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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 58 - 65
 Header Item EU-IMF Programme of Support
 Header Item Credit Institutions Resolution Fund
 Header Item Deposit Guarantee Scheme
 Header Item Deposit Guarantee Scheme
 Header Item Third Level Fees
 Header Item Student Grant Scheme Applications
 Header Item Student Grant Scheme Applications

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 822 No. 1

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Written Answers Nos. 58 - 65

  Question No. 58 answered with Question No. 31.

EU-IMF Programme of Support

 59. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the circumstances under which Ireland would be eligible for the European Central Bank's outright monetary transactions programme; the impact of not applying for a precautionary credit line on such eligibility; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50037/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan The Governing Council of the ECB made a decision to establish Outright Monetary Transaction (OMT) on 2 August 2012, and issued a press statement on 6 September 2012 which outlined its technical features. According to this the purpose of OMT is: “Safeguarding an appropriate monetary policy transmission and the singleness of the monetary policy”. It is therefore, aimed at addressing systemic risks for the Euro as a whole and is not country specific in that regard. Having a credit line does not of itself guarantee access to OMT. It is a necessary, but not sufficient condition. In that respect, in the absence of systemic risk, the position in relation to Ireland is not fundamentally changed by the Government’s decision last week not to seek a precautionary credit line. The ECB press statement also notes that the ECB’s Governing Council will decide on the start, continuation and suspension of OMT, following a thorough assessment, in full discretion and acting in accordance with its monetary policy mandate.

Credit Institutions Resolution Fund

 60. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan if payments made by the Exchequer under the credit resolution fund are repayable in certain circumstance; the criteria for repayment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [50038/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan The Government put €250 million into the Credit Institutions Resolution Fund which was set up under the Central Bank and Credit Institutions (Resolution) Act 2011. The Act provides that payments may be made from the Fund for the resolution of financial instability in, or an imminent serious threat to the financial stability of, an authorised credit institution. Under Section 12(2) of the Resolution Act, I as Minister for Finance, am entitled to be reimbursed from the Fund for all contributions to that Fund and for any financial incentive provided. This amount will be recouped in the form of a levy on financial institutions over time.

Deposit Guarantee Scheme

 61. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the total amount of credit union deposits which are respectively covered and not covered by the deposit guarantee scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50039/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan The Deposit Guarantee Scheme - DGS - was set up by the Government and is administered by the Central Bank of Ireland. The DGS guarantees eligible deposits up to €100,000 per person in any bank, building society or credit union. Total deposits held in credit unions amount to €11.6 billion as reported by credit unions as at 30 September 2013. The Central Bank advises that it is not in a position to estimate the level of ineligible savings, as the figure would be contingent on a number of factors which would come into play in the event of a DGS payout, for example, the level of accrued interest and the relevance of joint accounts.

Deposit Guarantee Scheme

 62. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the total amount of bank deposits which are respectively covered and not covered by the deposit guarantee scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50040/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan The Central Bank of Ireland is responsible for the operation of the Deposit Protection (Guarantee) Scheme (DGS), which covers licensed credit institutions operating in the State. Each credit institution covered by the DGS is required to maintain a balance in the Deposit Protection Account (DPA) equivalent to 0.2% of their total deposits in order to fund the DGS.

I am advised by the Central Bank that it currently collects data relating to the total deposits of credit institutions so that it can calculate their contributions to the DPA. The Central Bank tells me the figure for total deposits in the financial sector in Ireland is currently €474 billion. However, not all of these deposits are actually covered by the DGS scheme. For example, only amounts up to €100,000 are covered and various deposits are excluded from coverage, such as deposits from large companies and inter-bank deposits. The Central Bank is currently working with credit institutions in order to receive data on actual coverage levels under the Deposit Guarantee Scheme. Formal powers for the Central Bank to request this data are included in the Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Act 2013.

Third Level Fees

 63. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn the reason behind the decision to charge apprentices €1,000 a year; if he will review same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49984/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy Ciarán Cannon): Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon The Annual Student Contribution is levied on students attending Institutes of Technology. The amount due by apprentices is calculated on a pro rata basis of the time which they spend in Institutes of Technology during the academic year. This is typically one third of the Annual Student Contribution, which €2,500 for the academic year 2013/2014, paid by students attending for the full academic year but it can a greater proportion for certain trades where longer periods are spent in Institutes of Technology.

Since 2004, FÁS/SOLAS has paid a part of the Annual Student Contribution due in respect of apprentices, with apprentices themselves paying the part of the contribution relating to examination fees. As part of Budget 2014, SOLAS will cease making payments to Institutes of Technology and apprentices will pay the full pro rata Annual Student Contribution. This treats apprentices in the same way as other students in those institutions. Apprentices are paid a training allowances by SOLAS for phases of their training spent in Institutes of Technology. This allowance is equivalent to the wages they receive from their employers for on the job phases and is unaffected by the budgetary changes.

Student Grant Scheme Applications

 64. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn the position regarding a student grant in respect of a person (details supplied).  [49839/13]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn Officials in my Department have confirmed with Student Universal Support Ireland that the grant application of the student referred to by the Deputy for the 2013/14 academic year was refused. SUSI has confirmed that the student is undertaking a course of study at a lower level than that previously pursued. To satisfy the terms and conditions of the student grant scheme in relation to progression, a student must be moving from year to year within a course having successfully completed the previous year or be transferring from one course to another where the award for the subsequent course is of a higher level than the previous course. Under the scheme, students who have previously attended, but not completed a course of study are required to complete an equivalent period of study on an approved course before being eligible to be considered for a grant.

  Where an individual applicant has had an appeal turned down in writing by SUSI and remains of the view that the scheme has not been interpreted correctly in his/her case, an appeal form outlining the position may be submitted by the applicant to the independent Student Grants Appeals Board. The relevant appeal form is available to download from http://www.studentfinance.ie/downloads/1375344221/2013_SGAB_appeal_form.pdf.

Student Grant Scheme Applications

 65. Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn when a student grant will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49857/13]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn Officials in my Department have confirmed with Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) that the grant application of the student referred to by the Deputy was awarded on the 4th October, 2013. Students get paid as soon as possible after they submit their bank accounts details and their institutions confirm their attendance. SUSI is awaiting confirmation from the applicant's college before payment can commence. I understand that SUSI has contacted the applicant's college on six occasions since October.


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