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Noonan, Michael

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 752 Nbr. 2


Topical Issue Debate - Bond Redemption

I thank Deputy Mathews for raising this very important issue. The repayment of the bond in question is an obligation of the bank and will be repaid by the bank. It is important to be clear that i...More Button

The Government has committed to ensuring that there is no forced or coerced involvement by the private sector burden sharing on Irish senior bank paper or Irish sovereign debt without the agreement...More Button

This was agreed by the Heads of State and Government at their meeting in October, and Ireland was included in the 27 states that agreed to it.More Button

It is not correct to state that only taxpayers have borne the burden of rescuing the Irish banks. Holders of equity in the banks have been effectively wiped out in burden sharing while holders of ...More Button

To impose burden sharing on senior bondholders, or to postpone the repayment of this bond at this point in time, is not in Ireland’s best interest. What is in the Irish people’s best i...More Button

If we were to postpone or suspend payments to creditors of IBRC, this would have a significant impact on both the bank and, ultimately, the State. The senior debt, unsecured as it is, is an obliga...More Button

We should also consider that the value of support, present and future, we receive from our European partners far outweighs any short-term gain from imposing burden sharing on these bonds in the fac...More Button

In conclusion, as I have indicated, there is no private sector involvement for Irish senior bank paper or Irish sovereign debt without the agreement of our external partners. This commitment has b...More Button

I do not disagree with Deputy Mathews’ analysis. However, we are in a situation which we inherited from our predecessors, who entered into solemn and legally enforceable commitments in respe...More Button

Written Answers - Motor Industry

Was asked: his views on a matter (details [313]supplied) regarding the motor industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have no proposal at this stage for an alternative number to be put on next year’s registration plates. However, any proposals that are brought forward will be examined by my Department in a...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code

Was asked: the position regarding grants to employers (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Sections 472A and 88A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 provide tax incentives for both employers and employees, to help the long-term unemployed to return to employment. The relief under Sectio...More Button

Both incentives apply in respect of individuals who have been unemployed for at least 12 months and are in receipt of a specified social protection payment or, who are in a category approved for th...More Button

Was asked: the possibility of 0% VAT being charged on the admission price to pet farms for educational school tours; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Irish VAT law is subject to the provisions of the EU VAT Directive with which it must comply. Article 110 of that Directive provides that Member States may continue to apply reduced rates, includi...More Button

While admissions to pet farms became liable to VAT from 1 January last, I announced in the Budget that the VAT rate applicable to such admissions would be the reduced rate of 9% and not the standar...More Button

Schedule 1 to the VAT Consolidation Act 2010 does provide an exemption for the provision of children’s or young people’s education by educational establishments recognised by the State....More Button

Was asked: the position regarding tax credits in respect of persons (details supplied) in County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that a revised Tax Credit and Universal Social Charge Certificate issued to the persons concerned on 13 January 2012. This revised Certificate, which inclu...More Button

Revised certificates have also issued to the pension providers. This will allow the pension providers to refund any excess tax deducted since 1 January 2012 in accordance with the commitment made b...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a combination of the recent VAT and excise duty increases, a weak euro and high crude oil prices has resulted in record motor fuel prices; his views...More Button

Was asked: the additional VAT that will be collected in 2012 relative to budget day targets if average petrol and diesel prices remain at 155c per litre; if he will give consideration to a mid-year review of ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 78 and 79 together. More Button

Ireland, as with other countries, has experienced an increase in the cost of petrol and auto-diesel. The increase in fuel prices is an international phenomenon. Fuel prices are driven by a number o...More Button

The excise rates (including the carbon charge) in Ireland on motor fuels are 58.8 cent per litre of petrol and 47.9 cent per litre of auto-diesel. However, our rates remain lower than many of our m...More Button

The Exchequer yield from excise, as excise is set at a nominal amount, does not increase as the price of fuels increase. On the other hand, the yield from VAT per litre of fuel, as VAT is set as a ...More Button

It should also be noted that businesses are of course entitled to reclaim VAT incurred on their business inputs, including VAT incurred on fuel. For example, VAT incurred on auto-diesel and marked ...More Button

There are no plans for temporary taxation adjustments, as to do so, could lead to significant costs to the Exchequer. The issue of rising fuel prices was discussed by EU Finance Ministers at an ECO...More Button

Written Answers - Financial Services Regulation

Was asked: the position regarding bonuses (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have outlined my position on this matter when replying to previous parliamentary questions on the same subject most recently on 11 January 2012 (refs: 41045/12, 41077/12 and 41429/11).More Button

Was asked: if he will reconsider the lending restrictions imposed on credit unions (details supplied). More Button

The imposition of lending restrictions is the responsibility of the Registrar of Credit Unions, who is the independent regulator for credit unions. Within his independent regulatory discretion, th...More Button

The Registrar has put lending restrictions in place in order to protect the savings of members in credit unions and to ensure that credit unions focus on risks when making lending decisions. Restr...More Button

The Registrar has advised that about 50% of credit unions are subject to lending restrictions at present. Almost all credit unions with a lending restriction have a maximum individual loan size re...More Button

Was asked: his views on the need to ensure adequate protection for whistleblowers within the financial services sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Central Bank Supervision and Enforcement Bill, which was published in July 2011, provides protections from civil liability and penalisation by employers for whistleblowers within the Financial ...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Collection

Was asked: the total amount of income tax that was paid by all persons who earn more than €100,000 per year in the year 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number of persons who earned more than €100,000 in the year 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 63 and 64 together. More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that for the tax year 2009, the latest year for which the necessary detailed data is available, the number of income earners earning in excess of €10...More Button

Was asked: the amount of money the office of the Revenue Commissioner incorrectly issued into taxpayer accounts in 2011 and subsequently requested its return. More Button

Monies incorrectly paid into a taxpayer’s bank account by Revenue would normally be as a result of an incorrect return filed by a taxpayer or a processing error by Revenue — each of the...More Button

Was asked: the amount of money the office of the Revenue Commissioner charged taxpayers in view of tax under payment in 2011. More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that interest arises both in respect of late payment of tax and underpayment of tax — this would include interest that is part of a phased payment pl...More Button

Was asked: the online payment mechanisms the office of the Revenue Commissioner operates for taxpayers to pay any outstanding money due to the Revenue Commission and other pay methods available. More Button

I have been advised by the Revenue Commissioners that online payment methods are provided through the Revenue On Line Service (ROS). This is an internet facility that provides taxpayers with a secu...More Button

It is planned to introduce payment by Credit Card on ROS during 2012. A facility to pay tax using a Credit Card over the phone is already available.More Button

Taxpayers who are not already obliged to make payments and file returns using ROS can also avail of other payment methods including: Direct Debit; Single Debit Authority — This is a customi...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which his income is likely to be affected following the recent communication from the Revenue Commissioners [319]in the case of a person (details supplied)...More Button

I have been advised by the Revenue Commissioners that there was a difference in the details received from the Department of Social Protection and their details on record in relation to the widowers...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Communications

Was asked: if he will give guidance to the Revenue Commissioners on the way they should approach taxpayers in relation to taxation matters; and his views on the way the recent debacle between the Revenue Comm...More Button

Communications between the Revenue Commissioners and members of the public are the responsibility of the Commissioners and they use a variety of methods and means to explain the many complexities o...More Button

Lastly, as also indicated at the Joint Committee meeting, the Revenue Commissioners advise that they will be reviewing their approach to communications in light of the issues raised following on fr...More Button

Written Answers - Illicit Trade in Tobacco

Was asked: the steps he is taking to address the growing problem of cigarette smuggling here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners, who are responsible for the collection of tobacco products tax, and for tackling the illicit trade in cigarettes and tobacco, that the strategy employed ...More Button

Revenue also carries out regular multi-agency operations, particularly in relation to large maritime importations. Revenue both provides and receives intelligence from other Customs Administration...More Button

The Revenue Commissioners have established a high level internal group, chaired at Commissioner level, to examine the risks related to tobacco products tax evasion and to oversee and optimise the d...More Button

Revenue’s strategic level plans include the taking of steps to ensure that the legitimate trade remains compliant, delivering more effective and visible interventions through enhanced capabil...More Button

In the course of 2011 Revenue seized a total of 109 million cigarettes with a retail value of €46 million and 11,158 kgs of tobacco with a retail value of €4 million. In addition Revenue...More Button

There is no internationally recognised method for precisely determining the level of the illicit trade in cigarettes. However, a survey commissioned by Revenue and the Office of Tobacco Control in...More Button

Written Answers - Banking Sector Regulation

Was asked: the reason there is such a variation in mortgage interest rates charged by AIB and Permanent TSB, both State owned banks. More Button

The lending institutions in Ireland, including those in which the State has a significant shareholding, are independent commercial entities. More Button

Ultimately the pricing of financial products, including standard variable mortgage interest rates, is a commercial decision for the management team and board of each lending institution, having due...More Button

Neither the Central Bank nor I have responsibility for any variation in the variable mortgage interest rates charged by the two institutions. However the Central Bank has advised me that, within i...More Button

Written Answers - Mortgage Assistance

Was asked: if he has any plans to assist mortgagees in negative equity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have no plans to introduce a general scheme to assist mortgage holders in negative equity. Trade down mortgages, in appropriate circumstances, were recommended in the report of the Inter-Departm...More Button

The Central Bank has advised me that they wrote to all mortgage lenders to ascertain whether they were offering, or intended to offer, a mortgage product that would allow home owners to sell their ...More Button

Written Answers - EU-IMF Programme

Was asked: his views on the implications for Ireland’s funding programme of any possible change in the credit rating of the European Financial Stability Facility; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

On Monday January 16th 2012, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) announced the downgrade of the EFSF long term rating to AA+. More Button

S&P’s downgrade of EFSF’s long term rating had been signalled in advance and was not a surprise. The financial markets have already priced in such a development for the EFSF. EFSF issua...More Button

I note that Mr Klaus Regling, the CEO of the EFSF, has indicated that the S&P’s decision will not reduce the EFSF’s lending capacity of €440 billion. The EFSF has sufficient means ...More Button

The EU Heads of State or Government (HoSG) decided on 9 December 2011 to advance the introduction of the permanent stability mechanism, the ESM, to July 2012. The ESM will have its own capital base...More Button

There is no risk to the commitment to fund Ireland’s programme. The commitments from the EFSF to provide total funding of €17.5 billion in funding remain in place. The EFSF has already...More Button

The EFSF raised €1.5 billion in 6 month bills at an auction on Tuesday 17th January 2012 — at an annual rate of 0.2664%. There was strong interest in the auction with a bid cover ratio ...More Button

In December 2011, the EFSF raised close to €2 billion (€1.971 billion of 3 month bills) at an annual interest rate of 0.222% of which some €1 billion was provided to Ireland.More Button

For Ireland, the guarantee commitment fee of 0.1% is added to these amounts to bring the cost up to 0.3664% and 0.322% respectively. These yields are at similar levels to French yields on similar m...More Button

Was asked: when the reduction in the interest rate being charged to Ireland from funds paid out of the EFSF and EFSM took effect; and if he will provide a complete schedule of the current interest rates being...More Button

The Euro Area Heads of State or Government (HOSG) agreed on 21 July 2011 to reduce the cost of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) to lending rates equivalent to those of the Balance o...More Button

In October, the EU Council of Ministers approved an EU Commission proposal to eliminate the margin of 2.925% on the EFSM facility. This change was incorporated into an amendment to the existing leg...More Button

In relation to the schedule of the current interest rate being charged to Ireland on all forms of funding under the EU/IMF Programme of financial support, the following table supplied by the NTMA, ...More Button

Note 1: The interest rate on IMF loans is variable. It is composed of a weekly setting of the IMF SDR interest rate and surcharges which are volume and time dependent. As of 19 January 2012 the SDR...More Button

Written Answers - Banking Sector Remuneration

Was asked: if he will confirm the date he instructed that a review be carried out into remuneration and severance packages at the covered institutions; the date the review commenced; and if he will confirm th...More Button

I have indicated to the Deputy, in response to his previous questions on the subject (refs. 27135/11 and 27578/11 of 4 October 2011) the review is presently being conducted by my Department. The ...More Button

Written Answers - Disabled Drivers

Was asked: if he will examine an application for vehicle registration tax remission in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry. More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that Section 134(3) of the Finance Act 1992 (as amended) and Statutory Instrument No. 353 of 1994 (Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessio...More Button

Under the terms of the Scheme, a vehicle must be purchased from an ‘authorised person’. On receipt of the invoice, it transpired that the Chassis Number quoted was not in respect of a vehicle...More Button

The Certificate of Approval for relief from Vehicle Excise Duty (Road Tax) was withdrawn on 5th January 2012. The Motor Taxation Office, Tralee was notified accordingly on this date.More Button

The vehicle in question was originally registered as a commercial vehicle and has recently been converted to a passenger vehicle. Additional VRT is now due on this vehicle as a result of the conver...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Staff

Was asked: the number of civil servants from his Department who are based in the European Commission working in the relevant permanent representative offices; their titles and functions; and if he will make a...More Button

My Department currently has 4 civil servants working in the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the European Union in Brussels in the following positions: More Button