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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 19-38
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
 Header Item Apprenticeship Programmes
 Header Item Renewable Energy Generation
 Header Item Road Projects
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
 Header Item Driver Test
 Header Item Transport Policy
 Header Item Road Projects
 Header Item Road Projects
 Header Item Transport Policy
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
 Header Item Illicit Trade
 Header Item Tax Data
 Header Item Tax Data
 Header Item Tax Credits

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 997 No. 4
Unrevised

First Page Previous Page Page of 82 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 19-38

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

 19. Deputy Martin Browne Information on Martin Browne Zoom on Martin Browne asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if supports are available for students who have to undertake placement in healthcare settings nursing, midwifery and medical students and as a result of Covid-19 guidelines, have had to give up paid employment for the duration of their placements; and if they will avail of the Covid-19 unemployment supports for the length of time they are unable to work. [24206/20]

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland my Department has worked with its Offices and Agencies and across Government to develop a package of supports to assists businesses to open, to help those that are already open to stay open, and to get staff back to work. Full details of these supports for business are available on my Department’s website at

https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Supports-for-SMEs/COVID-19-supports/.

  The provision of supports for students who are required to undertake placements in health care settings is not a matter for which my Department has responsibility. The administration of general unemployment supports rests with my colleague the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection while the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science has responsibility for the administration of the Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) Grant.

  I note, however, that on 8 September, the Minister for Health, in responding to a similar question (PQ 22140/20) concerning the financial supports that will be put in place for student nurses who are unable to work whilst on placement, stated that guidance on the resumption of clinical placements was recently issued by the Chief Clinical Officer of the HSE to all Higher Education Institutes and copied to healthcare providers. This guidance included a revised version of the HSE's document, Infection Prevention and Control Requirements for Clinical Placements in HSE facilities in the context of COVID-19. This document, among other things, sets out the requirement for Infection Prevention and Control Training for all students.  It also underlines that clinical placements are an essential part of student’s education and training, ensuring that they will continue to receive the breath of clinical experience that they require.

   The Minister indicated that, according to this guidance, students can move from a placement in one setting to a placement in another without an interval of time, provided they complete a COVID-19 Healthcare Worker Relocation Self Risk Assessment prior to commencing in a different location. Similarly, if a student continues part-time work in a healthcare setting during the same period as attending clinical placements, they are required to complete this self-assessment on an ongoing basis so that any need for testing may be identified. The guidance makes it clear that students should not present on clinical placement if they have any symptoms of acute infection.

   The Minister stated that, overall, the guidance facilitates students in completing their education and training and, in doing so, it does not preclude them from working part time so long as they adhere to the infection prevention and control requirements. He confirmed that, in terms of financial supports, there is a travel/accommodation allowance which amounts to €50.79 a week to support those students to access the clinical placements they require.  

Apprenticeship Programmes

 20. Deputy Kieran O'Donnell Information on Kieran O'Donnell Zoom on Kieran O'Donnell asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the supports and grants available to a construction business taking on new apprentices; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24258/20]

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar My colleague the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science is responsible for apprenticeships. He advises me that a grant of €3,000 is available to employers who register new apprentices between 1st March 2020 and 31st December 2020. Details of the scheme, and how to apply, are available on www.apprenticeship.ie.

  Further detail can be obtained directly from my colleague Minister Harris.

Renewable Energy Generation

 21. Deputy Jennifer Whitmore Information on Jennifer  Whitmore Zoom on Jennifer  Whitmore asked the Minister for Climate Action and Communication Networks Information on Eamon Ryan Zoom on Eamon Ryan if the photovoltaic pilot grant scheme will be continued (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24266/20]

Minister for Climate Action and Communication Networks (Deputy Eamon Ryan): Information on Eamon Ryan Zoom on Eamon Ryan In July 2018  the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEA) launched a pilot scheme to help domestic customers who install rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) equipment on their homes.  The grant is available to homes built and occupied before 2011 and details of eligibility criteria and how to apply are set out on the SEAI website.

As of end August 2020 there were 3,691 applications who received grant support over the lifetime of the scheme with some €9.16million spent to date, saving approx. 3.1kT CO2 per annum. Future funding of the Scheme will be considered in the context of the 2021 Estimates.

The Programme for Government - Our Shared Future - committed to prioritising the development of microgeneration, letting people sell excess power back to the grid by June 2021. The Climate Action Plan also commited to actions to ensure that renewable self-consumers can sell excess electricity they produce back to the grid. Action 30 of the Climate Action Plan commits to the delivery of a framework for micro-generation from renewable technologies including solar photovoltaic (PV), micro-wind, micro-hydro and micro combined heat and power (CHP), whilst ensuring principles of equity, self-consumption and energy efficiency first are incorporated.

A Micro-Generation working group, chaired by my Department, is examining an enabling framework for micro- generation which tackles existing barriers and establishes suitable supports within relevant market segments. This work aligns with the Programme for Government and is an integral part of our emerging Photovoltaic Solar Strategy. The proposed support mechanism will be outlined in a public consultation in the coming months. A suitable support payment for excess electricity generated on site and exported to the grid will be available to all micro-generators by 2021 in line with transposition of the recast Renewable Energy Directive (2018/2001) into Irish law.

Road Projects

 22. Deputy Sean Sherlock Information on Sean Sherlock Zoom on Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Transport Information on Eamon Ryan Zoom on Eamon Ryan if he is receipt of a funding request from a local authority (details supplied). [24224/20]

Minister for Transport (Deputy Eamon Ryan): Information on Eamon Ryan Zoom on Eamon Ryan As the Deputy is aware, the improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads (RLR) is the statutory responsibility of each local authority, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from local authorities' own resources supplemented by State road grants.  The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is also a matter for the local authority.

Following consideration of applications received from local authorities I recently announced the grant allocations for Climate Change Adaptation measures under the Government’s July Jobs Stimulus Plan. A total of €14.1 million has been allocated to local authorities under the Department’s regional and local road maintenance and improvement grant programme for measures related to addressing the impact of climate change on the road network.

Cork City Council's application for Climate Change works did include a project to repair existing flap valves at the quay wall outfall from the Atlantic Pond at a cost of €60,000. The Climate Change Adaptation programme was oversubscribed and as a result not all schemes applied for received funding. Priority was given to maintenance and improvement works on the regional and local road network in relation to measures addressing the impact of climate change. In this context the proposed works at the Atlantic Pond were not approved for funding.

Cork City Council received a total allocation of €226,000 under the Climate Change Adaptation measures.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

 23. Deputy Willie O'Dea Information on Willie O'Dea Zoom on Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Transport Information on Eamon Ryan Zoom on Eamon Ryan if Limerick City Council will be granted an additional three month extension in regard to the July stimulus funding provided to it by the NTA for €10 million which has to be allocated by November 2020. [24278/20]

Minister for Transport (Deputy Eamon Ryan): Information on Eamon Ryan Zoom on Eamon Ryan As the Deputy is aware the Government announced a stimulus package in July of this year and as part of that package I was delighted to announce additional funding to support active travel.  All local authorities were invited to apply for this funding. In addition, local authorities funded under my Department’s regional and local road maintenance and renewal grant programme were able to apply for funding in relation to climate change adaptation measures.

The July Stimulus measures were intended to be, and announced as, projects capable of delivery this year and appropriate deadlines have been advised to local authorities. Obviously funding to support active travel projects is available as part of our standard investment programmes and my Department and the National Transport Authority (NTA) work with local authorities across the country in that regard every year.  

Driver Test

 24. Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú Information on Ruairí Ó Murchú Zoom on Ruairí Ó Murchú asked the Minister for Transport Information on Eamon Ryan Zoom on Eamon Ryan if plans will be put in place to allow a person (details supplied) who passed their driver theory test in March 2020 but did not receive their licence until July to sit a driver test earlier than the prescribed six months after the licence issued; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24210/20]

Minister for Transport (Deputy Eamon Ryan): Information on Eamon Ryan Zoom on Eamon Ryan First-time learner permit holders must wait six months after the date of issue of their permit before they can sit their driving test. Unfortunately, an exception cannot be made to these requirements.

As part of the learning process, the 6 month rule for first time permit holders is designed to give the learner driver the opportunity to gain the minimum level of knowledge, skill and competency that a learner must demonstrate in order to become a fully licensed driver. The more practice and experience a person gets, the better a driver they are likely to become.

Transport Policy

 25. Deputy Marc MacSharry Information on Marc MacSharry Zoom on Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Transport Information on Eamon Ryan Zoom on Eamon Ryan the status of the steps taken to legislate for e-scooters in accordance with the Programme for Government; his plans to recognise the role e-scooters play as part of Ireland’s sustainable transport mix year; if a second stakeholder consultation will be brought forward by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24265/20]

Minister for Transport (Deputy Eamon Ryan): Information on Eamon Ryan Zoom on Eamon Ryan Any changes to the legal status of e-scooters require primary legislation which, as the Deputy will appreciate, may take some time. It is not simply a case of declaring them no longer illegal and permitting their use on public roads and in public places.

I intend to legislate for e-scooters in accordance with the Programme for Government. This will involve identifying and developing appropriate amendments to primary legislation across a range of complex areas. The work must be carried out in such a way that it does not undermine the overall framework of Road Traffic Law or Road Safety in general. The Government's current legislative priorities are the necessary measures to manage the Covid 19 crisis and to address its social and economic consequences.

My officials are currently looking at how progress towards the commitment can be made in light of the foregoing.  The question of what further consultations should take place, with whom and how, will be considered, noting that experience overseas has shown that a change of regime may have consequences for road safety, the management of roads and footpaths, the movement of traffic, public transport and goods, public health and the environment.

Road Projects

 26. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Transport Information on Eamon Ryan Zoom on Eamon Ryan the position regarding the funding for the proposed Narrow Water bridge between counties Louth Down; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24355/20]

Minister for Transport (Deputy Eamon Ryan): Information on Eamon Ryan Zoom on Eamon Ryan Following on from the Fresh Start Agreement, the "New Decade, New Approach" document indicates that the Government is ready to jointly progress consideration of options for the development of the Narrow Water bridge project at the North South Ministerial Council. 

Options for the development of the Narrow Water Bridge project are under examination by relevant Departments, in consultation with Local Authorities, taking into account other proposed road projects in the area including the Newry Southern Relief Road. Consideration of options for a bridge is not at a stage where there is a clearly defined and costed scheme. Pending future decisions on the project, there is, therefore, no specific allocation of funding for the scheme.  

Road Projects

 27. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Transport Information on Eamon Ryan Zoom on Eamon Ryan the status of the Ardee bypass project with the associated key timelines and relevant information; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24356/20]

Minister for Transport (Deputy Eamon Ryan): Information on Eamon Ryan Zoom on Eamon Ryan As Minister for Climate, Energy, Communications and Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and securing exchequer funding in relation to the National Roads Programme. Under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 and in line with the National Development Plan (NDP), the planning, design and construction of individual national roads is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.  This is also subject to the Public Spending Code Guidelines and the necessary statutory approvals. In this context, TII is best placed to advise you on the status of this project.

  Noting the above position, I have referred your question to TII for a direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

  As set out in the Programme for Government, the Government will be carrying out a review of the National Development Plan later this year, taking account of the priorities of Government set out in the Programme. The Deputy may wish to address further questions he may have on the review of the NDP to my colleague the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 51

Transport Policy

 28. Deputy Eoghan Murphy Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Transport Information on Eamon Ryan Zoom on Eamon Ryan his plans for legislation on electronic scooters and bicycles. [24362/20]

Minister for Transport (Deputy Eamon Ryan): Information on Eamon Ryan Zoom on Eamon Ryan I intend to legislate for eScooters in accordance with the Programme for Government. This will involve identifying and developing appropriate amendments to primary legislation across a range of complex areas. The work must be carried out in such a way that it does not undermine the overall framework of Road Traffic Law or Road Safety in general. The Government's current legislative priorities are the necessary measures to manage the Covid 19 crisis and to address its social and economic consequences.

There are two types of e-bikes, both of which are already provided for in existing legislation. Pedal assisted electric bikes with a maximum speed of 25kph are treated as regular bikes. Pedal assisted electric bikes with a maximum speed of greater than 25kph are treated as low performance mopeds which require the appropriate licence, tax and insurance.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

 29. Deputy Mattie McGrath Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the status of the uptake of the wage subsidy scheme; the number of refusals; the reasons for refusals; the number of successful appeals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24229/20]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) was legislated for in the recently enacted Financial Provisions (Covid-19) (No. 2) Act 2020, replacing the TWSS from 1 September 2020 until March 2021. It provides a flat-rate subsidy to qualifying employers, based on the number of qualifying employees on the payroll. This adaptation from the TWSS will allow employers to rely on the continuation of support over a longer period of 8 months while also ensuring such support is sustainable and affordable.

I am advised by Revenue that, as of 15 September 2020, there were 33,348 employers registered for the EWSS which is seen as a strong level of participation and proportionately more than half of all those who availed of the TWSS over the duration of that scheme.

In order to be eligible for the scheme, an employer must be able to demonstrate that his or her business will experience a 30% reduction in turnover or customer orders between 1 July and 31 December 2020, by reference to the corresponding criteria in 2019, as a result of business disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, the employer must have a tax clearance certificate to be eligible to join the EWSS and must continue to meet the requirements for tax clearance throughout the scheme. 

The EWSS will be administered by Revenue on a 'self-assessment' basis and employers are required to undertake a review on the last day of every month to ensure they continue to meet the aforementioned eligibility criteria. Employers who, following a monthly review, find they no longer qualify must deregister for EWSS through ROS with immediate effect i.e. from the 1st of the following month and cease claiming the subsidy.  

I am advised by Revenue that as entry to the EWSS is administered on a self-assessed basis, there have been no refusals of entry to the scheme once an employer has tax clearance and so there are no appeals. Revenue will in the future, based on risk criteria, review eligibility. In that context, employers should retain their evidence/basis for entering and remaining in the scheme.

Illicit Trade

 30. Deputy Marc MacSharry Information on Marc MacSharry Zoom on Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the measures in place to counteract cross-Border smuggling and illicit trade in products such as tobacco, alcohol and fuel products and to ensure smugglers do not take advantage of the green lane corridors established during Covid-19; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24264/20]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe I am assured by Revenue that combatting the threat which cross-Border smuggling and the illicit trade in tobacco, alcohol and fuel products pose to legitimate business, consumers and the Exchequer is a priority for them.

Revenue acts against all aspects of the illegal tobacco trade and uses a combination of risk analysis, profiling and intelligence, and risk-based screening of cargo, vehicles, baggage and postal packages to intercept illicit products. Action after importation includes checks at retail outlets, markets and private and commercial premises.

Illicit trade in alcohol can occur through the diversion of untaxed alcohol onto the market, through the production of counterfeit alcohol and through smuggling from countries with lower taxes. Revenue takes appropriate action where illicit activity is detected and this action is informed by intelligence on criminal activity and risk-based examination of commercial traffic and stock in retail premises.  

Steps taken by Revenue to combat the illegal fuel trade include the introduction of stringent supply chain controls and reporting requirements, and a rigorous programme of enforcement action. In addition, Revenue and the UK Revenue and Customs undertook a joint initiative to introduce a new marker for use in marked fuels, which came into operation from April 2015. The industry view is that the actions taken have been successful in curtailing fuel fraud.  

Revenue and An Garda Síochána collaborate closely and with their counterparts in Northern Ireland, in the framework of the North-South Joint Agency Task Force, in acting against tobacco, alcohol and fuel crime. This cooperation plays a key role in targeting the organised crime groups responsible for much of this criminality, who operate across jurisdictions.

Regarding the movement or importation of goods into Ireland, Revenue implements a risk-based profiling approach which is designed to facilitate the legitimate movement of goods and to secure payment and collection of duty and VAT, as appropriate, while also protecting citizens, trade and the environment. During the ongoing COVID19 pandemic, in order to “green route” critical legitimate pharmaceutical products and medicines, Revenue has prioritised the processing of declarations relating to these products at ports and airports to ensure their uninterrupted importation and supply. Where compliance risks are identified in any shipment as a result of risk profiling, Revenue take the appropriate action to address the risk including documentary checks, physical inspections and the deployment of Revenue resources including staff, detector dogs and Revenue’s mobile scanner.

I am satisfied that Revenue’s work against cross-Border smuggling and the illicit trade in tobacco, alcohol and fuel products has achieved a considerable level of success. I am also satisfied that Revenue’s risk profiling regime addresses the ongoing risks posed by smugglers and organised crime gangs and that the cooperation at a national and international level is maximising effectiveness in combatting illegal and criminal activity.

Tax Data

 31. Deputy Ged Nash Information on Ged Nash Zoom on Ged Nash asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the number of persons with annual income levels by category (details supplied) in the most recent year for which full data is available, in tabular form. [24213/20]

 32. Deputy Ged Nash Information on Ged Nash Zoom on Ged Nash asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the number of persons with annual income levels by category (details supplied) that received tax relief on their personal income for contributions to a pension, in tabular form. [24214/20]

 33. Deputy Ged Nash Information on Ged Nash Zoom on Ged Nash asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the gross amount of tax relief provided for pension contributions in each of the past five years for which full figures are available, in tabular form. [24215/20]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe I propose to take Questions Nos. 31 to 33, inclusive, together.

  Regarding Question 24213/20, I am advised by Revenue that they publish a series of income distribution statistics which are available at link: https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/information-about-revenue/statistics/income-distributions/it-ct-distributions.aspx. Under this link, the table ‘RVA01 Distribution of Income Tax by Type of Gross Income, Range of Gross Income, Marital Status, Year and Statistic’ provides the distribution of taxpayers by range of income, for the years 2004 to 2018.

  Regarding Question 24214/20, I am advised by Revenue that a breakdown of PAYE individuals who paid pension contributions in 2019 by annualised gross income band can be found in ‘Table 7: Breakdown of Pension Contributors’ on page 17 of Revenue’s report titled ‘Statistics and Insights from the First Year of Real-Time Payroll Reporting (PAYE Modernisation)’. This is published on Revenue’s website at link:  https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/documents/research/pmod-statistics-paper.pdf.

  The link provides the available data in relation to PAYE employees in 2019 and constitutes a large majority of the total pension contributions recorded for all taxpayer types in a year. Pension contributions data in relation to 2019 for the self-employed, and other pension contributions not facilitated through employers, will become available once tax returns in relation to 2019 are filed later this year.

  Regarding Question 24215/20, I am advised by Revenue that the tax cost of pension contributions for the years 2014-2018 (the latest year available) can be found in Revenue’s ‘Cost of Tax Expenditures’ publication available on the Revenue website at https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/documents/statistics/tax-expenditures/costs-tax-expenditures.pdf.

Tax Data

 34. Deputy Paul Murphy Information on Paul Murphy Zoom on Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the estimated revenue that could be raised from the imposition of an emergency 3% Covid-19 tax on the total assets of natural persons, whatever the legal form of tenure, of €1 million and over, rising to a 5% tax on assets of €10 million and over. [24295/20]

 35. Deputy Paul Murphy Information on Paul Murphy Zoom on Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the estimated revenue that could be raised from the imposition of an emergency 3% Covid-19 tax on the assets of investment funds and holding companies. [24296/20]

 36. Deputy Paul Murphy Information on Paul Murphy Zoom on Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the estimated revenue that could be raised from the imposition of an emergency 3% Covid-19 tax on the market value of all property transfers by legal persons. [24297/20]

 37. Deputy Paul Murphy Information on Paul Murphy Zoom on Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the estimated revenue that could be raised from the imposition of an emergency 2% Covid-19 tax on the market value of property transfers by natural persons of €1 million and over. [24298/20]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe I propose to take Questions Nos. 34 to 37, inclusive, together.

  I am informed by Revenue that information in respect of the total assets held by individuals, investment funds and holding companies is not available and therefore an estimate of the yield from the introduction of an emergency tax as proposed in Questions 24295-20 and 24296-20 cannot be provided.

  In relation to Questions 24297/20 and 24298/20, the available information relates to property transactions subject to Stamp Duty. I am informed the estimated the yield from varying the rate of Stamp Duty on residential and non-residential property is shown at page 18 of the Revenue Ready Reckoner available at: https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/information-about-revenue/statistics/ready-reckoner/index.aspx. I am further advised that Stamp Duty returns do not categorise purchasers by category such as natural or legal person.

Tax Credits

 38. Deputy Emer Higgins Information on Emer Higgins Zoom on Emer Higgins asked the Minister for Finance Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the workers eligible for a tax credit for a work uniform; if childcare providers qualify for this tax credit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24352/20]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe The flat rate expense (FRE) regime is an administrative practice operated by Revenue to ease the administrative burden on Revenue and on employees in certain sectors by facilitating the automatic granting of a fixed tax allowance to cover allowable employment-related expenses, without the need for annual claims by every employee concerned.  It applies where both 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 TCA 1997 is satisfied. 

The expense should apply to all employees in that category and not be discretionary. Revenue has advised me that it will consider FRE applications where a large number of employees incur broadly identical qualifying expenses which are not reimbursed by their employer.

Applications are generally made by the representative bodies in the employment sectors concerned and are considered by Revenue based on the specific commonality of expenses within the employment category and compliance with the strictly applied statutory requirement for a tax deduction. I am advised by Revenue that a submission was received from Early Childhood Ireland who represent childcare workers in 2017, and having considered the submission, Revenue was not in a position to apply a flat rate expense, as the expenses were not wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred in the performance of the duties of the employment. 

Outside of the FRE regime, all employees retain their statutory right to claim a deduction under section 114 of the TCA 1997 in respect of an expense incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of the duties of their employment, to the extent that such expenses are not reimbursed by the employer.


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