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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 68-75
 Header Item Housing Grants
 Header Item Property Tax Collection
 Header Item Debt Resolution Pilot Scheme
 Header Item Disability Act Employment Targets
 Header Item IBRC Liquidation
 Header Item IBRC Liquidation
 Header Item Financial Services Regulation
 Header Item IBRC Mortgage Loan Book

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 804 No. 2

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Written Answers Nos. 68-75

Housing Grants

 68. Deputy Eoghan Murphy Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan if he is considering making the cost of home maintenance and repairs tax deductible, as is done in Sweden, in order to eliminate the growing black economy. [24592/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan It is a longstanding practice of the Minister for Finance not to comment on any tax matters that might be the subject of Budget decisions. However, I will consider the Deputy’s proposal in the context of the forthcoming Budget and Finance Bill. In addition, I would draw the Deputy’s attention to existing grants available from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) for energy efficiency works completed in homes. These grants are available where approved contractors are employed to complete the relevant works.

Property Tax Collection

 69. Deputy Billy Timmins Information on Billy Timmins Zoom on Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the position regarding persons (details supplied) in County Wicklow who have not received their property tax correspondence; if this can be sent as a matter of urgency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24594/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan The Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 (as amended) provides that Revenue is responsible for the administration of Local Property Tax (LPT) and how a residential property is to be valued for LPT purposes. It was necessary for Revenue, in the role of administrator of the Local Property Tax, to develop a Register of residential properties in the State. The Register was developed using data drawn from a range of sources including Revenue’s own databases, the Local Government Management Agency database and other sources. Data from the various sources has been cross-checked to ensure that the Register is as accurate as possible and work is still in progress to refine it.

I am informed that, while every effort has been made to correctly match residential properties to owners, there are small numbers of incomplete records. In the specific circumstances of the case mentioned by the Deputy no definitive record matched the details provided and accordingly it is necessary to establish direct contact with the persons in question in order to rectify the situation. A member of the Revenue LPT team has already tried to make contact with the persons in question using telephone contact details provided by the Deputy but did not receive a reply. Further efforts are now being made to contact the persons and once contact is made any assistance required will be offered to enable them to file their LPT Return. Alternatively, the Deputy may wish to advise the persons to contact the LPT Helpline at 1890 200 255. A helpline agent will be able assist the persons in meeting their LPT obligations at a time that best suits them.

Debt Resolution Pilot Scheme

 70. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan if he will report on the third party service provider that will be selected to operate under the recent launched Framework for a Pilot Approach to the Coordinated Resolution of Multiple Debts owed by a Distressed Borrower; if the Money Advice and Budgeting Service will be selected as the third party service provider in view of the wealth of experience that MABS has in dealing with distressed borrowers; his views on recent reports that a company from the UK is being considered as the third party service provider; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24603/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan The Central Bank has advised that it has been agreed among the lender participants to use an independent third party service provider as the most appropriate way to engage with borrowers, whose consent to participate will be sought and required to take part in the pilot. I am informed by the Central Bank that discussions are underway to determine the most appropriate provider and that no decision on this has yet been made. However, I also understand that an important consideration for the Central Bank in this matter, due to the short timelines involved, is the ability of the provider to provide an effective and efficient service at short notice.

Disability Act Employment Targets

 71. Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the target of his Department and subsidiary offices throughout the country regarding employment of persons in the special category with disabilities and if the target being achieved; the total number of employees in that category currently and the percentage of the total workforce in his Department that it represents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24614/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan The civil and public service is an equal opportunities employer and all recruitment campaigns are conducted in strict compliance with the Codes of Practice set out by the Commission for Public Service Appointments. Public service bodies are subject to specific legal obligations in the Disability Act 2005. Part 5 of the Act sets out the following requirement of public service bodies: - to promote and support the employment of people with disabilities; - to comply with any statutory Code of Practice; - to meet a target of 3% of employees with disabilities; - to report every year on achievement of these obligations.

The National Disability Authority (NDA) reports annually on compliance with this 3% target. In its latest published report in 2012, based on data provided for 2011, 3.9% of staff employed within the Department of Finance had a disability. This represents a total of 11 employees in this category. This exceeds the 3% target outlined in Part 5 of the Act.

IBRC Liquidation

 72. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan if he will estimate the total debt write down that will be given to developers who bid for their own loans from the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation at substantially reduced values; and if the residual debt against those developers will be pursued by the State. [24689/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I have been advised by the Special Liquidators that they have engaged specialist advisors who are to provide advice as to whether a loan should be sold individually or as part of a portfolio in order to ensure that the maximum value is obtained for that asset within the instructed timeframe. The decision concerning how the loans will be packaged for sale is to be made by the Special Liquidators. Based on current information, it is envisaged that the majority of loans will be sold as part of portfolios. The Relevant Loan Assets (as part of a portfolio or as an individual loan whichever the case may be) will be put to the market and third parties will be given the opportunity to bid for these portfolios/individual loans as part of an open and transparent sales process. Borrowers and third party bidders may be permitted to bid for portfolios/loans. However, it is a matter for the Special Liquidators to determine what bidders constitute qualifying bidders for the purposes of the sales process.

I have been informed by the Special Liquidators that there will be no write down in debt for Borrowers. The Special Liquidators will be selling the Relevant Loan Assets for an amount equal to or in excess of the independent valuation obtained. The gross amount outstanding on the loan will still be due and payable in full to the owner of the relevant loans asset(s).

IBRC Liquidation

 73. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan further to Parliamentary Question No. 193 of 14 may 2013, if he will confirm the restrictions that will be placed on Irish Bank Resolution Corporation borrowers who bid on their own loans after the window for 100% refinancing expires; if such borrowers will be prevented from acting in concert with third party bidders during the bid process as is the case with National Asset Management Agency borrowers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24690/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I have been advised by the Special Liquidators that they have engaged specialist advisors who are to provide advice as to whether a loan should be sold individually or as part of a portfolio in order to ensure that maximum value is obtained for that asset within the instructed timeframe. The decision concerning how the loans will be packaged for sale is to be made by the Special Liquidators. Based on current information, it is envisaged that the majority of loans will be sold as part of portfolios. The Relevant Loan Assets (as part of a portfolio or as an individual loan whichever the case may be) will be put to the market and third parties will be given the opportunity to bid for these portfolios/individual loans as part of an open and transparent sales process. I have been informed by the Special Liquidators that borrowers and third party bidders, either on their own or together, may be permitted to bid for portfolios/loans. However, it is a matter for the Special Liquidators to determine what bidders constitute qualifying bidders for the purposes of the sales process.

Financial Services Regulation

 74. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 207 and 210 of 23 April 2013, and 195 of 14 April 2013, if he will confirm by year, separately, the salary and benefits and total remuneration of the Financial Regulator for 2011 and 2012. [24691/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan The salary of the Deputy Governor (Financial Regulation) in 2011 and 2012 was €340,000 per annum. No other benefits were paid to the Deputy Governor (Financial Regulation) in 2011 and 2012.

IBRC Mortgage Loan Book

 75. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the number of borrowers who had loans of more than €10 million par value with the Irish Bank Resolution Corportation at 7 February 2013 ; the total par value of such outstanding loans; and the book value of such loans. [24692/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I have been informed by the Special Liquidators that the information requested is commercially sensitive and that it would not be appropriate for the Special Liquidators to release information outside of what is already published in IBRC’s annual or interim accounts. The Special Liquidators will not be publishing any confidential commercially sensitive financial information which could potentially have a detrimental impact on asset recovery in the impending sales process.


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