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Noonan, Michael

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Leaders' Questions

First, I congratulate Pope Francis on his elevation and wish him a very long and successful reign in that very high office. I am sure the people of Ireland wish him very well, as I know this House...More Button

To turn to the business in hand, there will be independent oversight of all these arrangements. As the Deputy knows, the Central Bank is independent in the performance of its functions and has tak...More Button

Leaders' Questions (Continued)

That is a different category. They are commercial investments, people are collecting rents and if they are not servicing their mortgages the best thing for the economy is that these investments ar...More Button

When all the grandstanding is taken out of it we all know that people's inability to pay their mortgages is one of the big problems in Irish society. Yesterday, arrangements were announced which w...More Button

Many people here were at the meeting of the Committee of Public Accounts and they know exactly what Mr. Moran said.More Button

It is not what the Deputy said. I ask the Deputy to read the Official Report and he will see there what he said.More Button

Ar an gcéad dul síos ba mhaith liom mo bhuíochas a ghabháil leis an Teachta as ucht seo a lua arís. Maidir leis na freagraí a thugamar inné, níl an plean lochtach ar chor ar bith. Beidh réiteach ...More Button

There is no flaw in what was put out yesterday. Solutions will be offered to families. It was slow and I have expressed impatience previously about the tardiness of the banks in implementing so...More Button

Then there is a range of solutions cascading down from interest-only arrangements right through to write-downs. We all know from clinic work that some people are just tricking around with repaym...More Button

There are people who would like if we announced some kind of discount. That is not going to happen. There will not be any kind of across-the-board write-down for people who can pay but who are ...More Button

On the issue of the independent agency, first, there will be a director of the personal insolvency agency who will implement the provisions of the personal insolvency Act with the personal insolven...More Button

We accepted some of the ideas the Deputy brought forward in debates. It is important there would be an independent approach. We have it through the director of the personal insolvency agency an...More Button

However, I am not underplaying the difficulties of which we all aware. It is a quantifiable difficulty. I met the boards of all the banks the week before last. In the course of my conservation...More Button

The main thrust of Deputy Pearse Doherty's first intervention was that there should be an independent agency to look after these matters and that this was part of Sinn Féin's policy proposed earlie...More Button

The Deputy cannot have it both ways on this.More Button

The Deputy advocated the establishment of an independent agency. When I told him that was what would happen, he said we were hands-off in the Department of Finance and that was no good.More Button

The Deputy cannot have it both ways. There has to be some logic to his policy positions.More Button

He is correct in linking the issue of impaired mortgages to unemployment. Many people have linked it to negative equity and all sorts of other things. If one looks at it properly, the people with...More Button

The jobs strategy is to get people back to work. Much of this is intractable. It is difficult to find a job elsewhere for someone who worked on a building site for 20 years, no matter what retr...More Button

That approach would result in more people being unemployed and more impaired mortgages.More Button

Further to the Government's decision that the harvesting rights to Coillte's forests be considered for sale, at the Government's request the National Treasury Management Agency, through its NewERA ...More Button

This issue arises in the context of a requirement under the programme. As the Deputy is aware, the troika has been involved in this. The context is that some State assets are to be sold. For exa...More Button

Several questions have been answered in the House on the matter.More Button

Order of Business

It is proposed to take No. 10, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Finance Act 2004 (Section 91) (Deferred Surrender to the Central Fund) Order 2013 - back from committee; No. 21, Cr...More Button

Order of Business (Continued)

As the Deputy has noted, the decision in respect of the embassy to the Vatican and a number of others was made on cost grounds. We have to measure everything. However, the Irish ambassador to the...More Button

The House will be aware that agreement has been reached with some of the main public service unions. The negotiations were led by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Brendan How...More Button

There are certain similarities between the situation in the banks and public services. If one owns 99% of a bank, as the State does in the case of AIB and PermanentTSB, parallels can clearly be ...More Button

Bank of Ireland is in a different space. The State has 15% of its shares. As a private bank with a minority State shareholding, we do not have the same direct influence over it. As a sharehold...More Button

I am not threatening anybody. I simply want to get the job done. Everybody knows the cost base of the public service is too high. Everybody also knows that the cost base of the banks is too high...More Button

That is due later this year.More Button

The links to the Holy See have not been broken, severed or cut. The Secretary General at the Department of Foreign Affairs is a fully accredited ambassador to the Holy See. The issue is that he i...More Button

On the issue of mobility aids, everybody in this House would share the Deputy's anxiety that every assistance possible be given to persons with disabilities. The Minister of State, Deputy O'Sull...More Button

I understand it is proposed to deal with this issue in three separate Bills and that part 1 of these will come to the House before the summer and parts 2 and 3 will be introduced later this year.More Button

I am sure the Pope will be very pleased that Deputy Ross has congratulated him. I notice there is an Old Testament type of rhetoric in the interventions of Deputy Ross here sometimes, with phrases...More Button

On the legislation to remediate the lacuna arising from Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne's judgment, the heads of the Bill were passed by the Government last Tuesday. The responsibility for this is vest...More Button

The heads of the Bill were cleared last July and the Bill will come before the House later this year.More Button

There is no particular legislation promised, but if the Deputy is referring to the difficulties that have arisen from the ruling of the Ombudsman under equality legislation regarding persons with d...More Button

Food Safety Authority of Ireland (Amendment) Bill 2013: First Stage

No.More Button

Finance Act 2004 (Section 91) (Deferred Surrender to the Central Fund) Order 2013: Motion

I move:More Button

Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage (Resumed)

  Question again proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."More Button

Fiscal Forecasts

Was asked: if the economy here is currently working off of a primary deficit or a primary surplus; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Table 9, page C.18 of Budget 2013 sets out the fiscal forecasts for the period 2012-2015.

This table includes the figures for the underlying General Government primary balance in nominal t...More Button

Tax Code

Was asked: the reason for his change in policy regarding claiming travel expenses for self-employed persons who travel to their place of work in the Cork region; and the reason this policy change has been bac...More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that there is no change in policy regarding claiming travel expenses for self-employed persons. The position is that self-employed persons may not claim ...More Button

Was asked: the consequences for an employer refusing to provide a P45; the measures of recourse for a person in seeking to obtain a P45 when an employer is refusing to provide it; and if he will make a statem...More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that Regulation 20 of the Income Tax (Employments) (Consolidated) Regulations, 2001 (more commonly known as the PAYE Regulations) obliges an employer, on ...More Button

As to the measures of recourse for a person in seeking to obtain a Form P45, such person should report the matter to his or her local Revenue office which will take whatever steps that are necess...More Button

If the Deputy wishes to pass the details of the particular case giving rise to his Question to my officials, they will pass them on to the Revenue Commissioners for examination and necessary acti...More Button

IBRC Staff

Was asked: the number of persons currently employed by the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation; the cost to the taxpayer of the proposed post-liquidation statutory redundancy in respect of those employees; and ...More Button

I have been advised that at the date of the appointment of the Special Liquidators there were 978 people employed by IBRC. As the Deputy is aware, following the appointment of the Special Liquidato...More Button

As a result of the termination of the employment contracts, employees are entitled to apply for a statutory redundancy payment and a statutory notice payment, subject to the limits prescribed by ...More Button

As the Deputy can appreciate it will take some time to process the forms associated with the above payments and therefore it will be some time before the Special Liquidators will be in a position...More Button

Betting Regulations

Was asked: in respect of the application for a bookmakers licence under the Betting Act 1931, the reason the certificate of personal fitness from the applicant's local superintendent of an Garda Síochána must...More Button

The Revenue Commissioners, who are responsible for processing applications for bookmakers’ licences, inform me that a current certificate of personal fitness is required to allow them to issue a li...More Button

The certificate of personal fitness certifies that a person is a fit and proper person to hold a bookmakers licence. A bookmaker’s licence is renewed on a yearly basis and the bookmaker must appl...More Button

The requirement to submit the licence application and certificate to Revenue within 21 days of the certificate's issue is intended to maintain the currency of the applicant’s fitness to hold a bo...More Button

Non-disclosure Agreements

Was asked: his views on banks requiring customers in financial difficulties to sign non disclosure agreements prior to entering discussions with financial institutions; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

While details of any mortgage restructuring agreements is a matter for each individual bank and borrower, the Central Bank has advised that such agreements should not impede consumer’s protections ...More Button

- at the borrower’s request and with the borrower’s written consent, the lender must liaise with a third party nominated by the borrower to act on his/her behalf in relation to his/her arrears si...More Button

- Where an alternative arrangement is offered by a lender, the lender must provide the borrower with a clear explanation, in writing, of the alternative repayment arrangement, including the borro...More Button

- the borrowers right to refer appeals to the Financial Services Ombudsman (Provision 44 (e) of the CCMA).More Button

Mortgage Arrears Proposals

Was asked: if he will confirm the criteria that applies in respect of the split mortgage arrangements; if he will confirm, for each of the regulated banks whether or not the shelved portion of the mortgage ac...More Button

I have been informed by the Central Bank that the majority of lenders have introduced, or are in the process of introducing a split mortgage arrangement. The split mortgage was one of a number of ...More Button

The concept involves splitting a distressed mortgage into an affordable mortgage and warehousing the balance. While lenders have taken the broad approach set out in the Keane Report, the product ...More Button

Mortgage Arrears Rate

Was asked: his views on whether information supplied to banks by customers through the standard financial statement contradicts suggestions that up to one third of mortgage arrears cases are strategic default...More Button

Was asked: his views on the fact that approximately half of restructured mortgages fall back into arrears; the way this information will influence the design of solutions to mortgage arrears difficulties; and...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 46 and 47 together. More Button

The recently published Central Bank data on mortgage arrears for the end December 2012 shows that at end-December 2012 out of a total stock of 79,852 private dwelling houses, just over 37,000 res...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the Central Bank yesterday announced new specific time-bound targets for the six main banks to ensure early and measurable progress by banks in resolving mortgage ar...More Button

The suggestion that the rising number of mortgage arrears is in part being driven by increased levels of strategic default, that is individuals deliberately withholding payments when they are in ...More Button

In the context of the engagement between banks and borrowers on the provision of long term and durable solutions, the Central Bank has indicated that it expects that banks will have more challeng...More Button

Home Repossession Rate

Was asked: his views on the recently expressed views(details supplied) that home repossession levels here are uncharacteristically low and may need to increase considerably; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

The Government is very aware of the significant difficulties some homeowners are facing in meeting their mortgage obligations and has put in place a comprehensive strategy to address the problem. ...More Button

In his contribution to the Committee of Public Accounts, the Secretary General of my Department clearly indicated that there will need to be a range of options to deal with cases of mortgage arre...More Button

Thalidomide Victim Compensation

Was asked: the role of his Department and agencies under his Department, that is, the State Claims Agency and the National Treasury Management Agency in bringing about a fair and non-adversarial solution to v...More Button

The National Treasury Management Agency is designated as the State Claims Agency when performing the claims management and related risk management functions delegated to it. I, as Minister for Fina...More Button

The State Claims Agency has received notification of 24 thalidomide related claims to date. As legal proceedings have issued in respect of one of the cases it would be inappropriate for me to co...More Button

Tax Rebates

Was asked: if he will acknowledge the lack of inclusion of an amendment to the Tax Consolidation Act 1997, this act imposed a costly change on the previous practice whereby patients had been entitled to claim...More Button

Income tax relief in respect of health expenses is allowable in accordance with section 469 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. This legislation provides for tax relief for health expenses incurr...More Button

The section provides that tax relief must be either for the costs of the services of a practitioner, defined as a person registered on the register established under the Medical Practitioners Act...More Button

Section 469 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 consolidated all previous legislation pertaining to relief for health expenses, in particular section 12 of Finance Act 1967 which introduced the r...More Button

For 2010 the cost of tax relief for health expenses was €127 million and was availed of by 368,000 individuals who had sufficient income to benefit from a claim. There is no specific breakdown i...More Button

The costs of the relief, if self-referral for physiotherapy was allowed, would be unquantifiable but it would be expected to increase the overall cost to the Exchequer. While the Government supp...More Button