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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 200-222
 Header Item Financial Services Regulation
 Header Item Departmental Reviews
 Header Item Departmental Reports
 Header Item Summer Economic Statement
 Header Item Brexit Preparations
 Header Item Summer Economic Statement
 Header Item National Broadband Plan Expenditure
 Header Item Brexit Preparations
 Header Item Summer Economic Statement
 Header Item Disabled Drivers and Passengers Scheme
 Header Item Revenue Commissioners Staff
 Header Item Disabled Drivers and Passengers Scheme
 Header Item Summer Economic Statement
 Header Item General Government Debt
 Header Item Stability Programme Data
 Header Item Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme Data
 Header Item Departmental Staff Data
 Header Item Government Expenditure

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 984 No. 5

First Page Previous Page Page of 86 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 200-222

Financial Services Regulation

 200. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the number and value of charge-back refunds requested by customers of regulated entities; the amount of refunds issued by those entities in respect of transactions not authorised by the cardholder (details supplied); the policy in terms of the person or body responsible for the disputed transaction; the role of the debit and credit card provider in that regard; the timeframes within which customers must seek a charge-back for a disputed transaction; the views of the Central Bank on the issue of disputed transactions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27867/19]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe I am informed by the Central Bank that it does not collect the data on these in the way the Deputy requests. The term charge-back can cover many circumstances. Requests for refunds may be handled by the card issuer in accordance with rules established by industry.

It may be helpful, however, to outline the legal position in respect of unauthorised and incorrectly executed payments. The European Union (Payment Services) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 6 of 2018), transposed the Payment Services Directive (“PSD2”) into Irish law and establish common rules for certain types of electronic payments, including card payments. Under these rules, a payment service user is entitled to rectification of an unauthorised or incorrectly executed payment transaction from a payment service provider where the payment service user notifies the payment service provider. The payment service user must make this notification without undue delay, and no later than 13 months after the debit date. The payer's payment service provider must refund the amount of any unauthorised payment transaction immediately and in any event not later than the end of the following business day, except where fraud is suspected.

I would advise any person who is not satisfied with the actions of a card issuer in respect of an unauthorised or incorrectly executed payment transaction to make a complaint under the company's internal complaint resolution process. If they are not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint, they can make a complaint to the independent Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman. Investigations by the Ombudsman are free of charge to the complainant.

Departmental Reviews

 201. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the number of live studies, reviews and research undertaken or commissioned by him; and the date by which each study, review and research is scheduled to be completed. [27882/19]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe In response to the Deputy's question, the following table sets out the live studies, reviews and research currently being undertaken by my Department, including the date by which each is scheduled to be completed.

Live studies, reviews and research undertaken or commissioned Date by which each study, review and research is scheduled to be completed
Department of Finance History Fellowship 2022
Residential Construction and Aggregate Bank Funding Q4 2019 (December)
IGEES Joint Research project - Opinions and aspirations of the over 55s towards housing Q4 2019 (December)
Purchasing and Selling Activity of Institutional Investors Q4 2019 (December)
Studying the reasons for the decline of the labour share of national income across Europe Q4 2019 (December)
2019 Review of the Research and Development Tax Credit Q4 2019 (October)
Second Section 227 Review into NAMA's achievement of its objectives. Q4 2019
Credit Union Advisory Committee (CUAC) currently undertaking Research with Directors of Credit Unions. Q4 2019
ESRI Joint Research Programme - The effects of an incremental increase in the Irish carbon tax towards 2030 Q4 2019
ESRI Joint Research Programme - Corporation Tax Elasticities Q4 2019
ESRI Joint Research Programme - Growth Enhancing Fiscal Policies Q4 2019
Report of the Tax Forecasting Methodology Review Group 2019 Q4 2019
Economic evaluation by Indecon consulting to consider how the objectives of community banking and how the local provision of banking and financial services could be furthered. Q4 2019
Department of Finance to consider the establishment of a Central Bank stakeholder engagement group (Action measure no. 2 as part of the 2019 actions under the "Ireland for Finance: The strategy for the development of Ireland's international financial services sector to 2025" which is available here: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/209a77-ifs2020-strategy/) Q4 2019
Department of Finance will work with the CSO and others towards further collection and analysis of data on the IFS sector

(Action measure no. 12 as part of the 2019 actions under the "Ireland for Finance: The strategy for the development of Ireland's international financial services sector to 2025" which is available here: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/209a77-ifs2020-strategy/)
Q4 2019
Review of the Home Carer Tax Credit Q4 2019
Department of Finance/ESRI joint research paper on SME Investment Patterns Q4 2019
Review of Capital Gains Tax Entrepreneur Relief (Section 597AA TCA 1997) Q3/Q4 2019
Review of Capital Gains Tax Farm Restructuring Relief (Section 604B TCA 1997) Q3/Q4 2019
Review of the Special Assignee Relief Programme and the Foreign Earnings Deduction Q3 2019 (August)
Research paper on the Balance of Payments in Ireland (conducted internally) Q3 2019 (July/August)
Tax Strategy Group Paper - Real Estate Investment Trusts, Irish Real Estate Funds and Section 110 Companies as they invest in the Irish Property Market Q3 2019 (July)
SME Credit Demand Survey October 2018 – March 2019 Q3 2019
Research into capping the cost of licensed moneylenders and other regulatory matters Q3 2019
Developing a nowcasting model for underlying economic activity in Ireland Q3 2019
Review of Government Bank Remuneration Policy 2019
Fiscal Vulnerabilities Scoping Paper Q3 2019

Departmental Reports

 202. Deputy Joe Carey Information on Joe Carey Zoom on Joe Carey asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the documents published by his Department since 1 January 2016 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27906/19]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe In response to the Deputy's question, the following table sets out the policy documents and strategies published by my Department since 1 January 2016.

Policy documents and strategies Year published
Ireland for Finance: The strategy for the development of Ireland's international financial services sector to 2025 2019
Guidance Note on Transfer of Banking Business 2019
Revision National Risk Assessment of Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing in Ireland 2019
New Technologies Risk Assessment 2019
IFS 2020 Action Plan 2019: A strategy for Ireland's international financial services sector 2015 - 2020 2019
The Review of Local Property Tax, the report of the Interdepartmental Group 2019
Department's FOI Publication Scheme 2019 2019
Department's Statement of Strategy 2017-2020 2018
Department's Governance Framework (Sept 2018) 2018
Review of Regulation of Personal Contract Plans 2018
Department's Irish Language Scheme 2018-2021 2018
Local Public Banking in Ireland - An analysis of a model for developing a system of local public banking in Ireland 2018
Home Building Finance Ireland (HBFI) Regulatory Impact Assessment 2018
Irish Gambling Sector Risk Assessment 2018
A review on the comparisons and tax treatment of DIRT and LAET 2018
IFS 2020 Action Plan 2018: A strategy for Ireland's international financial services sector 2015 – 2020 2018
Indecon Vacant Property Tax Report 2018
Tax Strategy Group 2018 papers – includes 10 papers relating to tax/social welfare issues 2018
The use of intermediary-type structures and self-employment arrangements: Implications for Social Insurance and Tax Revenues 2018
Quality Customer Service 2018 – 2020 Customer Charter, Customer Service Action Plan, Complaints Procedure 2018
ATAD Implementation Controlled Foreign Company (CFC) Rules – Feedback Statement 2018
Ireland's Corporation Tax Roadmap Incorporating implementation of the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directives and recommendations of the Coffey Review 2018
Independent Review of the Workload and Operations of the Tax Appeals Commission 2018
Review of the 9% VAT Rate – Analysis of Economic and Sectoral Developments 2018
Tax Expenditure Review of Three Year Start-Up Relief 2018
Department's Governance Framework (November 2017) 2017
Department's Governance Framework (May 2017) 2017
Credit Union Advisory Committee (CUAC) Policy Paper – Common Bond 2017
Credit Union Advisory Committee (CUAC) Policy Paper – Alternative Means of Voting by Members 2017
Credit Union Advisory Committee (CUAC) Policy Paper – Loan Interest Rate Cap 2017
Rainy Day Fund Consultation Paper 2017
IFS 2020 Action Plan 2017: A strategy for Ireland's international financial services sector 2015 - 2020 2017
Tax Strategy Group 2017 papers – includes 13 papers relating to tax/social welfare issues 2017
Review of Ireland's Corporation Tax Code (The Coffey Review) 2017
Update on Ireland's International Tax Strategy 2017 2017
Review of the Accelerated Capital Allowances Scheme for Energy Efficient Equipment 2017
VAT Compensation Scheme for Charities 2017
Department's Statement of Strategy 2016-2019 2016
Department's Governance Framework (October 2016) 2016
National Risk Assessment of Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing in Ireland 2016
Tax Strategy Group 2016 papers – includes 10 papers relating to tax/social welfare issues 2016
Update on Ireland's International Tax Strategy 2016 2016
Economic Evaluation of the R&D Tax Credit 2016
Annual Budget and related documents are available at http://budget.gov.ie/Budgets/2020/2020.aspx  

Summer Economic Statement

 203. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the breakdown of the €600 million for discretionary revenue-raising measures in the summer economic statement, including, in the case of non-indexation, the revenue associated with each tax credit or threshold; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27909/19]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe The carryover to 2020 of tax measures introduced in Budget 2019 is estimated to be in the region of €0.05 billion.

  As part of the preparations for Budget 2019, it was estimated that the Exchequer yield from non-indexation of the income tax system would be in the region of €0.57 billion on a full year basis. In light of the publication of the Revenue Commissioners Post-Budget 2019 Income Tax Ready Reckoner  this estimate has not changed materially.

  In total, these measures come to approximately €0.6 billion.

Brexit Preparations

 204. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the estimated nominal general Government balance in each of the years 2020 to 2024 in a disorderly Brexit scenario; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [27945/19]

 209. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the projected Exchequer borrowing requirements in each year between 2020 and 2024 under the orderly and the disorderly Brexit scenarios, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27958/19]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe I propose to take Questions Nos. 204 and 209 together.

  Due to the unprecedented nature of Brexit there is considerable uncertainty regarding what will be its precise impact on the economy as a whole, and on particular sectors. As a result it is challenging to accurately estimate the effect of a disorderly Brexit on the Exchequer borrowing requirement and, consequently, on the general government balance.

  Accordingly, the effect of a disorderly Brexit on the public finances is presented in a potential range, reflecting this unusual level of uncertainty.

  As outlined in Table 5 of the Summer Economic Statement 2019, a disorderly Brexit may lead to an indicative nominal deterioration in the general government balance in the order of approximately €6 billion annually, on average, in each year 2020-2024.

  More precise nominal projections are, given the uncertainty in the forecasts, not available and would be of limited illustrative use.

Summer Economic Statement

 205. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the reason €600 million is included in annexe 1 of the summer economic statement for tax reductions; the tax head or tax heads the €600 million falls under; the reason apparent budgetary decisions would be included in the calculation for net fiscal space; his views on whether net fiscal space as outlined in annexe 1 is the appropriate budgetary policy over the coming years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27946/19]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe The Summer Economic Statement (SES) 2019 sets out a medium term strategy involving an illustrative €0.6 billion in tax reductions each year to 2024. This is a technical assumption embedded in the projections.

The origin of the technical tax reductions dates back to the full application of net fiscal space, with the indicative allocation set out in the SES 2016 (table 2). In line with the Programme for Partnership Government this was distributed on a 2:1 basis between spending and tax to present an illustrative budgetary package. This assumption is carried forward within the extended range of fiscal forecasts.

The indicative nominal budgetary package in table 6 of the SES 2019 is consistent with this.

As the Deputy is aware, the exact amounts and distribution between revenue and expenditure is a matter for Government and will be announced at the time of the respective Budget. Such decisions will take into account the economic and social circumstances at that time and also the desired objectives.

National Broadband Plan Expenditure

 206. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the projected cost of the national broadband plan included in the pre-committed expenditure in each of the years 2021 to 2024; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27947/19]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe As I indicated in my response to Parliamentary Question No. 134 on 21 May, the National Broadband Plan (NBP) is currently expected to require an additional c. €0.2 billion in each of 2021 and 2022 and c. €0.3 billion in each of 2023 and 2024.

  Table 4 of the Summer Economic Statement (SES) 2019 notes that the expenditure developments include the impact of the NBP.

  The expenditure benchmark table (table A1 in Annex 1 of the SES) is based on the assumptions in table 4, therefore reflecting the amounts outlined above.

  As the Deputy is aware, table A1 is presented in fiscal space terms. As the NBP is a capital project, the nominal amounts are therefore subject to the four-year smoothing.

Brexit Preparations

 207. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the meaning of the phrases "automatic stabilisers" and "temporary, targeted support for the sectors most affected"; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27951/19]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe The 'twin track' approach proposed in the Summer Economic Statement allows the maximum flexibility in terms of preparing for Budget 2020. It covers the 'orderly' Brexit scenario but alternatively should a 'disorderly' Brexit arise, this would present the baseline for any additional support required.

In terms of the fiscal impact of a no-deal Brexit, it should be noted that the current plans provide for a package totalling €2.8 billion in 2020, of which a quarter remains to be specifically allocated. This represents a substantial starting point.

On top of that, the so-called automatic stabilisers will kick in which will help cushion the economy. The automatic stabilisers refer to the counter-cyclical support that the public finances provide to the economy through social protection payments occasioned by higher unemployment and on the revenue side, lower tax collections which help cushion aggregate demand.

In addition, supports providing temporary targeted funding for the most affected sectors will be deployed as appropriate.

The initial analysis is that the overall impact on the public finances of a disorderly Brexit would be a reduction in the General Government Balance of an illustrative order of €6½ billion.

Summer Economic Statement

 208. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe if the €600 million outlined in annexe 1 of the summer economic statement is incorporated in the indicative nominal budgetary package in table 6 of the statement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27952/19]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe The calculation of the available 2020 budgetary package in the Summer Economic Statement 2019, based on projections as set out in the Stability Programme Update 2019, is consistent with a:

  €0.7 billion increase in capital expenditure;

  €1.5 billion increase in current expenditure; and

  €0.6 billion allocated for taxation measures.

  This amounts to an overall nominal budgetary package of €2.8 billion for 2020, as set out in Table 6.

  The table in Annexe 1 is consistent with this package but presents the amounts in fiscal space rather than nominal terms. This means that care must be taken when comparing capital expenditure amounts.

  Question No. 209 answered with Question No. 204.

Disabled Drivers and Passengers Scheme

 210. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the reason a person (details supplied) in County Donegal is no longer exempt from car tax under the disabled drivers and passengers scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28026/19]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe I am advised by Revenue that the person in question, is registered on the Drivers and Passengers with Disabilities Scheme as a passenger in his spouse's vehicle.

The vehicle's exempted status was recently removed in error due to a malfunction between the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and Revenue's IT systems. The malfunction arose when the person applied to have the exempted status switched to a new vehicle inside the two-year timeframe that the Drivers and Passengers with Disabilities Scheme requires. The current vehicle came onto the Scheme on 12 July 2017 and the new vehicle cannot be 'registered' until 12 July 2019.

Revenue is continuing to investigate why the error arose and has contacted the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport requesting that the exempted status be immediately restored to the current vehicle. Revenue has also contacted the person to apologise for the error and to explain the remedial action taken.

Revenue Commissioners Staff

 211. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the level of recruitment planned by the Revenue Commissioners in 2019 at each grade level separate from recruitment that will be required to deal with Brexit issues; the number of persons expected to retire; if recruitment will be sufficient to replace persons who are retiring in each county by grade, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28093/19]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe The Revenue multi-annual budget for 2019 provides for a whole time equivalent (WTE) permanent staffing level of 6,384.

Revenue have appointed over 600 staff from open and interdepartmental competitions since the start of 2019. Revenue is an integrated tax and customs administration. In 2019 almost 400 of staff recruited from open or interdepartmental competitions have been assigned to customs roles or to backfill staff transferring to customs roles in preparation for Brexit. The balance of around 200 were assigned to other Revenue functions.

Revenue estimates that 120 staff will retire between now and the end of 2019, it is not possible to be precise at this point about the exact retirement numbers in terms of grade and location.

During 2018 Revenue realigned its operational structure into a national segmented structure which allows agility in filling posts throughout the organisation while providing a consistent approach in the treatment of tax payers and risk.

Revenue fills critical posts based on business requirements across all grades and functional areas. Revenue undertakes workforce planning and recruitment as an iterative process. Recruitment plans are currently in place to fill all critical posts taking on board projected retirements and business requirements in 2019.

Disabled Drivers and Passengers Scheme

 212. Deputy Willie O'Dea Information on Willie O'Dea Zoom on Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the conditions to qualify for a primary medical certificate under the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Regulations 1994 are perceived to be very narrow and are being interpreted very strictly; his plans to widen the application criteria; the cost of the concession in 2017 and 2018; the projected cost in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28096/19]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe The Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Scheme provides relief from VAT and VRT (up to a certain limit) on the purchase of an adapted car for transport of a person with specific severe and permanent physical disabilities, payment of a Fuel Grant, and an exemption from Motor Tax.

  To qualify for the Scheme an applicant must be in possession of a Primary Medical Certificate. To qualify for a Primary Medical Certificate, an applicant must satisfy one of the following conditions:

  - be wholly or almost wholly without the use of both legs;

  - be wholly without the use of one leg and almost wholly without the use of the other leg such that the applicant is severely restricted as to movement of the lower limbs;

  - be without both hands or without both arms;

  - be without one or both legs;

  - be wholly or almost wholly without the use of both hands or arms and wholly or almost wholly without the use of one leg;

  - have the medical condition of dwarfism and have serious difficulties of movement of the lower limbs.

  The Scheme represents a significant tax expenditure. Between the Vehicle Registration Tax and VAT foregone, and the fuel grant, the scheme cost €65m in each of 2016 and 2017, rising to €70m in 2018. This figure does not include the revenue foregone in respect of the relief from Motor Tax provided to members of the Scheme. As the scheme is demand led, the cost of the concession in 2019 is uncertain at this stage. However, the indications so far are that costs may be higher than the cost in 2018.

  I understand and fully sympathise with any person who suffers from a serious physical disability and cannot access the scheme under the current criteria. However, given the scope and scale of the scheme, any possible changes to it can only be made after careful consideration, taking into account the existing and prospective cost of the scheme as well as the availability of other schemes which seek to help with the mobility of disabled persons, and the interaction between each of these schemes.

  Accordingly, I have no plans to amend the qualifying medical criteria for the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers Scheme at this time.

  Finally, I would like to point out that legislation is being brought forward by the Minister for Health to replace the closed Motorised Transport Grant.

Summer Economic Statement

 213. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe if annexe 1 on page 38 of the summer economic statement is a hypothetical scenario; if he plans to introduce the measures outlined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28147/19]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe Table A1 of the Summer Economic Statement (SES) 2019 outlines the calculation of the available fiscal space from 2020 to 2024. This is based on 'Scenario A' of the Summer Economic Statement, i.e. an 'orderly' Brexit in October.

As discussed in the SES, Scenario A is consistent with the projections as set out in the Stability Programme Update 2019, accounting for adjustments to expenditure projections.

Decisions on which measures will be introduced will be announced on Budget Day. As the Deputy will be aware, it has not been the practice of the Minister for Finance to discuss the details of measures which may be under consideration as part of the Budget and the Finance Bill.

Finally, as I have stated on numerous occasions, it is important to understand that formulating budgetary policy based solely on what is permissible under the EU fiscal rules is no longer appropriate. Government fiscal policy will be based on what is right for the economy at this point in the cycle, in order to ensure a continued steady and sustainable improvement in living standards and our public finances.

General Government Debt

 214. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the reason a discrepancy exists in the statement of the general Government balance between table 6 on page 27 of the summer economic statement, in which the nominal general Government balance is listed as €1.4 billion, and the stability programme update 2019 which states the general Government balance as €1.235 billion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28148/19]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe My Department produces a full set of economic and fiscal forecasts on a bi-annual basis, in the spring Stability Programme Update (SPU) and in the autumn Budget.

  The scenarios outlined in the Summer Economic Statement (SES) 2019 are based on the forecasts set out in the SPU published in April, at which time a general government surplus of 0.4 per cent of GDP, or, in nominal terms, €1.235 billion was projected for next year.

The tables set out in the SES are calculated from a high level, aggregate approach, rather than the granular, 'bottom-up' detail of the bi-annual forecasts, intended to provide an illustration of the fiscal parameters for the preparation of Budget 2020. The figure of 0.4 per cent of GDP was stated incorrectly as €1.4 billion in presenting the fiscal baseline in the hypothetical 'orderly Brexit' scenario presented in the Statement.

  The official projection for the 2020 general government balance is that set out in the SPU - €1.235 billion.

  The economic and fiscal forecasts will be updated in full as part of Budget 2020 in October.

Stability Programme Data

 215. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the breakdown of the €605 million resources not allocated which are listed in table 10 of the stability programme update 2019; and if there has been a change regarding this unallocated spend in the summer economic statement. [28149/19]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe The resources not allocated in table 10 of the Stability Programme Update 2019 is comprised of approximately €0.3 billion related to carry-over costs of Budget 2019 measures and a €0.3 billion unallocated increase in current expenditure.

  These are unchanged in the Summer Economic Statement as indicated in table A1 (Annexe 1) items j. (iii) and k. (i).

Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme Data

 216. Deputy Joan Burton Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the estimated amount he expects to be raised by the various EII schemes in 2019 and 2020; the expected tax cost; the likely additional jobs that will be created, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [28285/19]

 217. Deputy Joan Burton Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe his views in relation to Part 16 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997, as amended, on whether the EII scheme offers reasonable value for money despite the poor take-up in previous years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [28286/19]

 218. Deputy Joan Burton Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe if a rigorous value-for-money analysis was prepared in advance of the changes in relation to Part 16 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997, as amended, introduced in respect of EII schemes with effect from 1 January 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [28287/19]

 219. Deputy Joan Burton Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the further changes that may be required to make the scheme in relation to Part 16 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997, as amended, more effective at raising share capital, rather than debt, for investment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28288/19]

 220. Deputy Joan Burton Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the estimated number by the Revenue Commissioners of additional jobs created by the EII scheme in each of the years 2012 to 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [28289/19]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe I propose to take Questions Nos. 216 to 220, inclusive, together.

  I am informed by Revenue that it is not possible to estimate of the amount to be raised by the various EII schemes in 2019 and 2020 nor is it possible to provide a figure in respect of the likely tax cost in those years. Revenue will not have the relevant information until after the relief has been applied for. Furthermore, it is not possible to estimate the number of additional jobs likely to be created in the two years under the schemes.

  However, the Exchequer costs and amounts of investment raised from the start of the incentive until 2017 are as follows:

Year 1st Tranche Exchequer Cost €m 2nd Tranche Exchequer Cost €m Amount Invested €m
2017 18.6 N/A 62.1
2016 31 N/A 103.1
2015 28 N/A 93.4
2014 23.3 2 77.8
2013 17.3 2.9 57.6
2011/2012 15.7 3.2 52.2


  A statistical report on the Employment and Investment Incentive (EII) is available on the Revenue website at: https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/information-about-revenue/statistics/tax-expenditures/eii.aspx

  In relation to value for money and as the Deputy may be aware, in 2018 I commissioned Indecon Economic Consultants to carry out a review which included an examination of the impact and cost effectiveness of EII (Chapter 5). The report is available at the following link: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/10b64f-indecon-evaluation-of-eii-and-sure/.

  The review found that the EII "should continue to be provided in order to facilitate funding for Irish based SMEs and start-ups".

  The review also made a number of proposals for changes to the incentive to enhance its efficiency and effectiveness and, in Finance Act 2018, I brought forward a priority package of measures to address the main shortcomings identified with the scheme.

  The changes made put in place an amended applications process incorporating a move to a largely self-certification model as well as a substantially revised, simplified and updated legislative text in Part 16 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. In addition, they included the introduction of a new Start-up Capital Incentive to facilitate investment in very small enterprises. Finally, the operation of the EII and SURE schemes was extended for a further year to the end of 2021

  The move to self-certification has brought EII in line with other similar tax reliefs. While Revenue will still offer some guidance where requested, it is now within the control of the company to determine their qualification under the incentive and avail of the relief as they deem appropriate.

  Subject to further analysis which is currently being undertaken, it is possible that further legislative changes may be brought forward in the context of this year's Budget and Finance Bill process with the aim of ensuring that the EII schemes operate as intended in an efficient and effective manner. In this regard, the Deputy may wish to note that my Department recently carried out a public consultation process on tax incentives aimed at the SME sector across a number of tax heads. The EII schemes were included in that process.

  With respect to the debt vs. equity nature and form of the investment, the Indecon report suggested that all shares would be new ordinary shares. However, consideration was given to the fact that investors would not necessarily want these new ordinary shares and would therefore not invest. As such, I decided that other forms of share capital could be allowable under the scheme. The scheme was amended to allow redeemable, cumulative, preference share capital, provided that, it is not possible to amend the terms of those shares, for example, through side agreements that would otherwise reduce the risk.

  Finally Revenue has also advised me that it is not possible to identify the number of additional jobs created by the EII from 2012 to 2017. However, in its 2018 review, Indecon found strong overall growth in employment of firms who received EII.

Departmental Staff Data

 221. Deputy Joan Burton Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the estimated yield from an annual charge of €250 per parking space on all car parking spaces provided for Civil Service and publicly funded positions, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28291/19]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe In response to the Deputy's question my Department is not responsible for the provision of car parking spaces to Civil Servants or other Government officials. Parking in respect of staff of the Department of Finance and Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is organised via the Office of Public Works. Some 42 spaces have been allocated to the Department of Finance and Department of Public Expenditure and Reform by the Office of Public Works in the leased car park at the rear of 42 Merrion Square Dublin 2. The spaces are occupied on a first come first served basis and currently there are 113 people with access to these spaces. In addition the Department of Finance and Department of Public Expenditure and Reform have access to a further 24 spaces in other locations such as Miesian Plaza, Agriculture House and the Taoiseach's Office Car park.

Officials in my Department have been informed by the Office of Public works that while they can if requested by the Deputy provide figures on the number of parking spaces at office buildings provided by OPW through leases/licences etc., they cannot say how these spaces are allocated to staff within each organisation nor do they hold details in respect of staff who may require car parking in order for them to carry out their official duties.

In relation to my own Department we have active participation of staff both in the TaxSaver Travel Pass and the Cycle to Work schemes as alternatives to car usage as a means of attending their work place.

Government Expenditure

 222. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe his views on the commentary by the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council on page 74 of its fiscal assessment that the expenditure forecasts for 2020-2023 are not credible and that the technical assumptions used imply an implausible slowdown in expenditure; his views on whether the observation is correct regarding expenditure forecasts; if he is of the view that the observation is correct, his reason for that view; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27953/19]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe The Summer Economic Statement (SES) 2016 outlined annual average current expenditure increases of 2½ per cent for the period 2017 to 2021. The fiscal projections in Budget 2019 were extended out to 2023, with a technical assumption being applied of an annual increase in current expenditure of 2 ½ per cent for both 2022 and 2023. The Stability Programme Update, published in April this year, followed the same approach in respect of current expenditure growth.

In setting out expenditure projections, a consideration that needs to be taken into account is the risk that such projections create increased expectations in relation to available expenditure and become a floor for budgetary discussions. In addition, at Budget time each year, it is also possible to increase the growth rate in expenditure by deciding to allocate additional resources for spending increases by either introducing revenue raising measures and/or redistributing resources allocated for taxation measures.

Taking into account the analysis of our current expenditure projections offered by the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council, and my experience of managing current expenditure, I have decided in the Summer Economic Statement, published last week, to increase the rate of current expenditure growth post 2020 to 3 ¼ per cent. Taking into account projected capital expenditure growth, this allows for an annual increase in gross total expenditure of c. 3 ½ per cent over the period 2021 to 2024. This is an appropriate level of growth, given the uncertainties arising in the external environment and the current position in the economic cycle.


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