have had one debacle after the other. We have had the tracker mortgages and everything else. It is obscene that they can av...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [764]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Recommendation put and declared lost.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Sections 61 to 73, inclusive, agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] NEW SECTIONVol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] I move recommendation No. 17:
In page 130, between lines 32 and 33, to insert the following:
“Report on introduction of measures to combat hoarding of land
74. The Minister shall, within 6 months of the passing of this Act, prepare and lay before Dáil Éireann a report on the introduction of....
Vol-268 Book-11 Page [765]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015 introduced the vacant site levy, which is aimed at incentivising the development of vacant or under-utilised sites in urban areas. When this matter arose in the Dáil, on foot of an identical amendment proposed by Deputy Pearse Doherty, the Ministe...Vol-268 Book-11 Page [765]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I can see that the Minister of State and I are not going to agree on this occasion. I will press the recommendation.[Conway-Walsh, Rose]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [765]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Recommendation put and declared lost.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Sections 74 and 75 agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] NEW SECTIONSVol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] I move recommendation No. 18:
In page 131, between lines 3 and 4, to insert the following:
“Report on Equality Budgeting Statement
76. Within 6 months of the enactment of this Act, the Minister shall lay before both Houses of the Oireachtas a report in relation to Gender and Equality Budgeti...
Vol-268 Book-11 Page [765]
03/12/2019 [Bills] The same health warning applies. If the recommendation is moved and withdrawn and Senators do not speak on it, it can be challenged on Report Stage.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [766]
03/12/2019 [Bills] This recommendation of Senator Higgins-----[Conway-Walsh, Rose]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [766]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Senator Conway-Walsh might wish to stand while she is addressing us.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [766]
03/12/2019 [Bills] I will stand. The recommendation is in respect of gender and equality budgeting. It is really important to examine the impact the budget has on this.[Conway-Walsh, Rose]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [766]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Recommendation, by leave, withdrawn.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Recommendations Nos. 19 and 20 have been ruled out of order as they are not relevant to the subject matter of the Bill.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [766]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Recommendations Nos. 19 and 20 not moved.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] I move recommendation No. 21:
In page 131, between lines 3 and 4, to insert the following:
“Report on Re-Allocation of “No-Deal Brexit” fund
76. Within 3 months of the enactment of this Act, the Minister shall lay before both Houses of the Oireachtas a report examining options for the re-all...
Vol-268 Book-11 Page [766]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Recommendation, by leave, withdrawn.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Recommendation No. 22 has been ruled out of order as it is not relevant to the subject matter of the Bill.[Horkan, Gerry]Vol-268 Book-11 Page [766]
03/12/2019 [Bills] Recommendation No. 22 not moved.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Section 76 agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Schedule agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Title agreed to.Vol-268 Book-11
03/12/2019 [Bills] Bill reported without recommendation.Vol-268 Book-11
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