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Noonan, Michael

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Parliamentary Inquiries

Was asked: his views on whether a comprehensive inquiry into the banking collapse in Ireland is required; the form he believes such an inquiry should take; when he believes that inquiry will commence; and if ...More Button

The Government has already indicated that it is determined to uncover the causes of the banking crisis in Ireland that caused such devastation in the Irish economy and necessitated the bailout from...More Button

In this regard, the Government has published the Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Bill, which, once enacted, will provide the legal framework for a banking inquiry ...More Button

The purpose of the proposed legislation is to establish a comprehensive statutory framework for the Oireachtas to conduct inquiries within the current constitutional framework as set down by the ...More Button

The Nyberg investigation's terms of reference were set up under statutory powers. We must ensure that the proposed inquiry now being considered is carefully constituted so as to avoid the risk o...More Button

Ireland's place in the international arena cannot be compromised. We welcome the transparency and closure that this inquiry will bring and want it to give Ireland the opportunity to learn from t...More Button

Parliamentary Inquiries (Continued)

I would not disagree with the objective stated by the Deputy for an inquiry. It has to be a fully open inquiry and must pursue the facts wherever that pursuit leads. The Deputy is aware that ther...More Button

As regards the terms of reference, my understanding from the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Howlin, is that when the Bill proceeds through the House and is passed, the inquiry...More Button

The Bill is in process at present and I invite Deputies to contribute to the process of the legislation and give their advice to the Minister.More Button

I have not seen Governor Honohan's comments. The Governor and Central Bank are under law independent in the exercise of their functions. I do not answer for the Central Bank before the House. Go...More Button

IBRC Staff

Was asked: if he regrets continuing to employ persons (details supplied) in a State-owned bank; and the actions he took to ensure they were fit to hold these positions after revelations that were recently pub...More Button

Like every citizen in this country who is working hard to restore the economy, I am deeply disturbed by the taped conversations from 2008 involving these executives of the former Anglo Irish Bank a...More Button

IBRC Staff (Continued)

The new management and staffing arrangements of IBRC-Anglo Irish Bank were in place long before I became Minister for Finance. I have no role in the day-to-day running of any of the banks and deci...More Button

The Deputy is moving on to very dangerous ground in naming individuals and assuming culpability. This is exactly what happened when the former Deputy, Ms Mary Harney, engaged in a rant against t...More Button

It is a matter for the directors, boards and management of banks to decide who does and does not work in a particular bank. I remind the Deputy - I am sure he will be disappointed to hear this - t...More Button

Banking Sector Investigations

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to any Government members or staff, advisers or associates of his Department who were aware of the existence of the Anglo Irish Bank tapes released and published in ...More Button

I confirm that neither I nor any official in the Department of Finance was aware of the contents of the tapes which have emerged in the media until now. The contents of the tapes were not raised w...More Button

I am advised that the tapes have previously been provided by Anglo Irish Bank-IBRC to the Garda and a number of other authorities involved in investigations relating to Anglo Irish Bank. I also ...More Button

From the date of the nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank on 16 January 2009, the Minister for Finance directed the bank to co-operate fully with all regulatory investigations. I am advised by th...More Button

Was asked: if any of the auditors assigned to Anglo Irish Bank-Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, or the Garda investigation team into the bank and potential fraud, have identified any gaps in the minutes of ...More Button

The Department does not have responsibility or insight into the investigations undertaken by the Gardaí or any other authorised investigating bodies. I have not been made aware of any gaps in infor...More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied that his Department has issued all material held by it to the gardaí investigating potential fraud at Anglo Irish Bank. More Button

The Department of Finance has fully complied with all on-going investigations into matters at Anglo Irish Bank by An Garda Síochána and the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement and the I...More Button

Was asked: if the former Government appointee to Anglo Irish Bank (details supplied) was aware of the existence of recorded phone conversations at Anglo Irish Bank which appeared to reveal a concerted attempt...More Button

Neither the Department of Finance nor the Government were aware of the content of the recorded phone conversations at Anglo Irish Bank referred to in the question. The contents of the tapes were no...More Button

Was asked: his views that the auditors working for Anglo Irish Bank at the time of the banking guarantee, who gave it a clean audit and have since been found to have a prima facie case to answer even by their...More Button

Under statute the Garda Síochána are the body responsible for criminal investigations in the State. The Department does not have responsibility or insight into the investigations undertaken by the ...More Button

Banking Sector Investigations (Continued)

In 2009, the ODCE seized under court search warrant approximately 3 million electronic documents and in excess of 5,000 original hard-copy documents. In 2009, the Financial Regulator compelled the...More Button

I am advised that the special liquidators are taking the leaking of this material very seriously and have written to the Garda and the Data Protection Commissioner in that respect. They have wri...More Button

Seemingly he did. As I said in my original reply, in 2009, the Financial Regulator compelled the production of approximately 45,000 hard copy documents and approximately 9 million electronic docum...More Button

The question was whether tapes exist in the other banks, and I assume they do. If a customer rings a bank looking for a statement, there is usually a warning on the answering machine that tells th...More Button

Mortgage Arrears Proposals

Was asked: his views on the negligible number of split mortgage arrangements in place to deal with distressed borrowers at the end of March 2013; if he has sought assurances that the banks are putting in plac...More Button

On 13 March last, the Central Bank, in its capacity as regulator of credit institutions, announced new measures to address the problem of mortgage arrears. These included the publication of perfor...More Button

In determining whether a proposal constitutes a sustainable solution, the lender must evaluate both actual and prospective affordability of the solution by the borrower as well as the capital imp...More Button

Was asked: if he has held negotiations with the troika over tracker mortgages; and if he is planning any regulatory or legislative changes to allow for borrowers in some circumstances to be moved off tracker ...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, I have no statutory function in relation to banking decisions made by individual lending institutions at any particular time. This is ultimately a commercial decision for t...More Button

Was asked: if he believes additional measures beyond the recently passed personal insolvency legislation is now necessary in order to deal with the worsening mortgage crisis; and if he will make a statement o...More Button

Was asked: his views on whether additional measures beyond the recently passed personal insolvency legislation are now necessary in order to deal with the worsening mortgage crisis; and if he will make a stat...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 78 and 119 together.   

  The 2011 Keane Report on mortgage arrears identified personal insolvency reform, and in particular the i...More Button

Was asked: his views on reports that some banks require customers to sign confidentiality agreements prior to concluding an arrangement on restructuring their debt; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

I have been advised by the Central Bank that confidentiality agreements should not impede consumers’ protections under the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA). Strong protections are include...More Button

Was asked: his views on the negligible number of split mortgage arrangements in place to deal with distressed borrowers at the end of March 2013; if he has sought assurances that the banks are putting in plac...More Button

Was asked: if he will indicate the measures he intends to take to seriously engage with the ongoing critical problem of mortgage arrears in view of the worsening statistics from the Central Bank; if he is con...More Button

Was asked: his views on the use of split mortgages as a means of dealing with the mortgage crisis; if he will intervene to prevent some lenders charging interest on the split portion of mortgages; and if he w...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 88, 114 and 118 together. More Button

The “split mortgage” was suggested by the Inter-Departmental Mortgage Arrears Working Group (Keane Report) as one of the possible viable options for restructuring a mortgage in certain circumstan...More Button

As lenders offer split mortgages with differing terms and conditions, the main supervisory issue is one of transparency and the Central Bank is of the view that all lenders should make public all...More Button

While the Central Bank engagement with lenders to require them to propose options for the sustainable resolution of mortgage difficulty is a major element of the strategy to deal with the mortgag...More Button

The necessary overall strategy and building blocks to address the mortgage arrears problem are, therefore, now in place. These include the Central Bank targets initiative, the new Code of Conduct...More Button

The onus is now on lenders to move to address individual arrears cases in a comprehensive and speedy manner. Therefore, I expect the banks to increase the number of “split mortgage” and the othe...More Button

As part of the process banks are requested to make regular returns to the Central Bank on their performance against the targets and the Central Bank will audit the performance of the lenders in t...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide an overview of the submissions made to the Central Bank’s review on the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears; and if he will state the number of submissions that proposed the foll...More Button

The Central Bank has now concluded a review of the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA), following a public consultation process, with in excess of 230 submissions received. The revised CCMA ...More Button

Was asked: in view of the increasing magnitude of the mortgage crisis here and the Central Bank of Ireland's new Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears, if he has taken into consideration consumer protection adv...More Button

The Central Bank has now concluded a review of the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears, CCMA, following a public consultation process, with in excess of 230 submissions received. The revised CCMA ...More Button

Mortgage Arrears Proposals (Continued)

Lenders must apply a realistic valuation of the borrower's assets. This also applies to any assumption of potential asset price appreciation, as well as the estimated costs related to a potential ...More Button

I agree with the Deputy. This is a difficult situation and I am glad that there is now movement to resolve it. On the data available to me on the targets set down, approximately 25,000 offers hav...More Button

However, the principle under which everything is operating is an attempt to distinguish between those who cannot pay and those who will not pay. For those who cannot pay, the banks are engaging ...More Button

I have some statistics that may be of help to the Deputy. At the end of March 2013, a total stock of 79,689 private dwelling house mortgage accounts were categorised as restructured. That is an i...More Button

Bank Codes of Conduct

Was asked: the reason, at a time of still increasing mortgage arrears, he is allowing banks, through a revised code of conduct on mortgage arrears, to deal more aggressively with struggling home owners includ...More Button

The Central Bank has now concluded a review of the code of conduct on mortgage arrears, CCMA, following a public consultation process, with in excess of 230 submissions received. The revised CCMA ...More Button

Was asked: if he will review the code of conduct on mortgage arrears for the credit and insurance undertakings to establish bank processes in respect of possessing homes and debt collection; and if he will ma...More Button

The Central Bank has just concluded a review of the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA) and I have no plans to repeat the review. The Central Bank's review included a public consultation pr...More Button

  Question No. 177 answered with Question No. 87.More Button

Bank Codes of Conduct (Continued)

This will give co-operating borrowers time to consider other options that may be available to them, such as voluntary surrender, voluntary sale or a personal insolvency arrangement, PIA. The combi...More Button

The Central Bank is responsible for the code of conduct on mortgage arrears. It initially proceeded in this regard by publishing a draft code and it then took into account advice it received. The...More Button

The House will be aware that the Personal Insolvency Act 2012 provides new statutory insolvency frameworks to allow debtors - through the utilisation of professional personal insolvency practitio...More Button

I agree with much of the Deputy's analysis. It has been a very difficult time for a group of people who borrowed to acquire family homes at the height of the Celtic tiger and who, for one reason or...More Button

The people most adversely affected are those who lost their jobs - where one partner in a household lost a job or where there is no one at work in the household anymore. These are the people in ...More Button

There is a whole variety of circumstances. We tried with the Keane report to design solutions which would accord with the differing circumstances. We are at a stage now where we think the Centr...More Button

Strategic Investment Fund Management

Was asked: the process that will be in place to maximise the economic and employment return from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund; the investment horizon that will be taken by the fund; and if he will ma...More Button

As recently announced, the Government has decided to establish the Ireland strategic investment fund, ISIF, which will absorb National Pensions Reserve Fund, NPRF. The discretionary fund of the NP...More Button

Using the Ireland strategic investment fund, we will maximise our resources to enhance growth in the economy and improve key infrastructure to maintain Ireland's attractiveness as a place to do b...More Button

It is envisaged that the ISIF will seek to leverage and maximise its resources by attracting private sector co-investment. I am conscious that it is important that a level of independence is mai...More Button

If we were to build a road between Cork and Limerick, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform would have to put it down as a proposal. The NPRF would assess it on commercial grounds and if...More Button

Within the existing statutory investment policy and in line with the ISIF announcement, the NPRF has undertaken a number of investments and initiatives under which NPRF capital would be invested ...More Button

Strategic Investment Fund Management (Continued)

The NPRF is already investing so there is no question of it being delayed along the lines suggested by the Deputy. However, it is investing on the basis of a kind of letter of comfort that I issue...More Button

It is proposed that an ISIF investment committee will be established to decide on the investment of the strategic investment fund and within the parameters of the strategy, which will be set by t...More Button

Economic Growth Initiatives

Was asked: the actions he believes ECOFIN Ministers can take to provide a Europe economic stimulus; the reason this has not happened to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

A number of initiatives are being implemented at EU level to boost growth. The cumulative impact of all these measures will be positive in terms of supporting economic activity in the EU at this d...More Button

Economic Growth Initiatives (Continued)

Measures to be implemented at national level include the full implementation of the country-specific recommendations from the European semester for those member states included in the process, incl...More Button

Among the practical examples which would help Ireland is first of all the commitment to complete the single market. It is approximately 80% complete and for the remaining 20% the financial service...More Button

A decision approximately a year ago in which €10 billion extra in capital was put into the European Investment Bank, EIB, will help too because that €10 billion can leverage approximately €180 bi...More Button

On Deputy Michael McGrath's point, the European Investment Bank is engaged in quite a lot of activity, for example, a bundle of schools is being completed, co-financed with the EIB. European Inves...More Button

On the issues raised by Deputy Pearse Doherty, we will get assistance from Europe but we will have to do most of the heavy lifting ourselves. Our future is in our own hands. I do not believe in...More Button

It is this kind of stimulation that the large creditor countries could pursue to benefit the euro. They could ease up on their budgetary controls and put more spending power into their economies. ...More Button

Banking Sector Remuneration

Was asked: when the banks will commence implementation of measures relating to the Mercer report; if he has received an indication of the nature of the measures to be implemented; and if he will make a statem...More Button

Was asked: the proposed actual reduction in salaries to those earning above €200,000 in the AIB’s proposal to the Minister following the Mercer report. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 69 and 102 together.More Button

As I have explained in previous responses to questions on this matter, discussions are ongoing at three banks - AIB, Band of Ireland and Permanent TSB - in response to the Government's decision t...More Button

In requesting this, I was not prescriptive in how the target was to be achieved, respecting the banks' differing levels of State ownership and paths to profitability. I am not neutral on the met...More Button

Each of the banks submitted its outline plans to me by the due date requested. As a consequence of the ongoing negotiations, some of which are quite far advanced, it is not possible at this stag...More Button

My abiding mantra in dealing with these matters has been to insist that the normal industrial relations protocols and consultation procedures need to be observed by all participants. I am anxiou...More Button

I have put on the record that the Government readily acknowledges the sacrifices and changes made by bank employees to date at all levels and recognises that this has been achieved without major ...More Button

The cost bases of the banks must be reduced and remuneration costs must come down. While it would not be appropriate or realistic to specify a timeframe for the savings to be delivered, it is cl...More Button

I have asked that payroll costs be reduced by between 6% and 10%. I am interested in reducing the cost base of the banks for all of the reasons of which everyone is aware. I am not as interested ...More Button

We have received the first round of replies from the banks. These deal with a range of issues. The banks are negotiating internally. As they do so, they will keep me informed. I will inform t...More Button

Tax Code

Was asked: his views on recent allegations made in the US Senate committee hearings that Ireland is being used by certain transnational corporations to significantly reduce their tax liability. More Button

The corporation tax paid by some large multinational corporations and the rate at which they pay that tax is an issue that has attracted a lot of public and media attention recently. Every country...More Button

Was asked: in view of recent revelations about the low level of corporate tax paid by a number of high-profile companies based here, if he intends to change Ireland's corporate tax regime; and if he will make...More Button

Was asked: if he will consider legislating to make every company operating here but not tax resident here or in any other country deemed tax resident in Ireland.More Button

Was asked: if he will consider establishing a 12.5% minimum effective tax rate and close off any loophole in our corporate tax that allows some companies based here to pay less than the current 12.5% nominal ...More Button

Was asked: in the aftermath of recent revelations about the very low level of corporate tax paid by a number of high-profile companies based here, if he intends to change Ireland's corporate tax regime; and i...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 77, 91, 94 and 127 together.

  I want to make it clear that we do not have a special low corporation tax rate for individual companies. Ireland...More Button

Was asked: if he has been in contact with any of the treaty countries that the State has tax arrangements with and have been mentioned alongside Ireland as providing the international loopholes for multinatio...More Button

As I have said in answer to other Parliamentary Questions, company profits charged in Ireland fully reflect the functions, assets and risks located here by multinational groups. Profits charged her...More Button

Was asked: his views on whether the Lough Erne declaration on corporation tax will pose difficulties for Ireland in attracting and retaining foreign investment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

At their historic Lough Erne meeting, the G8 held a very useful discussion on tax issues, culminating in the Lough Erne Declaration. This declaration outlined G8's commitment to "make a real d...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which his Department continues to monitor allegations made to the effect that multinational corporations use this jurisdiction as a tax haven with consequent negative impact on the in...More Button

Was asked: the steps he is taking to ensure that the nature of Ireland’s corporation tax regime is not misrepresented internationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the steps that can be taken at international level to rebut the allegations of the existence of a tax haven in this country; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which allegations of the existence of a tax haven here have been adequately rebutted throughout Europe and globally with particular reference to the need to protect the integrity of t...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 100, 107, 281 and 283 together.

  Officials in my department, alongside their colleagues in the Revenue Commissioners, the Department of Foreign ...More Button

Was asked: if he will consider developing a mechanism whereby new contractors setting up businesses may avail of a reduced rate of relevant contracts tax similar to that of existing contractors; his views tha...More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that Relevant Contracts Tax (RCT) provides for withholding tax to be applied on certain payments made by Principals to subcontractors and is designed to...More Button

For new tax registrations, the Revenue system automatically grants a rate of 20% as a three year compliance history does not exist. However, this may be changed to 0% if the subcontractor satisfi...More Button

I am also advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the rate of deduction is reviewed periodically and, if a subcontractor who has been allocated the 20% rate meets the necessary conditions, the ...More Button

RCT plays an important role in ensuring tax compliance by subcontractors in the relevant sectors and it is the view of the Revenue Commissioners that it would not be appropriate to automatically ...More Button

Was asked: if he is concerned about the rate of corporation tax here within the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if Prime Minister Cameron has expressed concerns to him regarding tax structures of global companies here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 199 and 201 together.More Button

On the question about contacts from Prime Minister Cameron regarding the tax structures of global companies here I can inform the Deputy that there has been no contact from Prime Minister Cameron...More Button

In addition a low corporate tax rate is a tool to address the economic limitations that come with being a peripheral country, as compared to “core” countries. Furthermore taxation is a powerful ...More Button

Was asked: if he has had any discussions with Prime Minister Cameron recently in relation to Ireland's tax affairs; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I can confirm to the Deputy that I have not met with Prime Minister Cameron to discuss Ireland’s tax affairs.More Button

Was asked: the reasons he sought to introduce tax breaks for executives in multinational companies which would have reduced to 23% the income tax rate for eligible executives earning up to €500,000; and if he...More Button

Section 14 of Finance Act 2012 introduced the Special Assignee Relief Programme which is designed to reduce the cost to employers of assigning key individuals in their companies from abroad to take...More Button

Was asked: the revenue lost to the Exchequer as a result of tax free lump sums allowed upon retirement; and the way these lump sums are treated for tax purposes.More Button

The following arrangements currently apply to retirement lump sums paid under pension arrangements approved by the Revenue Commissioners. Lump sum amounts up to €200,000 are paid free of tax. They ...More Button

As there is no general requirement for data on the number of persons who are receiving payments of retirement lump sums of less than €200,000 to be returned to my Department or to the Revenue Com...More Button

Was asked: if he will give a commitment to not taxing maternity benefit; and if he will support the Commission on Taxation on this issue. More Button

The position is, as I have stated on many occasions in the House, that from the 1st of July 2013, Maternity Benefit will be treated as taxable income. The underpinning legislation for this measure ...More Button

NAMA Debtors

Was asked: further to his response in Dáil Éireann where he set out that 45 National Asset Management Agency developers had a collective amount of €8 billion owing to NAMA when they were declared bankrupt out...More Button

As advised in response to a recent Parliamentary Question No. 82 of 20th June 2013, NAMA debtors who have been declared bankrupt outside of Ireland had, by reference to the nominal or par value of ...More Button

Was asked: the steps the National Asset Management Agency is taking to protect its claim over assets held by borrowers who file for bankruptcy in the UK; the success it has had to date in securing these asset...More Button

The Deputy may wish to refer to NAMA’s Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2012, which contain extensive information regarding the Agency's operations, including, as set out in pages 26 and ...More Button

Personal Insolvency Practitioners

Was asked: if he will abolish the 23% VAT rate on fees charged to families by a personal insolvency practitioner; the estimated cost to the Exchequer in the current year and a full year if VAT was not charged...More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the service provided by personal insolvency practitioners does not qualify for exemption in accordance with the EU VAT Directive, Irish VAT law, and ...More Button

Was asked: if he will reconsider his decision to apply VAT to personal insolvency services; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the service provided by personal insolvency practitioners does not qualify for exemption in accordance with the EU VAT Directive, Irish VAT law, and ...More Button

I am also informed by the Revenue Commissioners that under a personal insolvency arrangement, the personal insolvency practitioner’s fees are ultimately deducted from the dividend payments to the...More Button

Bank Charges

Was asked: his views on the recent increase in bank charges by AIB; and if he has had any contact with the bank regarding this increase.More Button

While the Government is acutely aware of the increasing financial stress that some households and businesses are facing in the current environment, ultimately the pricing of financial products, inc...More Button

Was asked: his views on the impact of increased bank charges on business activity and employment levels; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his views on whether business activity and maintenance of employment is being hampered by the failure of banks to reduce variable loan rates in line with the recent ECB rate reduction; and if he wi...More Button

Was asked: the steps taken to ensure that banking lending rates to the small and medium enterprises sector reflect international borrowing rates and that bank charges reflect the need to support SMEs.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 205, 206 and 213 together.More Button

The Government recognises that SMEs are the lifeblood of the economy and will play a vital role in the recovery of employment growth in our country. It is also very conscious of the costs faced ...More Button

Given concerns over breakdown in monetary transmission and in particular increasing fragmentation within the Single European Market as highlighted by the high interest rates for SME lending in th...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he and his Department monitor the levels of bank charges being imposed by various banks; the basis for such charges, nationally and internationally; and if he will make a statem...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which bank charges have been applied for the first time or increased in each of the past five years to date internationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the total amount collected by way of bank charges by the various lending institutions in each of the past five years to date including credit card companies; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 285 to 287, inclusive, together.

  I, as Minister for Finance have no statutory role in relation to bank charges imposed by regulated financial i...More Button

Overseas Development Aid Issues

Was asked: if he will outline, in relation to the proposals on taxation in the Lough Erne declaration made by the G8 in June and the call for greater policy coherence in the recent Irish Aid policy paper One ...More Button

I have referred, in answers to other Parliamentary Questions, to work done under the auspices of the OECD in relation to assistance to developing countries in tax matters. In particular, the tax an...More Button

Banks Recapitalisation

Was asked: following the release of recordings of senior Anglo Irish Bank executives, his views on the apparent abuse of the bank guarantee scheme by Anglo Irish Bank to secure deposits from other institution...More Button

The recordings to which the Deputy has referred are a matter of the most serious concern in the context of the background of the bank guarantee against which they were made. As I said last week in ...More Button

Was asked: following the release of recordings of senior Anglo Irish Bank executives, his views on the apparent deception by Anglo Irish Bank on the level of recapitalisation required; and if he will make a s...More Button

Like every citizen in this country who is working hard to restore the Irish economy I am deeply disturbed by the taped conversations involving Anglo executives in 2008 and dismayed to hear senior b...More Button

The Government is determined to ensure the public is informed about what happened in Irish Banks and has published the Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Bill which, ...More Button

  Question No. 94 answered with Question No. 77.More Button

Was asked: when he intends to seek access to the European Stability Mechanism to retroactively recapitalise Ireland’s banking sector; and if he believes there is any potential in achieving recapitalisation th...More Button

As the Deputy is aware on the 20th June 2013 the Eurogroup of Euro-area Finance Ministers agreed a framework under which the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) will operate its direct recapitalisat...More Button

  Question No. 102 answered with Question No. 69.More Button

Money Laundering

Was asked: if he supports the fact that publicly accessible Government registries of beneficial owners of companies, trusts and foundations be agreed as a part of the revised anti-money laundering directive; ...More Button

The Commission published its proposals for a 4th Money Laundering Directive on 5 February 2013.    Article 29 of the Draft Directive provides as follows:

"Article...More Button

Was asked: in relation to the anti-money laundering requirements applied to the purchase of prize bonds over €25 in value, if he has given consideration to the fact that this limit may have a detrimental impa...More Button

Was asked: if there are plans to change the anti-money laundering requirements that apply to the purchase of prize bonds; if anti-money laundering requirements will apply to purchases of prize bonds over €25;...More Button

Was asked: if he will reconsider the requirement to have anti-money laundering requirements for prize bond purchases as they are very restrictive and may impact on the sales of same.More Button

Was asked: his plans to change the anti-money laundering requirements that apply to the purchase of prize bonds; if anti-money laundering requirements will apply to purchases of prize bonds over €25; if he wi...More Button

Was asked: if in the context of the changes proposed in respect of anti-money laundering requirements for the purchase of prize bonds, if he will explore the achievement of a better balance in respect of the ...More Button

Was asked: if he will update Dáil Éireann on the requirement for application of anti-money laundering requirements on the purchase of prize bonds over €25 in value; and if he will engage with the Irish Postma...More Button

Was asked: the current anti-money laundering requirements for Prize Bonds; his views on whether the current level is sufficient; if he has considered raising or lowering this threshold; if his attention has b...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the concerns raised regarding the proposed introduction of anti-money laundering requirements to prize bonds purchases over €25 in value; if he will consider rais...More Button

Was asked: if any consideration has been given to setting a limit of €100 before an anti-money laundering identification requirement is applied for the purchase of prize bonds; and if he will make a statement...More Button

Was asked: if he has any concerns that the anti-money laundering identification requirement applied to the purchase of prize bonds over €25 in value will be inconvenient for ordinary customers who want to pur...More Button

Was asked: if changes in respect of anti-money laundering requirements for the purchase of prize bonds can be balanced in order to ensure the need for appropriate anti-money laundering requirements while also...More Button

Was asked: whether the requirement to have anti-money laundering identification requirements applied to the purchase of prize bonds over €25 in value is restrictive and will have a strong impact on the sale o...More Button

Was asked: his views on correspondence from the Irish Postmasters' Union (details supplied) regarding proposed changes in respect of prize bonds.More Button

Was asked: if he intends to change the monetary limit at which anti-money laundering requirements are applied to the purchase of prize bonds from €25 to €100 and over to redress the imbalance in inconvenience...More Button

Was asked: if he will consider increasing the purchase limit of prize bonds from €25 to €100 before anti-money laundering requirements are applied in order to maintain a balance between the need for appropria...More Button

Was asked: if he will address the concerns raised in correspondence (details supplied) regarding prize bonds; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will increase the threshold for anti-money laundering identification requirement for the purchase of prize bonds to €100 from €25 for practicality purposes for ordinary prize bond purchasers;...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 98, 169, 174, 190, 210, 239, 240, 243, 253 to 255, inclusive, 268 to 270, inclusive, 272, 273 and 275 together.   

  European legi...More Button

Was asked: if he supports the fact that tax crimes be made a predicate offence of money laundering and that this be agreed as part of the revision of the third anti-money laundering directive; and if he will ...More Button

The Commission published its proposals for a 4th Money Laundering Directive on 5 February 2013. Those proposals are currently being examined by an Expert Working Party of the European Council. Th...More Button

NAMA Loan Book

Was asked: if the National Asset Management Agency is currently compiling a new portfolio of loans, similar to the grouping of loans behind the Project Aspen and Project Club initiatives, which will be sold o...More Button

Decisions relating to the sale of loans or of properties that secure these loans are an operational matter for the Board of NAMA which is guided by its commercial mandate under the NAMA Act 2009. N...More Button

Banking Sector Regulation

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the commitment given in the programme for Government to restructure the boards of covered banks and replace certain directors and other staff; and if he will make a ...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, in response to the Nyberg report and with regard to the restructuring of the banking sector, I stated that:

"a programme of rotation of board members, comme...More Button

Was asked: if he believes the revelations contained in the recently publicised Anglo tapes have any implications for Government policy in relation to banking; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which adequate provisions have been put in place to prevent a recurrence of the recently disclosed activities at the former Anglo Irish Bank; the degree to which the regulatory struct...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 95 and 113 together. More Button

As there are a number of inquiries and investigations on-going into matters at the former Anglo Irish Bank, I am restricted in what I can say in relation to the recently disclosed activities at t...More Button

On the question of regulatory reforms, the Central Bank Reform Act 2010 was a crucial first step in the introduction of a new fully-integrated single structure within the Central Bank. It provide...More Button

The Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Bill 2011, which is being considered at Report stage in the Seanad, further strengthens the ability of the Central Bank to impose and supervise comp...More Button

In terms of promoting good corporate governance, I would also point to the Central Bank’s 2011 Corporate Governance Code for Credit Institutions and Insurance Undertakings which imposes minimum cor...More Button

Was asked: his views on whether banking regulation has got tighter here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

A well-regulated, effectively supervised, competitive and more stable financial services sector is crucial to our economic recovery. It is important too for the continued development of Ireland as...More Button

At EU level, the Irish Presidency succeeded in agreeing a number of dossiers which balance responsible governance with the need to avoid unnecessary burdens, thereby ensuring that opportunities f...More Button

Was asked: if it is the practice of all Irish banks to make recordings of internal land line phone calls; and if these recordings are kept within the banks or are provided to the Central Bank of Ireland.More Button

Was asked: if it is the practice of Irish banks to keep records of phone calls between banks and if these recordings are provided to the Central Bank or Ireland.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 218 and 219 together.

  I have been advised by the Central Bank that they do not require Banks to record calls. As such the Central Bank does n...More Button

Budget Consultation Process

Was asked: the consultations he will hold, here and with other EU countries and institutions and any others, before announcing the budget. More Button

As with every Budget there will be considerable consultation with a wide variety of organisations. Officials from my Department are already engaging in meetings related to Budget preparation. Meeti...More Button

Given that there are still more than two months to Budget Day it is difficult for me to say exactly whom I will meet personally between now and then. However the Deputy will be aware that the Min...More Button

The Deputy will also be aware review missions to Ireland by the three external partners, the EU, the ECB and the IMF (the troika) take place each quarter as part of the regular review process of ...More Button

With regard to EU institutions, the enhanced economic governance regime now in place for euro area Member States directly impacts on national budget preparations. Regulation 473/2013, one of the ...More Button

Vehicle Registration Issues

Was asked: if he sees merit in suggestions for purchasers of new cars to receive a vehicle registration tax rebate when they trade in a car less than ten years old against a new one; and if he will make a sta...More Button

Any proposal in the VRT area will be considered in the context of the annual Budget.  More Button

Was asked: if he will give serious consideration to removing VRT from potentially life saving additional safety features on new vehicles; his views on whether persons are choosing to go without optional extra...More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that vehicle registration tax (VRT) is charged on the open market selling price (OMSP) which for new vehicles is defined in Section 133 (2) of the Finance ...More Button

Mortgage Interest Rates Issues

Was asked: if he will consider legislating to force lenders in covered institutions which have been rescued by the taxpayer to seek permission from the Financial Regulator when varying their mortgage interest...More Button

I, as Minister for Finance, have no statutory role in relation to the mortgage interest rates charged by regulated financial institutions. It is a commercial matter for the banks concerned. The Ce...More Button

The mortgage interest rates that financial institutions operating in Ireland charge to customers are determined as a result of a commercial decision by the institutions concerned. This interest ...More Button

However, as part of the Central Bank’s work on mortgage arrears, lenders were asked to consider all avenues to help customers in arrears, including interest rate reductions. Currently, several len...More Button

Mortgage Arrears Rate

Was asked: his views on the mortgage arrears figures for the first quarter of 2013; the reason the numbers in mortgage distress continue to increase; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: his views on long-term mortgage arrears; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the date on which the end of quarter two figures for mortgage resolutions targets will be published.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he and his Department continues to monitor the situation regarding mortgage arrears with particular reference to the need to ensure that homeowners who have fallen into arrears ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 87, 177, 191 and 290 together. More Button

The recent mortgage arrears and repossession statistics indicated that 95,554 (12.3%) of principal dwelling mortgage accounts were in arrears of over 90 days at the end of March 2013. While this...More Button

The Central Bank compiles and publishes quarterly mortgage arrears and repossession statistics for both primary domestic homes (PDH) and buy-to-let (BTL) mortgages and my Department closely monit...More Button

The necessary overall strategy and building blocks to address long term mortgage arrears are now in place. These include the Central Bank targets initiative, the new Code of Conduct on Mortgage A...More Button

IBRC Liquidation

Was asked: the reason persons (details supplied) were employed by Irish Bank Resolution Corporation under this Government; if he will outline the amount they were paid since the nationalisation of Anglo Irish...More Button

I have been advised by the Special Liquidators that they cannot comment on the remuneration packages of individual staff members of IBRC (in Special Liquidation). I have been advised by the Specia...More Button

  Question No. 91 answered with Question No. 77.More Button

Was asked: if he will seek a report from the Chairman of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation identifying the number of instances in 2007 and 2008 where voluntary, non-profit organisations with deposits in A...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, on 7 February 2013 the Oireachtas passed legislation (Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Act 2013), appointing joint Special Liquidators to IBRC with immediate effect to...More Button

Budget 2014 Issues

Was asked: in the absence of a revised medium term fiscal statement in 2013, if he plans to provide an update on the size and composition of the 2014 fiscal adjustment prior to budget day; and if he will make...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, Budget day will be on or before the 15th of October each year from now on, in line with the requirements of the two-pack of European Regulations formally adopted on the 30t...More Button

Was asked: the budget adjustment in budget 2014 according to the plans he has sent to Ministers; the proportion of this adjustment which is tax related; and the proportion which is expenditure related. More Button

The April Stability Programme update set out the consolidation path for 2014 and 2015 (Table 2 page 6), consistent with Budget 2013, showing the composition of revenue and expenditure measures. The...More Button

I would like to reiterate that the Government remains committed to reducing the deficit below 3 per cent of GDP by 2015 and all budgetary decisions will be made with this overarching objective in...More Button

  Question No. 127 answered with Question No. 77.More Button

Was asked: his views on recent research by the Nevin Economic Research Institute which states that a combination of a stimulus programme, tax adjustments and savings from the recently restructured deal on pro...More Button

The Government is eager to hear reasonable proposals for budget measures from all interested parties and organisations. We will consider them fully and give them due consideration. The April Stabi...More Button

The exact quantum and composition of adjustment in 2014 will be considered in the context of Budget 2014 discussions later this year. As has been discussed previously, the additional fiscal space...More Button

EU Budget

Was asked: the steps he is taking to ensure that Ireland does not continue to overpay the EU through the use of inflated gross national income distorted by redomiciled companies.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, Ireland’s contribution to the EU Budget is an obligation of EU membership and is a charge on the Central Fund under national legislation. The contribution formula for t...More Button

Promissory Note Issues

Was asked: if he has considered freezing the issuing internationally of the converted promissory notes, currently held at the Central Bank, pending an investigation into the handing of these notes to Anglo Ir...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware the Promissory Notes were replace with a portfolio of Irish Government Bonds in February 2013. The Promissory Notes were returned to the Department of Finance and cancel...More Button

Property Taxation Exemptions

Was asked: in relation to the local property tax, if a person who has previously paid for tests which showed that his or her home has pyrite, is required to pay for a new building assessment which would cost ...More Button

Was asked: the way a person with pyrite secures an exemption in relation to the local property tax. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 103 and 112 together.   

  Section 10A of the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 (as amended) provides that an exemption from t...More Button

Tax Avoidance Issues

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that non-governmental organisations and some Governments have called for the UN tax committee to be transformed into an intergovernmental body; if he sup...More Button

The issues of tax fraud and evasion and aggressive tax planning need to be addressed as quickly as possible. Everybody recognises that an international response is required and that individual coun...More Button

The OECD has developed the necessary expertise to tackle these difficult issues and it is now demonstrating this expertise by producing results. While a proposal to establish an intergovernmental...More Button

Was asked: his views on the recent European Council meeting discussions on tax evasion and avoidence measures in the European Union.More Button

I welcome the recent European Council discussions on tax fraud, evasion, and aggressive tax planning that took place on the 22nd May. These discussions took place following on from a successful Eco...More Button

Universal Social Charge Application

Was asked: his plans to reform the universal social charge; if he is considering integrating it with PRSI; the issues that would arise from such integration; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Universal Social Charge (USC) was introduced from 1 January 2011 to replace the Income Levy and the Health Levy. It was a necessary measure to widen the tax base, remove poverty traps and rais...More Button

Credit Union Fund Issues

Was asked: his views on whether additional capital will be required by the credit union sector; his views on the progress made to date in securing the future of credit unions; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

In its final report, the Commission on Credit Unions identified the financial position of credit unions in Ireland, stating that the declining fortunes of the Irish economy have not only put an add...More Button

  Question No. 107 answered with Question No. 100.More Button

NAMA Loans Sale

Was asked: further to reports of a case being taken in New York concerning the overcharging of interest on Anglo Irish Bank loans, if his attention has been drawn to the details of this case; the provisions t...More Button

Unfortunately, I am not in a position to comment directly on cases currently in before the Courts. I have been advised by the Special Liquidators that in the Republic of Ireland any claims made in...More Button

Financial Services Sector

Was asked: if he will consider tightening the regulations on the extent and nature of advertising in which moneylenders may engage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Moneylenders are licensed by the Central Bank of Ireland in accordance with the provisions of Part VIII of the Consumer Credit Act 1995 (as amended). Moneylenders have to apply to the Central Bank...More Button

Since 1 December 2011, licensed moneylenders are also subject to a new fitness and probity regime. The ML Code sets out General Principles with which a moneylender must comply. For example, a m...More Button

Fuel Laundering

Was asked: his views on the operation of the green diesel scheme; the way the loss to the taxpayer from diesel smuggling can be reduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the money that could be saved for the Exchequer if fuel dyeing was discontinued. More Button

Was asked: the cost to the Exchequer each year as a result of diesel laundering. More Button

Was asked: if he has considered ending the process of dyeing diesel and instead offering a rebate to farmers, transport firms, hauliers and so forth, to compensate for accessing the more expensive diesel type. More Button

Was asked: if he has considered the introduction of one excise duty for all diesel including green diesel, with a rebate system for agricultural and other users of green diesel; and if he will set out the fin...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 111, 236, 245, 246 and 252 together. More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners, which have responsibility for the collection of mineral oil tax, that they are very aware of the threat fuel fraud poses to the Exchequer and to legitim...More Button

This system of marking diesel has been an effective and efficient means of delivering a tax rebate on a product used by a very large number of users across a wide range of uses. Fuel laundering ...More Button

This strategy included strengthening the licensing conditions for auto-fuel traders in 2011 and the introduction of a new licensing system for marked fuel traders in October 2012. In addition, s...More Button

While there have been a number of calls for the replacement of the current marking scheme with a rebate scheme, a change of this nature would impact on a wide range of users, would be costly to i...More Button

It has been suggested recently that huge savings could be made by moving from the current system of marking rebated fuel to one based on making repayments to those users that currently use marked...More Button

For these reasons, I am not proposing any change to the existing scheme. I strongly support the current strategy bring implemented by Revenue and am confident that it will succeed with the co-op...More Button

  Question No. 112 answered with Question No. 103.More Button

  Question No. 113 answered with Question No. 95.More Button

  Question No. 114 answered with Question No. 88.More Button

Was asked: the number of detections of the illegal use of agricultural green diesel that have been discoverd by customs officers for each of the past seven years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the numbers of detections of the illegal use of marked diesel in the period in question were as set out in the following table.

  <...More Button

  Question No. 174 answered with Question No. 98.More Button

Banking Debt

Was asked: the reason over a year after the Eurogroup statement of June 2012 was welcomed as a seismic shift Ireland continues to pay off banking debt as sovereign debt.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that there were discussions with our external partners on the issue of payment to bondholders. I have advised the House on a number of occasions that our European partners ...More Button

The Government has also successfully negotiated a further extension of the maturities of our EU loan facilities. Recently the EU Finance Ministers agreed in principle to further extend the maximu...More Button

The Deputy will also be aware that under the Irish Presidency the European Union finance ministers agreed a deal on new rules that will force investors and wealthy savers to share the costs of fu...More Button

These new rules will likely come into force by the end of the year and mark a revolutionary change in the way banks are treated and it is a major milestone in our effort to break the vicious link...More Button

Finally, on the 20th June 2013 the Eurogroup of Euro-area Finance Ministers agreed the framework under which the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) will operate its direct bank recapitalisation i...More Button

There is still a lot of negotiation to be done on this aspect of the facility but the agreement now in place keeps the possibility to apply to the ESM for a retrospective direct recapitalisation of...More Button

Tax Reliefs Application

Was asked: if he has revised the projected savings from a cap on the tax relief for pensions generating an income of €60,000; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In my Budget 2013 speech, I announced that changes to give effect to the commitment in the Programme for Government to cap taxpayers’ subsidies for pension schemes which deliver pension income of m...More Button

An estimated full year saving of €250 million was provided for in respect of these changes, as outlined on page A 10 of the Budget 2013 booklet. The Budget 2013 booklet makes clear, however, that...More Button

IBRC Account Holders

Was asked: his views on the issue of the losses accrued by credit unions because of the liquidation of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation; the way these losses will affect members of the credit union movement;...More Button

I am not in a position to discuss the specifics of any customer accounts in IBRC (in special liquidation). However, I am advised by the Special Liquidators that there are certain tracker bond produ...More Button

  Question No. 118 answered with Question No. 88.More Button

  Question No. 119 answered with Question No. 78.More Button

Youth Unemployment Measures

Was asked: in view of the phasing out of quantitative easing, which is likely to be followed by rising interest rates, his views on whether it is more imperative than ever to pursue policies that will enhance...More Button

I have consistently said that addressing the deterioration in the labour market is the key macro-economic objective of the Government. All of the economic policies being implemented by the Governm...More Button

Irish Nationwide Report

Was asked: the reason he has not published the Irish Nationwide report to date; and if a banking inquiry is established, whether he will be forwarding the report to the inquiry team. More Button

Was asked: when he plans to publish the report into Irish Nationwide, commissioned in 2009.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 122 and 227 together. More Button

I have been advised that given the on-going nature of the investigations by the authorities, including in particular the investigation being conducted under the Central Bank’s Administrative Sanc...More Button

If the Houses of Oireachtas Bill is approved by Oireachtas it will provide the necessary legal framework to allow a formal parliamentary inquiry to be held. The Department will co-operate fully w...More Button

Equality Proofing of Budgets

Was asked: if he will report on progress on examining the use of equality proofing in the budgetary process this year. More Button

I would like to make the Deputy aware that the Programme for Government does contain a commitment to require all public bodies to take due note of equality and human rights in carrying out their fu...More Button

Banking Sector Issues

Was asked: if he has raised with his UK counterparts their plans for the future of Ulster Bank; his views on the importance of the institution to banking here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the UK Chancellor, Mr George Osborne in his recent Mansion House speech, in dealing with the future of the two UK banks in which the British Exchequer has a significant shar...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the Chancellor has proposed that RBS be split into a good bank and a bad bank. This proposal is the subject of a review to be conducted by the Treasury with external assi...More Button

Was asked: if he will outline the impact of change in cash handling charges on enterprises; and if he will consider developing a guide to banking costs including cost comparisons between the pillar banks.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware the Relationship Frameworks with the banks provide that the State will not intervene in the day-to-day operations of the banks or their management decisions. These fram...More Button

Changes to European Regulations in 2011 have meant that AIB is now obliged to check cash lodgements for fitness and authenticity before lodgement to the Central Bank. Historically, AIB was one o...More Button

In this regard, we have written to all impacted customers offering them the opportunity to approach the Bank to discuss their transaction fee arrangements in advance of the next fee charging peri...More Button

More broadly, there may be opportunities for business customers to reduce their overall cash handling and fees through some electronic banking services such as:More Button

- AIB’s Point of Sale systemsMore Button

- AIB has also launched its ‘contactless payment’ service for transactions up to €15 which involves customers holding their card up to a secure reader which records the transaction in secondsMore Button

- For business customers with larger cash lodgement requirements, the use of AIB’s centralised Lodgement Processing may reduce costsMore Button

- In-store ATMs offer the ability to recycle cash and which may reduce cash lodgement costs.More Button

In the case of Bank of Ireland I have been informed that with effect from 8 April 2013, the Bank has changed how it accepts coin lodgements from its business customers. The changes include:More Button

- Only full sachets/sacks of coin will be accepted for lodgement or withdrawalMore Button

- In addition, coin will not be accepted in priority lodgement bags or nightsafe walletsMore Button

- Cash in transit services must be used for bulk coin lodgement.More Button

Bank of Ireland has indicated that it will continue to offer its business customers the opportunity for more efficient day-to-day banking. The Bank has indicated it remains committed to communit...More Button

Was asked: if the special liquidator is in possession of all recordings-transcripts of phone calls made at Anglo Irish Bank-Irish Bank Resolution Corporation until its liquidation, as well as minutes of meeti...More Button

From the date of the nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank on 16 January 2009, the Minister for Finance directed the bank to co-operate with all regulatory investigations. I am advised by the bank th...More Button

I am advised that the Central Bank was not aware of the tapes or the content contained therein. The Central Bank is carefully studying the various transcripts emerging. This is something that is ...More Button

Was asked: following the revelations made by a national newspaper regarding internal recorded phone calls in Anglo Irish Bank, if his attention has been drawn to the way those tapes came to be in possession o...More Button

I have been advised that the Joint Special Liquidators are investigating the possible source of the leak of the 'Anglo tapes' to the national newspapers. Based on the tapes disclosed up to Monday 1...More Button

I am advised that the Special Liquidators are taking the leaking of this material very seriously and they have written to the Gardaí and the Data Protection Commissioner in that respect. They hav...More Button

Was asked: if he or anyone in his Department issued a request to Anglo Irish Bank for copies of recorded phone calls between bank employees prior to the release of such tapes by a national newspaper. More Button

I can confirm that neither I nor any official in the Department issued a request to Anglo for copies of recorded phone calls between bank employees prior to the release of such tapes by a national ...More Button

Was asked: if he has made inquiries regarding the existence of other recorded phone calls in existence in the other State owned, or proportionately owned State banks, around the time of the guarantee; and if ...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware banks are required to record phone calls for a variety of reasons. I have not sought access to these recordings as under statute the Garda Síochána are the body responsi...More Button

  Question No. 227 answered with Question No. 122.More Button

Was asked: his views on whether Bank of Ireland should outsource work currently being carried out by bank employees here to other countries abroad, in view of the significant State investment in the bank and ...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, I have no statutory function in relation to banking decisions made by individual lending institutions at any particular time. This is ultimately a commercial decision for th...More Button

Was asked: the way AIB and Permanent TSB can advertise for business and investment when it is accepted that they are insolvent institutions with no capacity to offer secure liquidity; the exact extent of the ...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware Allied Irish Bank and Permanent TSB each hold Irish banking licences issued by the Central Bank of Ireland and are subject to regulations which require inter-alia each i...More Button

I have been informed by the Central Bank of Ireland (“Central Bank”) that the Consumer Protection Code applies to the regulated activities of regulated entities operating in the State and sets ou...More Button

The main areas covered by Chapter 9 of the Consumer Protection Code require regulated firms to ensure advertisements are fair and not misleading, clearly understood, complete and accurate.More Button

The Central Bank deals with regulated entities where concerns around the fairness, clarity, accuracy and potential for an advertisement to be construed as misleading in their overall content and ...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he has achieved agreement at EU level regarding the likelihood of the European Central Bank becoming involved in the issue of banking debt; and if he will make a statement on th...More Button

Was asked: the steps taken at EU level in relation to existing and future banking debt resolution; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 288 and 289 together. More Button

As you are aware the Euro-area Heads of State and Government agreed on 29th June 2012 to break the vicious circle between banks and sovereigns, and that when a Single Supervisory Mechanism is in ...More Button

A considerable amount of work has been undertaken at technical, senior official and Ministerial level on the ESM’s Direct Bank Recapitalisation (DBR) Instrument. This work culminated in agreement...More Button

This framework builds upon the agreement secured on the 29th of June 2012, and is an important step in the Eurozone’s efforts to restore market confidence in the Eurozone. It is expected that the...More Button

The European Central Bank, as the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), will complete assessments of banks in the Eurozone. Asset quality reviews will take place in Quarter 4 2013 or early 2014. ...More Button

Finally, we have succeeded in having provision for retrospective recapitalisation included in the framework. There is still a lot of negotiation to be done on this aspect of the facility but the ...More Button

  Question No. 290 answered with Question No. 87.More Button

European Stability Mechanism

Was asked: if he will provide a report on the Eurogroup summit of June focussing on the negotiations on the retroactive use of the European Stability Mechanism to recapitalise Ireland’s pillar banks.More Button

As you are aware the Euro-Area Heads of State or Government agreed on 29th June 2012 to break the vicious circle between banks and sovereigns, and that when a Single Supervisory Mechanism is in pla...More Button

We have succeeded in having specific provision for retrospective recapitalisation included in the framework, which states that “The potential retroactive application of the instrument should be d...More Button

This overall framework builds upon the agreement secured on the 29th of June 2012, and is an important step in the Eurozone’s efforts in this regard. It is expected that the earliest date that th...More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied that there was enough progress on banking debt during the Irish Presidency; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As you are aware the Euro-area Heads of State and Government agreed on 29th June 2012 to break the vicious circle between banks and sovereigns, and that when a Single Supervisory Mechanism is in pl...More Button

This framework builds upon the agreement secured on the 29th of June 2012, and is an important step in the Eurozone’s efforts to restore market confidence in the single currency and its banking s...More Button

It is expected that the earliest date that the ESM DBR can come into effect will be towards the end of the first half of 2014, given the need to satisfy national procedures, and also the requirem...More Button

We have succeeded in having provision for retrospective recapitalisation included in the framework. Although there is still a lot of negotiation to be done on this aspect of the facility I am sa...More Button

Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive

Was asked: the timeline he envisages for the completion of talks on putting in place a Europe wide bank resolution mechanism; the obstacles that exist currently to the completion of such an agreement; and if ...More Button

On 26 June 2013 European Finance Ministers agreed a common position on the bank recovery and resolution directive. This agreement provides a negotiating mandate to enter into discussions with the E...More Button

Ireland fully supports conclusion of these talks by the end of the year. The introduction of an EU-wide bank recovery and resolution process, which would set out the framework for how banks in d...More Button

To complete the Banking Union, the Commission will bring forward a proposal in the summer for a Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) for banks covered by the Single Supervisory Mechanism. We will en...More Button

Bank Stress Tests

Was asked: the reason bank stress tests will not take place prior to the planned end of Ireland's EU-IMF programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The original timeline for Ireland’s next stress test under the Troika programme, was linked to the EU wide EBA stress test timeline, and has changed in light of the evolving calendar for the next E...More Button

Consequently, the Irish authorities, in consultation with the troika, will this year conduct a series of diagnostics to provide greater clarity regarding the underlying quality of banks' balance ...More Button

Financial Transactions Tax

Was asked: the reason he continues to oppose the introduction of an EU wide financial transactions tax.More Button

As I have previously stated, Ireland's position is that a Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) would be best applied on a wide international basis to include the major financial centres. If it cannot ...More Button

NAMA Expenditure

Was asked: if he will outline where and when the National Asset Management Agency intends to spend the €2 billion it has announced as part of its investment plan which will see it overhauling assets underlyin...More Button

I refer the Deputy to pages 29-31 and pages 53-54 of NAMA’s Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2012, which contain detailed information on the Agency’s funding in Ireland to enable construc...More Button

Corporation Tax

Was asked: if he will give an update on his response to the proposed reduction to 12.5% of Northern Ireland's corporation tax rate; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As a rule we do not comment on the tax regimes of other jurisdictions. However, the OECD has consistently stated that low corporation tax rates combined with a broad base is the best way to encoura...More Button

Of course there is strong evidence that a low corporation tax rate on its own will not be enough to attract significant FDI and we have consistently demonstrated that Ireland’s attractiveness for...More Button

Derivatives Market

Was asked: the steps being taken to regulate food securities trading on the stock market; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

On June 13 2013, the Irish Presidency reached a breakthrough in talks at Council level on the MiFID II and MiFIR proposals which aim to make financial markets more efficient, resilient and transpar...More Button

The achievement of a Council General Approach, which was endorsed at Ecofin on 21 June 2013, signals a significant step forward by the EU towards protecting against excessive financial speculatio...More Button

The regulation of derivative trading in the EU has been part of Council discussions within the EU since September 2010 when the Commission published its proposal for the European Market Infrastru...More Button

In particular, the Council text of MiFID II contains important provisions relating to position management, position limits and product intervention. These provisions are in respect of all financ...More Button

Furthermore, competent authorities will have product intervention powers whereby they may prohibit or restrict trading of financial instruments or prohibit or restrict investment activities when ...More Button

EMIR and MiFID II combined are expected to result in a tighter regime for all derivatives, including food securities, whether traded OTC or through exchanges. The measures are intended to keep p...More Button

Council General Approach will be progressed further by the Lithuanian Presidency when they begin negotiations with the European Parliament at Trilogues.More Button

We will continue to monitor developments on this file throughout the legislative process. More Button

State Banking Sector

Was asked: if he intends to sell his shares in AIB and Bank of Ireland in the next 12 months; and if he will outline his strategy in disposing of his shares in the pillar banks. More Button

I have previously indicated that the State does not want to be an investor in banks and will seek to exit its various holdings at the appropriate time and when market conditions permit. At its res...More Button

As regards AIB, I remain very supportive of the bank’s efforts to return itself to profitability and ultimately generate an exit for the taxpayer. Getting the bank back to profitability as quick...More Button

European Banking Union

Was asked: if he is satisfied that there has been enough progress on strengthening banking regulation during the Irish Presidency; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

When Ireland assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in January the highest priority was afforded to the completion of the Banking Union, with the aim of breaking the link betwe...More Button

We have also achieved agreement on the Capital Requirements Directive IV, (CRDIV) which aims to strengthen the capital requirements for banks and the overall effectiveness of regulation for the s...More Button

On 26 June 2013 EU finance Ministers agreed a common position on the proposal for a harmonized bank recovery and resolution regime. This agreement will now allow negotiations to start with the E...More Button

These achievements represent significant milestones towards Banking Union. The June 2013 European Council meeting concluded that the completion of the Banking Union is key to ensuring financial ...More Button

To complete the Banking Union, the Commission will bring forward a proposal in the summer for a Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) for banks covered by the SSM. We look forward to further progres...More Button

IBRC Investigations

Was asked: if his attention had been drawn to so called Anglo Irish Bank tapes prior to their publication in a daily newspaper. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 170 and 279 together.

  I can confirm that neither I nor any official in the Department of Finance was aware of the contents of the tapes referr...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which efforts are being made to bring to a conclusion any issues arising from recent disclosures in respect of the former Anglo Irish Bank, with particular reference to ensuring that ...More Button

I am obviously very concerned at the contents of these tapes. I am advised that the Central Bank is carefully studying the various transcripts emerging. This is something that is viewed very seriou...More Button

As the Deputy is aware the Garda Síochána are the body responsible for criminal investigations in the State. I understand that the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation have requested access to var...More Button

The Government is determined to ensure the public is informed about what happened in Irish Banks in the period leading up to and during the financial crisis. The Government has now published the ...More Button

Property Taxation Collection

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) in County Limerick is correctly registered for the property tax; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the property owner in question is registered for Local Property Tax (LPT) and that he submitted a Local Property Tax Return on 2 May 2013 in which ‘Ba...More Button

Was asked: the payment options available to a person wishing to pay the local property tax with no current account and whose only income is jobseeker's benefit; and if he will consider allowing persons in suc...More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that Revenue does not use standing orders for tax payments because they do not facilitate the orderly collection of taxes for the Exchequer. For example, ...More Button

Proposed Legislation

Was asked: if a review of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 is currently under way to allow patients who self refer to claim reimbursement for physiotherapy expenses; if so, the progress that has been made wit...More Button

  181. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Finance if he will consider an amendment to the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 allowing for a return to the situation ...More Button

  241. Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Finance his views on proposing an amendment to the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 that would return the situation whereby patien...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 172, 181 and 241 together.

  The position is, as I have stated on many occasions in the House, that this issue was raised during the debates in ...More Button

Pension Provisions

Was asked: his views on a submission (details supplied) regarding pensions; if the stated position is acceptable under current legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: his views regarding a Permanent TSB pension scheme in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding pensions; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will address the serious concerns raised in correspondence (details supplied) regarding a deferred pension scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 175, 179, 192 and 274 together.More Button

As the Deputies will be aware the pension arrangements for the staff of Permanent TSB are a matter for the management of that company and for the trustees of the relevant pension schemes. It woul...More Button

Was asked: if he will address the issues that have been raised relative to retirement funds such as approved retirement funds and approved minimum retirement funds and the fact that persons have lost money wh...More Button

I am advised that there are a small number of pension funds that may not be entitled to compensation under the deposit guarantee scheme, DGS, or the eligible liabilities guarantee scheme, ELG, due ...More Button

It was always the case that the ELG scheme covered only those liabilities which were entered into during the issuance window. In relation to the DGS Scheme, I am advised that the DGS Regulations ...More Button

There are currently no plans to alter the terms of the Deposit Guarantee Scheme.More Button

If customers are concerned about the coverage for their pension fund they can contact either my Department in respect of queries on the ELG Scheme or the Central Bank with queries about the DGS Sch...More Button

  Question No. 181 answered with Question No. 172.More Button

Charities and Voluntary Organisations

Was asked: if an application in respect of an organisation (details supplied) will be expedited and approved.More Button

This is a matter for the Revenue Commissioners. I am advised by Revenue that the organisation referred to by the Deputy has a charitable tax exemption and recently sought approval to amend its Memo...More Button

  Question No. 179 answered with Question No. 175.More Button

Departmental Staff Rehiring

Was asked: the number of temporary clerical officers who have been employed by his Department over each of the past three years; the number of those who have been retired public-civil servants; his views on w...More Button

The following is the position with regard to the employment of temporary clerical officers over the last three years.

...More Button

Property Taxation Application

Was asked: if those who are on interest-only mortgages are exempt from local property tax; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Government decided the LPT should apply to all owners of residential property with limited exemptions. Limiting the exemptions available allows the rate to be kept low for those liable persons ...More Button

There is no specific exemption for property owners who have an interest only mortgage. However, such individuals may be eligible for a deferral of LPT should they meet the qualifying conditions....More Button

A deferral of up to 50% of the LPT liability will be possible where the gross annual income of the liable person does not exceed €25,000 for a single person or €35,000 for married persons/civil p...More Button

The full and partial deferral thresholds may be increased in the case of properties occupied as a sole or main residence and subject to a mortgage, which may of particular relevance to owner-occu...More Button

Was asked: if the local property tax is deductible as an expense against rental income; the plans and progress that have been made in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The inter-departmental group, chaired by Dr Don Thornhill, which considered the design of a property tax (the “Thornhill Group”) recommended that the Local Property Tax (LPT) paid in respect of a r...More Button

  Questions Nos. 239 and 240 answered with Question No. 98.More Button

  Question No. 241 answered with Question No. 172.More Button

Tax Credits

Was asked: the revenue that would be raised for the Exchequer if tax credits for a person's earnings were capped at €100,000, and of every €2 earned after €100,000, €1 in tax credits was lost. More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the estimated full year yield to the Exchequer, estimated by reference to 2013 incomes, of restricting the main personal and employee tax credits in t...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 position regarding an application for incapacitated child credit in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have been advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the person’s claim for incapacitated child credit has been processed. A tax credit certificate for 2013 and PAYE Balancing Statement (P21) for ...More Button

Was asked: the cost to the Exchequer of increasing the PAYE tax credit by €5 per week for all income earners below €60,000 per annum.More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the estimated full year yield to the Exchequer, estimated by reference to 2013 incomes, of increasing the employee (PAYE) tax credit in the manner men...More Button

  Question No. 236 answered with Question No. 111.More Button

NAMA Staff Recruitment

Was asked: in view of the fact that several executives of the National Asset Management Agency have taken up employment with private equity groups, his plans to tighten up regulations and guidelines relating ...More Button

The Deputy refers in his question to NAMA. I would point out that all NAMA staff are employees of the NTMA and are assigned to NAMA by the NTMA. Under the NTMA business model, all employees are r...More Button

There are extensive safeguards in place to protect the confidentiality of information held by NTMA employees, including those assigned to NAMA. Employees assigned to NAMA by the NTMA, as is th...More Button

The notice period for NTMA employees assigned to NAMA is typically three months. NTMA contracts for employees assigned to NAMA have a provision entitling the NTMA to place the employee on garden...More Button

As was indicated by the Chief Executive of the NTMA at a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform on 24 January last, the NTMA has been engaged in a rev...More Button

In addition, I am advised that additional post-termination restrictions on employment are being considered on a case-by-case basis in respect of NTMA senior management employees in particular. Ho...More Button

  Question No. 190 answered with Question No. 98.More Button

  Question No. 191 answered with Question No. 87.More Button

  Question No. 192 answered with Question No. 175.More Button

Tax Yield

Was asked: the amounts of VAT, excise duty or other indirect taxes taken as a proportion of income tax, for example, for every €1 taken in income tax, €1.20 is taken in VAT. More Button

The table provided shows the tax revenue received to the Exchequer in the first 5 months of 2013 in respect of income tax and indirect taxes and also provides the requested ratios.

More Button

Was asked: the total taxable profits of companies here in 2012 and the corporation tax paid that year, in value and as a percentage.More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that statistical data is not yet available for the year 2012 as corporation returns associated with 2012 accounting periods are not yet due in many cases.More Button

Was asked: if he has considered setting a minimum threshold for profits to be retained here for corporation tax purposes, if the company is incorporated here and or resident for tax purposes.More Button

Companies incorporated or resident in the State for tax purpose are chargeable to corporation tax on all of the profits arising from their trading activities here after taking account of allowable ...More Button

  Question No. 213 answered with Question No. 205.More Button

VAT Rates Reductions

Was asked: if it is envisaged that the special rate of VAT set at 9% for tourism related activities including that of restaurants and hotels initially implemented between 1 July 2011 and 31 December 2013 will...More Button

Any proposals to maintain the 9% rate into 2014 will be considered in the context of Budget 2014.More Button

Was asked: if consideration will be given to the introduction of a special reduced VAT rate for housing repair, maintenance and improvement work carried out as suggested by Chambers Ireland.More Button

I would point out that a reduced rate of VAT (13.5%) already applies to the supply of housing repair, maintenance and improvement work on residential properties. In order to apply a lower reduced...More Button

Furthermore, while it is possible under EU VAT law to apply the 9% VAT rate to the supply of construction services on residential dwellings, it is not possible to apply this rate to construction ...More Button

  Question No. 279 answered with Question No. 170.More Button

Universal Social Charge Exemptions

Was asked: the cost of abolishing the additional 3% universal social charge on income for self-employed earners over €100,000.More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the full year cost, estimated by reference to 2013 incomes, from abolishing the additional universal social charge of 3%, which is currently applicabl...More Button

Universal Social Charge Yield

Was asked: the revenue that would be raised for the Exchequer by increasing the top rate of USC paid by PAYE workers by an additional 3% on income over €100,000, similar to that charged to self-employed top e...More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the full year yield, estimated by reference to 2013 incomes, from extending the additional universal social charge of 3%, which is currently applicabl...More Button

EU Issues

Was asked: if he was consulted regarding the recent nomination to the board of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As Governor for Ireland on the Board of Governors of the EBRD, it is my responsibility to nominate a candidate to represent Ireland on the Board of Directors. In this regard I can confirm that I n...More Button

  Question No. 201 answered with Question No. 199.More Button

Single Euro Payments Area

Was asked: if he is satisfied with progress made on the implementation of a single euro area payments scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The aim of the Single Euro Payments Area, SEPA, project is to create a single market for euro-denominated retail payments. SEPA is an EU initiative that will change the way that these payments are...More Button

European Investment Bank Loans

Was asked: the way the European Investment Bank investment can be maximised to support jobs and assist reaching the targets for employment growth; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Since Mr. Werner Hoyer’s appointment as President of the EIB in 2012, there has been a deepening and widening of engagement between Ireland and the Bank. A joint High Level Working Group, HLWG, wa...More Button

There have been positive results in this regard as evidenced with the recent announcement of the EIB of the provision of €200 million for investment in AIB for small and medium companies across I...More Button

The Deputy may be aware that earlier this month, my colleague, the Minister for Education and Skills signed a €100 million loan agreement with the European Investment Bank, EIB, to further suppor...More Button

- To step up efforts by the EIB to support lending to the economy by making full use of the recent increase of EUR 10 billion in its capital. The European Council called on the EIB to implement its...More Button

- To expand joint risk-sharing financial instruments between the European Commission and the EIB to leverage private sector and capital markets investments in SMEs. These initiatives should ensure ...More Button

- To increase the European Investment Fund's credit enhancement capacity;More Button

- To gradually expand of the EIB's trade finance schemes to favour SME business across the Union, especially in programme countries;More Button

- To strengthen the cooperation between national development banks and the EIB to increase opportunities for co-lending and exchanges of best practices;More Button

- To develop alternative sources of financing in close cooperation with Member States.More Button

Was asked: if it is his objective, through coordination with the European Investment Bank and Allied Irish Banks plc, to ensure that moneys granted by the former are loaned to enterprises which are best place...More Button

The EIB is currently revising its lending criteria. The draft lending criteria were published on its website on 24 June 2013 having being approved by the Bank’s Management Committee. They will be s...More Button

Small and Medium Enterprises Supports

Was asked: his views on whether formal targets for debt resolution for the small and medium enterprise sector similar to the mortgage arrears resolution targets process would assist economic recovery and job ...More Button

In June 2013 the Central Bank set quarterly institution-specific performance targets for covered banks to move distressed borrowers onto longer-term solutions. The targets set reflect the banks’ c...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which small and medium enterprises' working capital requirements continue to fall short of what is needed in the present climate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Access to finance for SMEs is a key aspect of the Action Plan for Jobs 2013. It is the Government’s vision that all viable businesses operating in Ireland should have the opportunity to access suff...More Button

Job Creation Issues

Was asked: the level of economic growth that would be required to bring the unemployment rate below 10% by 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his response to the view that increases in growth rates will not deliver the scale of job creation required to reduce significantly the rates of unemployment.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 207 and 215 together.

  Over the past few quarters, we have seen a number of relatively encouraging developments in the labour market. Data from...More Button

Credit Review Office Remit

Was asked: his views on whether the Credit Review Office has sufficient resources to fulfil its mandate; his views on the success to date of the Credit Review Office; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

The Deputy may be aware that I published an independent assessment of the Credit Review Office late last year and that this assessment was broadly positive about the effectiveness of the Office. T...More Button

The independent assessment contained a number of recommendations to make the CRO more effective in encouraging and increasing the supply of credit to SMEs. One of these recommendations was to in...More Button

Tobacco Smuggling

Was asked: if the Revenue Commissioners plan to have a confidential e-mail address for members of the public to report illegal cigarettes smuggling; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am advised that the Revenue Commissioners are in the process of reviewing their confidential channels available to the public to report illegal activity in relation to tobacco, including smugglin...More Button

  Question No. 210 answered with Question No. 98.More Button

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the number of tobacco seizures in each month since January 2011; and the amount of cigarettes and tobacco seized in each month since January 2011.More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the monthly seizures of cigarettes and tobacco in 2011 and 2012, and this year to 31 May, are as detailed in the following tables.

 &nbs...More Button

Mobile Telephony

Was asked: the amount of funding his Department received arising from the mobile spectrum sale; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Multi Band Spectrum Auction was conducted by the Communications Regulator, who has statutory responsibility for the management of the Spectrum Asset. The auction took place on 15th November 201...More Button

Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: if he will compare the cost of the outsourcing of cleaning and security in his Department, as opposed to direct recruitment; and if he will justify this increased cost against the backdrop of the p...More Button

In response to the Deputy’s question my Department provides shared accommodation services to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. Security services in respect of buildings occupied by s...More Button

National Treasury Management Agency Remuneration

Was asked: if any bonuses were paid to National Treasury Management Agency staff in 2011 and 2012, and if so, to whom and the amount of each bonus.More Button

The amounts of performance-related pay paid to staff of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) and the number of staff in receipt of such payments in 2011 and 2012 are set out in the table ...More Button

  Question No. 243 answered with Question No. 98.More Button

EU Directives

Was asked: if he will outline measures taken at the June ECOFIN meeting to secure protections against excessive financial speculation in the food and other commodity derivative markets through the review of t...More Button

On June 13 2013, the Irish Presidency reached a breakthrough in talks at Council level on the MiFID II and MiFIR proposals which aim to make financial markets more efficient, resilient and transpar...More Button

The regulation of derivative trading in the EU has been part of Council discussions within the EU since September 2010 when the Commission published its proposal for the European Market Infrastru...More Button

In particular, the Council text of MiFID II contains important provisions relating to position management, position limits and product intervention. These provisions are in respect of all financi...More Button

Furthermore, competent authorities will have product intervention powers whereby they may prohibit or restrict trading of financial instruments or prohibit or restrict investment activities when ...More Button

EMIR and MiFID II combined are expected to result in a tighter regime for all derivatives, including food securities, whether traded OTC or through exchanges. The measures are intended to keep pa...More Button

  Questions Nos. 245 and 246 answered with Question No. 111.More Button

Bank Guarantee Scheme Bond Repayments

Was asked: the losses imposed on subordinated bondholders in covered institutions from liability management exercises in each year since 2008; the number of legal actions currently under way against the State...More Button

The following table details the liability management exercises.

Liability Management Exercises

...More Button

Departmental Staff Numbers

Was asked: the number of senior staff in his Department who were in the Department at the time of the banking guarantee in 2008; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number of senior staff in his Department, who were there at the time of the banking guarantee and who are in the same positions they held at the time. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 248 and 249 together.

  At the end of 2008 the number of senior staff serving in my Department was as follows:

More Button

Revenue Commissioners Investigations

Was asked: the extent to which the cash purchase of housing or other properties is monitored by the Revenue Commissioners to determine the origin of the cash; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that they have available to them a range of information sources from which they can monitor cash purchases of houses and other real estate which allows th...More Button

In addition, citizens can, and do, report directly to Revenue instances of unusually high amounts of cash used by individuals in transactions and Revenue reviews all such useful information suppl...More Button

I am further advised that the Revenue Commissioners audit and compliance programmes are under constant review to ensure that they are focussed on the areas of greatest risk, with a specific focus...More Button

To facilitate and enhance this approach, Revenue has a well established computerised Risk Evaluation Analysis and Profiling (REAP) system. This contains large amounts of data that has been sourc...More Button

While REAP ranks the full taxpayer population in terms of risk, it also facilitates the selection of individual cases based on single or multiple business rules. One such rule identifies cases w...More Button

  Question No. 252 answered with Question No. 111.More Button

  Questions Nos. 253 to 255, inclusive, answered with Question No. 98.More Button

Tax Collection

Was asked: if he will confirm that VAT is being collected on sales in Irish airport duty free areas to customers travelling within the EU; whether these sales have been audited in recent years to ensure VAT i...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide in tabular form the amount of VAT collected from sales in duty free areas in our airports in each year from 2008 to the present; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the ratio between duty free and duty applied sales in Irish airports from 2008 to the present; the way the application of VAT and other stamp duties was audited; and if he will make a statement on ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 256 to 258, inclusive, together. More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that VAT is chargeable and is being collected on sales in Irish airport duty free areas, to customers travelling within the EU in accordance with the pr...More Button

The Revenue Commissioners are not in a position to provide a breakdown of the VAT collected from sales in duty free areas versus VAT on other sales in duty free areas by individual retailers as t...More Button

The Revenue Commissioners do not have information on the ratio between duty free and duty applied sales in Irish airports as, again, VAT returns do not require this information to be returned to ...More Button

The Revenue Commissioners, for operational and confidentiality reasons, are not in a position to provide details of risk interventions including audits of individual customers or of how these are...More Button

Companies Law Issues

Was asked: if the Irish Government made information regarding yearly profits and tax payments by corporations including subsidiaries available to the public or is the Government planning to do so before the e...More Button

Was asked: if the Irish Government is requiring multinational companies including subsidiaries to provide an annual report on their turnover, number of employees, subsidies received, profits and tax payments ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 259 and 261 together.

  The issue of "country by country reporting" is topical at EU level at present. Up until now, "country by c...More Button

Was asked: if the Irish Government made information regarding the beneficial owners of companies including subsidiaries, trusts and foundations available to the public or is the Government planning to do so b...More Button

I assume that the Deputy's question relates to proposals for the 4th Money Laundering Directive published by the Commission on 5 February 2013. Article 29 of the Draft Directive provides as follow...More Button

"Article 29More Button

1. Member States shall ensure that corporate or legal entities established within their territory obtain and hold adequate, accurate and current information on their beneficial ownership.More Button

2. Member States shall ensure that the information referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article can be accessed in a timely manner by competent authorities and by obliged entities."More Button

Article 30 makes similar provisions in relation to Trusts and other legal arrangements. Neither Article requires information on beneficial ownership to be made available to the public. The Commi...More Button

  Question No. 261 answered with Question No. 259.More Button

Mutual Assistance Requests

Was asked: the number of requests for information regarding tax matters that the Irish Government has received from non-OECD countries in each of the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012; and if he will make a sta...More Button

Was asked: the number of the requests for information regarding tax matters received from non-OECD countries in each of the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 which were sent from one of the least developed coun...More Button

Was asked: the number of cases the information requested by a non-OECD country was provided by the Irish Government to the non-OECD country; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of cases in which information was requested by one of the least developed countries and was provided by the Irish Government to the LDC; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of requests for information regarding tax matters the Irish Government has received from OECD countries in each of the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

Was asked: the number of cases for which information was requested by an OECD country and was provided by the Irish Government to the OECD country; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 262 to 267, inclusive, together.

  I assume the Deputy is referring to exchange of information in relation to direct taxes. All of Ireland’s mu...More Button

  Questions Nos. 268 to 270, inclusive, answered with Question No. 98.More Button

Treatment Abroad Scheme

Was asked: if he will review an application for the treatment abroad scheme in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork.More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that with regard to claims in respect of tax relief for qualifying health expenses where the relevant health care is obtained outside the State, the follo...More Button

(a) the health expenses are allowable provided that the practitioner (GP, consultant or dentist) is entitled under the laws of the country in which the care is provided to practise medicine or de...More Button

(b) the cost of maintenance or treatment in a hospital, nursing home or clinic is allowable provided the expenses are necessarily incurred in association with the services of a practitioner or re...More Button

If the claim relates to the years 2007 – 2009 inclusive, the position was that the cost of the services of a practitioner and the cost of maintenance or treatment in a hospital or similar institu...More Button

With regard to the case specified, the claims in respect of 2007 and 2008 relate to a hospital/clinic that has not been approved. Where an individual has availed of the services of a hospital abroa...More Button

  Questions Nos. 272 and 273 answered with Question No. 98.More Button

  Question No. 274 answered with Question No. 175More Button

Consultancy Contracts Issues

Was asked: the current list of public relations or related consultancy contracts and agreements that the Central Bank of Ireland is currently in or has procured in the last five years, including in recent wee...More Button

I am informed by the Central Bank that it does not currently engage nor has it procured any such services over the last five years. In 2011, a one off specific service was provided by an external P...More Button

Tax Reliefs Availability

Was asked: if he will outline the tax relief available on tuition fees; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Section 473A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 provides, subject to certain conditions, for tax relief at the standard rate of income tax (20%) as regards a portion of qualifying fees paid by an ...More Button

  Question No. 281 answered with Question No. 100.More Button

Tax Residency Issues

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the suggestions recently made at the COSAC meeting in Dublin to the effect that this country is deemed to be a tax haven whereby multinational corporations are fa...More Button

The globally recognised definition of what constitutes a "tax haven" is set down by the OECD. Four criteria have been identified: minimal or no tax rates; lack of transparency; lack of exchange of ...More Button

I would like to remind the Deputy of a few salient facts:More Button

- We have a very strong track record of attracting companies of real substance to invest and create thousands of jobs in Ireland. Many of the large Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) are here for m...More Button

- These corporations have set down significant roots in the Irish economy and the Irish Government will continue to take steps to enhance our attractiveness through investment in our people, invest...More Button

- Over 1,000 MNC’s have successfully located in Ireland and, despite the challenges that the Irish economy has faced in recent years, that pipeline has remained strong. Over 100,000 are employed di...More Button

- These are companies of real substance and they are certainly not “post-box” companies – the Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) that establish operations in Ireland have created many thousands of ...More Button

- Our competitive taxation system is, of course, an element of the Irish package and we remain committed to our competitive 12.5% tax rate.More Button

- Our taxation system is open and transparent and all companies in Ireland pay tax at 12.5% on their profits earned in Ireland. Of course, profits earned by these companies that are outside the sco...More Button

- Added to all of this, we exchange tax information with 80 different jurisdictions around the world through our network of international agreements, either by way of a Double Taxation Agreement of...More Button

Aggressive tax planning by companies is a major issue for legislators across the world and needs to be addressed. However, it is clear to us from our work at the forefront of efforts at European ...More Button

  Question No. 283 answered with Question No. 100.More Button

EU-IMF Programme of Support Value

Was asked: the full extent of benefits achieved for the Irish taxpayer and the Exchequer arising from various renegotiations at EU-ECB-IMF level in respect of the bailout, banking guarantee and-or other legac...More Button

There have been a number of improvements to the terms and conditions of our Programme of Financial Support, including the loans, since it was initially agreed in late 2010. For example, we have agr...More Button

In July 2011, the Euro Area Heads of State or Government (HOSG) agreed to reduce the cost of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) loans, and similar reductions were subsequently agree...More Button

In the case of the EFSF, which is providing a total of €17.7 billion in funding to Ireland, the changes to the interest rates removed the interest rate margin, which was 2.47%. The revised prici...More Button

For the EFSM facility, in October 2011 the EU Council of Ministers approved an EU Commission proposal to eliminate the margin of 2.925% on the facility which, when fully drawn, will amount to €22...More Button

The United Kingdom bilateral loan of GBP 3.3 billion has been re-negotiated to remove the interest rate margin of 2.29% although the base interest rate has been changed from a GBP interest rate s...More Button

Given these interest cost changes, the total savings on the original EU facilities, based on the original average maturity of 7.5 years, is some €9 billion, or approximately 5.5% of 2012 GDP. Thi...More Button

In April of this year, EU Finance Ministers agreed in principle to further extend the maximum weighted average maturities on our EFSF and EFSM loans by up to 7 years, over and above the extension...More Button

As you are aware the Euro-Area Heads of State or Government agreed on 29th June 2012 to break the vicious circle between banks and sovereigns, and that when a Single Supervisory Mechanism is in p...More Button

A considerable amount of work has been undertaken at technical, senior official and Ministerial level on the ESM’s Direct Bank Recapitalisation Instrument (DBR). This work culminated in agreement...More Button

We have succeeded in having specific provision for retrospective recapitalisation included in the framework, which states that “The potential retroactive application of the instrument should be d...More Button

This overall framework builds upon the agreement secured on the 29th of June 2012, and is an important step in the Euro Area’s efforts in this regard.More Button

It is expected that the earliest date that the ESM Direct Bank Recapitalisation Instrument can come into effect will be around mid-2014, given the need to satisfy national procedures, and also th...More Button

In February this year, the successful conclusion of negotiations with the ECB facilitated the replacement by the Irish Government of the Promissory Notes issued to IBRC with a series of longer te...More Button

There have been no renegotiations of the bank guarantee at EU/ECB/IMF level and therefore no savings arise. It may be said, however, that the general improvement in financial stability that the G...More Button

Mortgage Protection Policies

Was asked: the extent to which his Department continues to monitor the level of default in respect of mortgage protection or life cover by various insurance companies; and if he will make a statement on the m...More Button

My Department does not keep up to date information on the level of default by insurance companies with particular reference to mortgage protection or life cover. I have made enquiries with the Cen...More Button


 

 

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