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 Header Item Gas Regulation Bill 2013: From the Seanad (Continued)
 Header Item Business of Dáil

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 822 No. 4

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  11 o’clock

(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Pat Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte] The purpose here is to enable it to get on with its business because key critical engineering and technical staff are being transferred from the local authorities to Irish Water as well as recruitment from the live register and outside. The intention here is that the conditions that people enjoyed in their present posts would be transferred. There is no intention to do anything but retain Irish Water in State ownership.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt Amendments Nos. 2 and 13 are related and may be discussed together.

  Seanad amendment No. 2:

   Section 18: In page 13, line 21, to delete “and”.

Deputy Pat Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte This is purely a drafting amendment.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt Seanad amendments Nos. 3 to 12, inclusive, and 16 to 25, inclusive, are related and may be discussed together.

  Seanad amendment No. 3:

  Section 21: In page 14, line 10, after “BGÉ” where it firstly occurs to insert “and its subsidiaries”.

Deputy Pat Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte These amendments are grouped, as the Leas-Cheann Comhairle says. They are drafting amendments. They are purely technical and are proposed to provide greater clarity with respect to the assets, licences, rights and liabilities and staff of BGE and its subsidiaries, which may be included in the transfer plan and to provide that assets may be transferred to an energy company from BGE, a subsidiary of BGE or both.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 4:

  Section 21: In page 14, line 12, to delete “the” where it firstly occurs and substitute “a”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 5:

  Section 21: In page 14, line 17, to delete “or” and substitute the following:

“(c) all or any of the assets, licences, right and liabilities and staff (whether or not subject to exceptions) of, or relating to a specified function or business activity of, one or more than one subsidiary of BGÉ, or”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 6:

  Section 21: In page 14, line 18, to delete “both of”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 7:

  Section 26: In page 15, line 27, after “transfer” to insert “to the energy company”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 8:

  Section 26: In page 15, line 28, after “BGÉ” to insert “and its subsidiaries”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 9:

  Section 26: In page 15, line 28, to delete “to the energy company”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 10:

  Section 26: In page 15, line 29, after “transfer” to insert “to the energy company”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 11:

  Section 26: In page 15, line 29, after “BGÉ” to insert “and its subsidiaries”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 12:

  Section 26: In page 15, line 30, to delete “to the energy company”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 13:

  Section 28: In page 16, line 21, to delete “and”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 14:

  Section 31: In page 16, after line 33, to insert the following:

Taxation of chargeable gains

31. (1) Sections 617 and 631 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 shall not apply to any transfer to, or vesting in, an energy company under section 26(a) and Schedule 3.
(2) Section 623 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 shall not apply where, on a disposal of an energy company in accordance with section 30, the energy company ceases to be a member of a group of companies (within the meaning of section 616 of that Act) of which BGÉ is a member.”.

Deputy Pat Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte This amendment relates to a taxation matter and is designed to avoid a potential anomaly in the treatment of capital gains tax on the proceeds from any future sale of Bord Gáis Energy. Under existing tax rules the pre-sale transfer of the energy assets by BGE into a subsidiary known as the energy company, as provided for in the Gas Regulation Bill 2013 will automatically be subject to relief from capital gains tax under section 617, the group relief provision of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. However, when the subsidiary is subsequently sold a de-grouping charge is automatically triggered under section 623 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 with the capital gains tax liability falling on the subsidiary at the point of sale completion rather than on BGE. This essentially means that the capital gains liability would fall on the purchaser rather than on the seller, which would be unusual. This amendment is structured specifically to dis-apply the group relief provision for any pre-sale restructuring to provide absolute clarity that BGE will be liable for all capital gains tax relating to the restructuring of the energy business. This would provide clarity for all parties to any future sale and ensure that the appropriate capital gains tax is paid to the Revenue Commissioners. My Department consulted with the Department of Finance and the Office of the Attorney General on the drafting of this amendment and I am satisfied that this ensures the best outcome for the Exchequer.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 15:

  New section: In page 32, after line 16, to insert the following:

“Further amendment of Water Services Act 2013

46. Part 2 of the Water Services Act 2013 is amended by inserting the following section after

section 18:
“Superannuation

18A. (1) As soon as may be after the coming into operation of this section, the subsidiary shall prepare and submit to the Minister a scheme or schemes for the granting of superannuation benefits to or in respect of members of staff of the subsidiary.

(2) Every such scheme shall fix the time and conditions of retirement for all persons to, or in respect of whom, superannuation benefits are payable under the scheme, and different times and conditions may be fixed in respect of different classes of persons.

(3) The subsidiary may at any time prepare and submit to the Minister a scheme amending or revoking a scheme previously submitted and approved under this section.

(4) A scheme or amending scheme submitted to the Minister under this section shall, if approved by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, be carried out by the subsidiary in accordance with its terms.

(5) Every scheme made under this section shall make provision for appeals.

(6) A superannuation benefit shall not be granted by the subsidiary to or in respect of any of its staff who are members of a scheme under this section and no other arrangement shall be entered into for the provision of any superannuation benefit to such persons on their ceasing to hold office, other than in accordance with such scheme or schemes submitted and approved under this section or an arrangement approved by the Minister and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

(7) The Minister shall cause every scheme submitted and approved under this section to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is approved, and if either such House within the next 21 days on which that House sits after the scheme is laid before it, passes a resolution annulling the scheme, the scheme shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to anything previously done thereunder.

(8) In this section ‘superannuation benefit’ means a pension, gratuity or other allowance payable on resignation, retirement or death.”.”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 16:

Schedule 3: In page 37, line 4, to delete “of BGÉ”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 17:

Schedule 3: In page 37, line 5, to delete “of BGÉ”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 18:

Schedule 3: In page 37, line 10, after “BGÉ” to insert “, a subsidiary of BGÉ or both”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 19:

Schedule 3: In page 37, line 13, to delete “of BGÉ”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 20:

Schedule 3: In page 37, line 14, to delete “of BGÉ”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 21:

Schedule 3: In page 37, line 18, after “BGÉ” to insert “, a subsidiary of BGÉ or both”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 22:

Schedule 3: In page 37, line 30, after “BGÉ” to insert “or a subsidiary of BGÉ”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 23:

Schedule 4: In page 38, line 4, to delete “BGÉ”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 24:

 Schedule 4: In page 38, line 5, to delete “of BGÉ”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 25:

Schedule 4: In page 38, line 12, to delete “by BGÉ”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendments reported.

Business of Dáil

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Pat Rabbitte): Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte I move: "That the sitting be suspended from 11.09 a.m. until 12 p.m."

  Question put and agreed to.

  Sitting suspended at 11.09 a.m. and resumed at 12 noon.


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