Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

Noonan, Michael

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 754 Nbr. 3


Topical Issue Debate - Tax Reliefs

Mortgage interest relief is available in respect of qualifying interest on a qualifying loan in respect of a qualifying residence. A qualifying loan is a loan used for the purchase, repair, develo...More Button

The cost of mortgage interest relief is a significant burden on the Exchequer. At its peak in 2008 mortgage interest relief cost the Exchequer €705 million. It is estimated that the cost of ...More Button

It is acknowledged that the early years of a mortgage are the most difficult for mortgage holders. Therefore, since 1993, mortgage interest relief has been focused towards first-time buyers, grant...More Button

In line with the commitment in the programme for Government, mortgage interest relief was increased in budget 2012 to 30% for first-time buyers who purchased their first homes between 2004 and 2008...More Button

When any time-limited measure is introduced, there is always pressure from individuals, falling outside the scope of the measure, for it to be extended to them, for example, individuals who purchas...More Button

I am aware that some mortgage holders have pointed out that they are not eligible to benefit from the new measure, despite having purchased in the period, because they have rented out their homes. ...More Button

Mortgage holders who find themselves in difficulty may qualify for mortgage interest supplement. This is a means-tested payment made by the Department of Social Protection to provide short-term su...More Button

Finally, it should be noted that the Central Bank’s code of conduct on mortgage arrears governs the relationship between lenders and borrowers who are in arrears and contains a number of impo...More Button

Mortgage interest relief is available only in cases where mortgage interest is being paid. Therefore, I appreciate that the current relief is not going to help those in arrears. As I have mention...More Button

The Topical Issue debate notified to the Department of Finance was entitled: “To raise the issue of mortgage holders unable to avail of mortgage interest relief.” I replied to that. However, the ...More Button

There was obviously a mismatch between what the Department interpreted the Deputy’s intentions to be and what she actually asked in the debate. I will provide her with a full reply.More Button

International Agreements: Motion

Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

International Co-operation: Motion

Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Bretton Woods Agreements (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2011: Order for Report Stage

I move: “That Report Stage be taken now.”More Button

Bretton Woods Agreements (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2011: Report and Final Stages

I thank all Deputies who contributed to this debate. I would like to reply in the first instance to Deputy Boyd Barrett on the points he has just made.More Button

The context for this Bill is the decision by the IMF governors in 2010 to propose wide-ranging governance reforms including increased representation for emerging markets and developing countries. ...More Button

The Bill provides for acceptance of the amendment to the IMF Articles on the reform of the executive board. The amendment is designed to make the board more representative by making it an all elec...More Button

The change in voting power is undoubtedly an important step in the right direction. It is the outcome of lengthy discussions with the full IMF membership and is worthy of support. The quota adjus...More Button

Other elements of the 2010 reforms include a review of the quota formula, which is due to be completed by January 2013, and a further review of quotas by January 2014. The 2010 reforms also includ...More Button

The increase in Ireland’s quota at the IMF will result in a reduction in the cost of our borrowings from the fund. The Central Bank has estimated that the overall impact of the 2008 and 2010...More Button

When the amendment has been accepted by the requisite majority of IMF members, the related quota increases will come into effect. This will be a very welcome development for Ireland and will resul...More Button

Some Deputies opposing the Bill questioned the legitimacy of the IMF. I do not share these views. The Bill will assist the ongoing process of making the IMF more representative of the world as it...More Button

I thank Deputies for their co-operation in advancing the Bill.More Button

Written Answers - International Agreements

Was asked: the manner in which he believes the fiscal compact agreed at inter-governmental level improves economic governance and budgetary discipline within the EU over and above the updated Stability and Gr...More Button

The Fiscal Compact is a key part of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union agreed at the end of January. The Compact requires that fiscal rules ...More Button

The Fiscal Compact compliments the already agreed measures taken at EU level, which seek to ensure the pursuit of sustainable fiscal policies in participating Member States. This, in turn, will he...More Button

The other parts of the Treaty cover economic policy coordination and convergence as well as improved governance of the euro area.More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code

Was asked: the position regarding tax in respect of a person (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 person concerned in December 2011 arising from a small difference between t...More Button

If the Deputy would like to ask the person concerned to contact the Wicklow District Manager, Vivienne Dempsey, telephone number 01 6316605, she will assist her with her enquiry.More Button

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

The Universal Social Charge (USC) was introduced in Budget 2011 and replaced the Health Levy and the Income Levy. It is a more equitable charge and has a wider base and a lower rate when compared t...More Button

Was asked: if he will clarify the situation in regard to the right of a parent to gift a second home to a son or daughter without it affecting capital acquisition tax or inheritance taxes; if the matter will ...More Button

For the purposes of Capital Acquisitions Tax (gift and inheritance tax), the relationship between the person who provides the gift or inheritance (known as the “disponer”) and the person who receiv...More Button

Group A: €250,000 —applies where the beneficiary is a child (including adopted child, step-child and certain foster children) or minor child of a deceased child of the disponer. ...More Button

When calculating whether a beneficiary has received benefits in excess of her/his group tax-free threshold, any other gifts or inheritances received by that beneficiary since 5 December 1991 from w...More Button

A son or daughter who takes a gift or an inheritance from their parents falls into the Group A threshold above.More Button

Apart from the tax-free group thresholds available to a beneficiary, the Capital Acquisitions Tax code also exempts a gift or an inheritance of a dwelling house completely from gift or inheritance ...More Button

Where a parent transfers by way of gift a dwelling house, which is not the only or main residence of the parent, to a son or daughter, that gift will be exempt from gift tax if the son or daughter ...More Button

If, therefore, the conditions for the dwelling house exemption are met by the son or daughter, the gift of the second home will be completely exempt from gift tax and the gift will not reduce the G...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 80 of 14 December 2011, his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding the universal social charge; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The position is as I stated on 14 December 2011 in reply to Parliamentary Question Number 80, that the Universal Social Charge (USC) does not apply to social welfare payments or payments of a simil...More Button

However, occupational pensions are liable to the USC, if the payment is greater than the exemption limit, which from 1 January 2012 is €10,036 per annum.More Button

Therefore, in this particular case the retired couple in question receives a higher proportion of their total income from occupational pension than the retired couple in the newspaper article and t...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the USC was reviewed by my Department in the lead up to Budget 2012 and the report can be obtained at www.finance.gov.ie.More Button

Was asked: the reason the Revenue Commissioners are refusing to allow the Non-Principal Private Residence charge as a business expense for owners of rental properties despite the statement of the then Ministe...More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that a person in receipt of rental income is assessed to income tax on the net amount of the rents received, i.e. the gross rents less allowable expenses i...More Button

Payment of the Non-Principal Private Residence charge is not an allowable expense in computing taxable rental income as it is not included on the list of allowable items.More Button

Was asked: if he will examine a case in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork in view of the fact that this person has been [376]advised that he is not liable for t...More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that a Tax Credit Certificate that granted exemption from both PAYE and Universal Social Charge (USC) for the current tax year, 2012 was issued to person ...More Button

The person’s pension provider should refund any deductions of USC that may already have been made, from his private pension, in the current year, 2012, through their payroll system.More Button

The person’s income in 2011 was in excess of the USC exemption limit for 2011, based on the most recent figures available to Revenue.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding a PAYE allowance in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that, according to Revenue records the person in question was granted one PAYE Credit for the years 2006-2011.More Button

On the 10 January 2012, the taxpayer advised Revenue that his spouse had a pension in her own right and he was granted an additional PAYE Credit for the year 2012. However, following further contac...More Button

Was asked: if a person paying mortgage interest falls into arrears, if mortgage interest tax relief at source is still available and the methods by which this may be reduced; when a person repays the arrears ...More Button

The position is that tax relief for mortgage interest paid on a qualifying loan, a loan used for the purchase, repair, development or improvement of a person’s main residence, is paid through...More Button

Where interest relief has been ceased by Revenue, and the mortgage is subsequently the subject of repayment in accordance with an agreed schedule with the mortgage provider, then subject to an appl...More Button

Was asked: if tax relief at source in respect of mortgage interest is available to persons with mortgages who are in receipt of the mortgage interest supplement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Mortgage Interest Supplement is paid by the Department of Social Protection. It is a short term support to help pay mortgage interest repayments and the payment is based on the interest portion of...More Button

Persons who are in receipt of Mortgage Interest Supplement are not precluded from claiming Mortgage Interest Relief.More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 224 of 12 January 2011, if the Revenue Commissioners have updated the estimated information for 2010 that was given in that answer, and if it has been updated,...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 224 of 12 January 2011, if he will set out the latest estimate available to the Revenue Commissioners for the tax year 2011 of the total number of taxpayers in...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 133 and 134 together.More Button

The information requested, estimated by reference to the income tax years 2010 and 2011, is set out in the following table:More Button

The figures are estimates from the Revenue tax-forecasting model using actual data for the year 2009 adjusted as necessary for income and employment trends in the interim. These are, therefore, pro...More Button

It should be noted that the income ranges shown in the above tables relate to Gross Income as defined in Revenue Statistical Report 2010.More Button

It should also be noted that a married couple who has elected or has been deemed to have elected for joint assessment is counted as one tax unit.More Button

Was asked: the reason a person (details supplied) in County Cork, whose income is well below the relevant threshold, is paying the universal social charge. More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the person in question is exempt from the Universal Social Charge (USC), based on the most recent figures available to Revenue. A revised Tax Credit/...More Button

Written Answers - Bank Interest Rates

Was asked: if he will respond to correspondence regarding the European Central Bank rates (details supplied). More Button

The details provided by the Deputy refer to the failure of a particular lending institution to pass on ECB rate reductions. The Deputy will be aware that the lending institutions in Ireland, includ...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

Written Answers - Banking Sector Regulation

Was asked: the proposals he has to ensure that mortgage lenders are going to develop products to help mortgage holders in distress as part of the new strategy to help troubled borrowers; and if he will make a...More Button

The Central Bank revised Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA), the key framework that governs the relationship between lenders and borrowers who are in arrears, or facing arrears, on their mo...More Button

This twelve month period does not include any time where the borrower is complying with the terms of any alternative arrangement agreed with the lender, or being processed by the internal Appeals B...More Button

More recently, the Central Bank has also required licensed mortgage lenders to develop comprehensive strategies and implementation plans to deal with their individual mortgage arrears situations. ...More Button

Written Answers - National Asset Management Agency

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the National Asset Management Agency’s strategy in regard to residential homes, some of which are protected structures or in areas of architectural conservation, that ...More Button

NAMA informs me that property assets securing NAMA loans are under the control of debtors or of receivers appointed by the Agency. As such, it is debtors and receivers who are responsible for the p...More Button

Was asked: if it is intended to re-price the houses in the portfolio of developers with NAMA loans to make them more affordable in 2012 for young and first-time buyers; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

I am informed that NAMA approves the sale of assets, including houses and apartments by debtors or receivers acting on its behalf, at the current market rate for such properties. Properties under t...More Button

Under the National Asset Management Act, 2009, NAMA has a commercial mandate. Given this commercial mandate, the Agency would not be in a position to change the prices of domestic properties for sp...More Button

Written Answers - Pension Provisions

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that when Fingal County Council transferred responsibility for pension payment to retired vocational education committee employees to the Paymaster Gener...More Button

There is a long standing agreement with all of the health insurance companies, including the VHI, where an individual’s health cover remains in place even in circumstances where, through no f...More Button

Written Answers - Tax and Expenditure Profiles

Was asked: when he will publish the monthly tax and expenditure profiles for 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The profile for monthly Exchequer tax revenues and debt servicing expenditure will be published this week. It is the intention of my colleague the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to publ...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Reliefs

Was asked: the reason a particular not for profit organisation might have its application for relief of taxes under the Disabled Drivers/Passengers Regulations 1994 refused by Revenue; his views on a particul...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 Concession...More Button

An application for exemption under the Scheme was received in the Central Repayments Office on 16 August 2011 from the organisation (details supplied). Qualifying Organisations are entitled to rel...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Yield

Was asked: the total revenue raised on an annual basis from 1975 to 1985 under the terms of the Wealth Tax Act 1075 represented in monetary terms, as a percentage of the total tax take as a percentage of GDP. More Button

Wealth tax was introduced in tax year 1975/76 and was abolished at the end of tax year 1977/78. The rate of the tax was 1% and it applied to the “net market value”, as defined, of the “taxable wea...More Button

Was asked: the revenue, actual and projected, to be raised from the pension fund levy for each of the years 2011 to 2014; the cost of each of the related measures undertaken under the jobs initiative; and if ...More Button

The Jobs Initiative publication from May of last year clearly outlined the expected revenue yields to be generated from the pension levy over the 2011-2014 period. In addition, the publication also...More Button

The outturn for the pension levy in 2011 was €463 million as opposed to the original forecast amount of €470 million.More Button

The implementation of a jobs and growth strategy is a key priority of this Government. The Jobs Initiative contains a range of measures aimed at assisting in employment generation — providing...More Button

A summary of the original measures and associated estimated yields and costs is set out in the table below:More Button

rounding may affect totalsMore Button

*It should be noted that the proposed suspension of the Air Travel Tax, at an estimated cost of €15 million in 2011, €90 million in 2012 and €105 million in a full year, was conditio...More Button

Written Answers - EU-IMF Programme

Was asked: the level of the general Government deficit if Ireland was to meet the 0.5% structural deficit in 2016 assuming that the general Government deficit level of 3% was met in 2015 as per the EU-IMF pro...More Button

As part of the December 2010 ECOFIN Council recommendations to Ireland under the Excessive Deficit Procedure, Ireland is required to reduce its actual General Government deficit to below 3 per cent...More Button

At this point in time, it would be speculative to put forward a possible timeline for reaching the structural deficit of 0.5 per cent of GDP and what the corresponding actual General Government def...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation

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

My colleague, Mr. Alan Shatter TD, Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, has now published the Heads of a Personal Insolvency Bill for Oireachtas and public consultation.More Button

The Bill will provide for a new framework for the formal settlement of debt and for personal insolvency. The proposed reform will consist of the following main elements:More Button

The draft Bill as published for consultation does not exclude debt, either unsecured or secured (including mortgage related), owed to a local authority.More Button

Part 5 of the draft Bill, which provides for a Personal Insolvency Arrangement (PIA) framework, proposes that, subject to certain eligibility criteria, an insolvent debtor may make a proposal to ad...More Button

Upon conclusion of the consultation process, the Bill will be considered further by Government in advance of the publication of a Bill before the end of April in line with the revised commitment in...More Button

Written Answers - Banks Recapitalisation

Was asked: if he will set out the precise relationship between the emergency liquidity assistance and the promissory notes as relevant to the IBRC. More Button

The Promissory Note acts as collateral under emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) loan (repo) agreements with the Central bank of Ireland (CBI). This ELA is itself funded by the CBI through Intra-E...More Button

Was asked: if it is the case that the European Central Bank loaned money to the Central Bank of Ireland in the form of emergency liquidity assistance, which the Central Bank of Ireland then loaned on to the I...More Button

One of the functions of the Central Bank of Ireland, similar to other central banks, is to grant Exceptional Liquidity Assistance to a credit institution when this is deemed necessary for financial...More Button

Was asked: the total amount of emergency liquidity assistance originating from each of the European Cental Bank and Central Bank of Ireland currently in the Irish banking system; the projected repayment sched...More Button

The Central Bank has informed me that one of their functions, similar to other central banks, is to grant Exceptional Liquidity Assistance to a credit institution when this is deemed necessary for ...More Button

Was asked: if he or any representative of the State has ever raised with the ECB the possibility of partial non-payment of ELA to the Central Bank of Ireland. More Button

Emergency Liquidity Assistance, or ELA, is funded by the Central Bank of Ireland through the Eurosystem, and any repayments are used to reduce this liability on the Central Bank’s balance she...More Button

Was asked: the current resources of the IBRC; the projected cash flow requirements of the IBRC over the next ten years; the projected cash flow generated from the sale of IBRC’s assets over the next ten...More Button

The most recent published information detailing the resources of IBRC are contained in the interim accounts of the bank. The attached link is provided for the Deputy’s convenience. ...More Button

Written Answers - Official Engagements

Was asked: if a meeting (details supplied) took place and if so the details of same; if any other similar meetings took place in September 2008; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed that the meeting referred to by the Deputy did take place and that it was at the request of Mr. O’Mahony. I understand that it was a listening exercise from the Department&rsquo...More Button

Written Answers - Disabled Drivers

Was asked: the rationale behind the decision to enforce the restriction preventing owners of vehicles of more than 2000 cc from participating in the disabled driver and passenger tax relief scheme; and if he ...More Button

Was asked: the rationale behind the decision to enforce the restriction preventing owners of vehicles under the disabled driver and passenger tax relief scheme from carrying out adaptations to their vehicle t...More Button

Was asked: the rationale behind the decision to restrict disabled drivers purchasing second-hand vehicles from participating in the disabled driver and passenger tax relief scheme if VRT on that vehicle had p...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 144 to 146, inclusive, together.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

The legislation specifies that, where a person satisfies the Revenue Commissioners that s/he is a Disabled Driver who complies with all the conditions of the Disabled Drivers Scheme, that person sh...More Button

The legislation also specifies that relief will be granted in respect of Value Added Tax (VAT), Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) or residual VRT borne in respect of a vehicle, or in respect of the ad...More Button

Disabled drivers purchasing second-hand vehicles may participate in this scheme provided they comply with all the conditions of the Disabled Drivers Scheme as outlined. Regarding VRT, the legislati...More Button

The legislation does not provide for any exceptions and the provisions of SI 353/1994 must be fully adhered to.More Button