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Noonan, Michael

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Budget 2014

Was asked: the approximate adjustment required to achieve a deficit of below 5.1% in 2014; his views on whether the recent GDP figures which show a continued weak domestic economy support the case for a moder...More Button

The deficit target of 5.1% of GDP to which the Deputy refers is the maximum general government deficit in 2014 which the Government is required to deliver under the excessive deficit procedure in t...More Button

I do not have the figure yet because my officials are still crunching the numbers. In April, the technical exercise showed that an adjustment of €3.1 billion brings us down to 4.3%. The situation...More Button

Was asked: the budget adjustment necessary this year to reach the troika’s deficit target of 5.1%; and the level of taxes and expenditure cuts this deficit will require. More Button

The deficit target of 5.1% of GDP to which the Deputy refers is the maximum general government deficit in 2014 that the Government is required to deliver under the excessive deficit procedure in th...More Button

The European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and most economic commentators have acknowledged that Ireland has met all of its targets to date and that subst...More Button

Last April in the stability programme update, I set out, on a purely technical basis, that consolidation of €3.1 billion would result in a general government deficit of 4.3% of GDP in 2014. That...More Button

It is a fine judgment. The main purpose of this budget is to position us to exit the bailout programme. We are being watched by the international community and the markets. If we just cut it to ...More Button

Based on the figures published yesterday, we are on track to reach the 7.5% deficit target for 2013. Built into that figure are the up-front once-off costs of the promissory note. While we will...More Button

Was asked: if he will include a stimulus package in budget 2014; if he will provide capital investment to build social housing units to address the ongoing housing crisis and to provide much needed employment...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, my colleague Brendan Howlin, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform announced at the start of the summer, a stimulus package which included €150 million to be i...More Button

Was asked: if he is considering progressive tax measures such as wealth taxes, higher taxes on top earners or increasing the corporation tax rate as an alternative to measures that would impact further on low...More Button

It is standard practice for the Minister for Finance to review all tax expenditures and reliefs in the run up to annual Budget. However the Deputy will be aware that it is not the practice of the M...More Button

Budget 2014 (Continued)

We are working our way through it. A consolidation of €3.1 billion would get one below 5.1%. I saw a letter I received from Deputy McGrath just before I came to the Chamber. I will see what I ca...More Button

The target we must achieve is at least 5.1% to be operating in accordance with the programme. For reasons of market sentiment it is probably important to beat the target. At present, without havi...More Button

While there are targets implicit in the level of consolidation, it is more of a means to an end than a target. The targets are the deficit percentage and the primary surplus. I hope we will ach...More Button

I have answered that question already.More Button

There are many targets in the programme. There are three relevant targets here: the 5.1% deficit, the consolidation target of 3.1%, and the issue of achieving a primary surplus in 2014. We must b...More Button

There is sugar in many food products, for example, wine.More Button

Is Deputy Wallace declaring an interest?More Button

I know how hard it is to reply to a budget when one has just seen the script. One decimal point on this is approximately €160 million, although Members should not tie me to that. The Deputies opp...More Button

Yes. If the 5.1% goes down one point that is approximately €160 million to €165 million. That might be a useful piece of information for the Deputies when they are attacking me on budget day.More Button

Mortgage Arrears Proposals

Was asked: the action he will take to ensure those struggling with mortgage repayments will be offered genuinely sustainable arrangements that do not threaten the family home; that the banks do not rely on re...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, last March the Central Bank set specific performance targets for the six main banks, requiring them to propose sustainable solutions: to 20% of their mortgage customers who ...More Button

The targets will be verified by the bank by means of audit. As I understand it, whatever arrangement is put in place will have to be operating successfully for six months before it will be signed ...More Button

Some repossessions take place all the time. To date, most have been by voluntary surrender because sometimes it suits people to surrender their home voluntarily and give up. It is the Governmen...More Button

As I and the Taoiseach have stated on a number of occasions, it is a key responsibility of financial institutions to do more to assist those in severe financial difficulties.More Button

Was asked: if will work with the Central Bank of Ireland to agree a definition of a strategic defaulter in relation to mortgages.More Button

I have been informed by the Central Bank that it has not defined the concept of "strategic default". However, the Central Bank has defined the concept of ‘cooperation’ within the Code of Conduct o...More Button

There is no information available to my Department on the scale of mortgage holders who have the clear capacity to meet their mortgage, and other financial commitments, but are refusing to do so....More Button

Was asked: the extent to which his Department continues to monitor the progress of lending institutions in their efforts to meet the requirements of borrowers, with particular reference to the need to protect...More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied that all lending institutions are entering into meaningful discussions with borrowers with a view to ensuring that such borrowers remain in their family home while making reasona...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which his Department has monitored the total number of family home repossessions in each of the past three years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 83, 89 and 93 together.

  The Government’s strategy to assist those in mortgage difficulty is built around measures in four distinct areas – Pers...More Button

Mortgage Arrears Proposals (Continued)

Letters threatening repossession or legal action could not be considered a sustainable solution under the mortage arrears targets and should only ever be considered after every possible avenue for ...More Button

Fiscal Policy

Was asked: if the stated goals of his Department include creating a resilient Irish economy founded on sustainable and balanced growth and leading to significant increases in employment numbers; if he shares ...More Button

As stated in my Department’s statement of strategy for the period 2011 to 2014, one of our principal goals is to create a resilient Irish economy founded on sustainable and balanced growth and lead...More Button

We have no shortage of advice from some of the celebrity economists attached to some of our business schools or from various people who worked in the IMF over the years. We read all the advice. S...More Button

I would listen to the advice of any world-renowned expert or economist. I read a lot, but much of the advice is contradictory. One must adhere to one's best judgment. It is true that one can arg...More Button

So far, we have made many good judgment calls, in addition to some bad ones. I have explained several times at committee meetings that standing still is not an option. We must take initiatives ...More Button

Tax Code

Was asked: his views on the operation of the 9% VAT rate; his views on whether it has been successful in supporting jobs in the domestic economy; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The 9% reduced VAT rate for tourism-related services was introduced in July 2011 as part of the Government's jobs initiative. The measure was designed to boost tourism and create additional jobs i...More Button

With regard to the economic impact on the tourism sector due to the introduction of the 9% VAT rate, the most recent data available from the CSO on economic growth broken down by sector relate to...More Button

In line with best international practice, the 9% VAT rate was introduced as a temporary measure and is due to expire at the end of December 2013, at which point it will revert to 13.5%. Retainin...More Button

Was asked: his views on whether the tax on maternity benefit is a retrospective tax; and if he will review this tax in budget 2014.More Button

It is a general principle of taxation that, as far as possible, income from all sources should be subject to taxation. In line with this principle, the majority of social welfare payments are reck...More Button

As a result of maternity benefit payments becoming liable to income tax for all claimants, from 1 July 2013 a number of possible tax outcomes could arise. An individual may pay no income tax on ...More Button

I am aware that some employers do not pay a top-up payment to their employees while they are on maternity leave. However, in such circumstances many mothers will not be subject to income tax on ...More Button

As the Deputy will appreciate, I receive numerous requests for the introduction of new tax reliefs and the extension of existing ones, but I must be mindful of the public finances and the many de...More Button

As I said, it is a question of equity. Disablement benefit is taxed, as are State pensions, widows' pensions, invalidity and blind pensions, carer's allowance and the one parent family payment. I...More Button

In the times we are in and in trying to fix the mess Fianna Fáil left behind, one is left with bad choices.More Button

Was asked: his plans to ensure all companies incorporated in Ireland but not tax resident anywhere pay corporation tax here.More Button

All companies that are tax resident in Ireland are chargeable to corporation tax at the 12.5% rate on the profits that are generated from their trading activities in Ireland. A higher 25% rate app...More Button

Specifically in relation to the Deputy’s question, I think it is important to be clear that an Irish incorporated company, that is not tax resident anywhere, is taxable in Ireland in respect of a...More Button

Such mismatches can be exploited by companies to allow them to be tax resident nowhere. The most effective way to deal with such arrangements is for countries to work together to examine these s...More Button

Was asked: the communications and correspondence his Department has had with the European Commission in the past six months regarding state aid and tax paid by multinationals. More Button

The Competition Directorate of the European Commission is currently conducting a review of corporate tax ruling procedures in various EU Member States in order to assess such practice under EU Stat...More Button

Ireland is fully co-operating with the Commission in this exercise. In the past few months, the Commission has requested information on Revenue's administrative practice in relation to the provi...More Button

  Question No. 57 answered with Question No. 42.More Button

Tax Code (Continued)

The 9% VAT rate was a pump-priming exercise and like all pump-priming exercises, one primes the pump, the engine fires and when the engine is going, one does not need to prime the pump again. We m...More Button

On the issue of cost, part of the jobs initiative was that we would abolish the travel tax, provided the airline companies did a deal to bring extra tourists into Ireland. We could not negotiate...More Button

There is only a discrepancy if one puts a ring around the jobs initiative back in May 2011 and assumes that the Government never took any other initiative on job creation subsequently. The jobs in...More Button

Is that in the Deputy's constituency?More Button

One is measuring one choice against another. When the Deputy’s neighbours do their shopping, they pay VAT and excise. Why should they be the people who carry the burden when other people at work ...More Button

We will consider any advice, particularly from elected Members. To be frank about it, it is unlikely I will reverse a decision made just 12 months ago.More Button

NAMA Staff Qualifications

Was asked: his views on the concerns expressed by the head of the National Asset Management Agency regarding the scale of staff turnover and the quality and experience of departing staff; and if he will make ...More Button

I am aware from my discussions with NAMA, and with the NTMA which employs staff assigned to NAMA, of the difficulties being experienced by NAMA in terms of retaining and recruiting appropriately sk...More Button

All NAMA staff are employees of the NTMA and are assigned to NAMA by the NTMA. NAMA advises that 59 staff assigned to NAMA by the NTMA have resigned from the agency since inception. Some 28 mem...More Button

The CEO and chairman of NAMA have recently expressed concern in this regard in light of public pay restrictions, and have highlighted the fact that with the departure of each employee there is a ...More Button

I am satisfied that 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 ...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 NTMA to place the employee on garden lea...More Button

In addition, a new provision is being added in new employment contracts, where relevant, that restricts departing staff from performing services for a new employer during the first six months fol...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 NTMA to place the employee on garden leave...More Button

In addition, a new provision is being added in new employment contracts, where relevant, that restricts departing staff from performing services for a new employer during the first six months fol...More Button

NAMA Staff Qualifications (Continued)

This is not cost free because we are effectively paying somebody after he or she has gone and also paying his or her replacement. Therefore, there is a cost issue - we are paying twice for the sam...More Button

With regard to the reasons people are leaving and whether NAMA is a training ground for the property industry, when NAMA was set up, the property industry was banjaxed and many people were lookin...More Button

One last point, one of the big problems for a young person looking for a career is that NAMA is supposed to finish up in 2020. Even if the job is well paid and better paid than jobs in the priva...More Button

Bank Debt Restructuring

Was asked: when he expects Permanent TSB to have completed its restructuring phase; the prospects he sees for it contributing to greater competition in the Irish banking sector; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

A way forward for Permanent TSB was agreed with the troika in April 2012 which envisaged it playing an important role in the future of Irish retail banking, being a more focused retail bank bringin...More Button

Some work has been done on tracker mortgages across the banking system. However, as interest rates have reduced and are now at a very low level, the margin of advantage in doing something about tr...More Button

The Deputy is right in everything he says about Permanent TSB. It is back in the mortgage market and has offered €170 million in mortgages already this year. That is three times what it provide...More Button

Ulster Bank is regulated by the Bank of England. In Ireland there is a regulatory function to cover it, but its primary regulator is the Bank of England and we must see what regulatory proposals c...More Button

Was asked: if he has considered requesting that the ESM take on the tracker loan book of Irish banks.More Button

During recent Review Missions of the Troika the Irish authorities have discussed the issues relating to the high cost of funding banks’ tracker mortgage books and the related impact of the negative...More Button

Was asked: the reason bank debt negotiated restructuring or bank debt negotiated write off was never sought or requested by the Government from the ECB, the euro system authorities and the EU; and if he will ...More Button

As the Deputy is aware the Government is committed to delivering a return to a successful vibrant economy. In this context it was decided that there would be no private sector involvement for seni...More Button

This strategy is working well as evidenced by the reduction in pricing of Irish Sovereign debt in the secondary markets and the significant steps being taken towards regaining full market access ...More Button

Bank Debt Restructuring (Continued)

We hope it will continue trading and providing credit North and South of the Border because it fulfils a very important function. It has serious problems, as do the banks in this jurisdiction.More Button

The policy of the Government is that the banks will revert to private ownership in due course. The Government has no ambition to hold State banks indefinitely. The question of when portions of,...More Button

Insurance Compensation Fund

Was asked: the prospects for a reduction in the insurance compensation fund levy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Deputy should note that the insurance compensation fund, ICF, levy being applied to home, motor and commercial insurance operates under the Insurance Act 1964 and came into effect from 1 Januar...More Button

Under section 6 of the Insurance Act 1964, the responsibility for deciding whether the ICF has sufficient funds available to it to at any particular time is a matter for the Central Bank. Where,...More Button

In 2010 joint administrators were appointed by the High Court at the request of the Central Bank because of concerns about the solvency position of Quinn Insurance Limited under the Insurance (No...More Button

I have contacted the Central Bank and it has informed me that, given what is reflected in the report on the ICF, which is published by the Department of Finance on an annual basis, for the year e...More Button

The moneys involved are quite large. To date, a total of €1.118 billion has been drawn down from the ICF by Quinn Insurance administrators. In 2012 €45.5 million was raised by the levy, and a tot...More Button

Written Answers follow Adjournment.More Button

  The Dáil adjourned at 5.45 p.m. until 2 p.m. on Tuesday, 8 October 2013.More Button

EU Taxation Issues

Was asked: the current status of the European Commission examination of Ireland's and other EU countries' corporation tax arrangements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Competition Directorate of the European Commission is currently conducting a review of corporate tax ruling procedures in various EU Member States in order to assess such practice under EU Stat...More Button

Ireland is fully co-operating with the Commission in this exercise. The Commission has requested information on Revenue’s administrative practice in relation to the provision of advance opinions,...More Button

Banks Recapitalisation

Was asked: the payments made to date to pay for the capitalisation of the banks and all other supports given to the banks.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, before this government entered office, taxpayers’ money amounting to €46.3bn was injected into the banks, in the form of capital support, most of which went into the fo...More Button

- The entire €1 billion holding of Contingent Capital Notes (CCN’s) in Bank of Ireland. The State disposed of its holding in the bonds at a price of 101% of their par value plus accrued interest...More Button

- The sale of Irish Life earlier this year for a consideration of €1.3 billion which was approximately a 30% premium to the price that was achievable when the previous bid process was suspended i...More Button

Of course the State still has a sizable portfolio of banking investments which it has yet to monetise. The National Pension Reserve Fund’s (NPRF) directed portfolio in Allied Irish Bank and Bank ...More Button

Finally, in addition to the cost of capitalisation, the State has supported the banks’ deposit and funding activities as follows:More Button

- The Credit Institutions Financial Support Scheme (CIFS) which operated from 30 September 2008 to 29 September 2010; and,More Button

- The Eligible Liabilities Guarantee Scheme (ELG) which operated until March 2013. More Button

The CIFS and ELG schemes provided guarantees from the State in return for the payment of a percentage fee of the covered liabilities. A total of €4,106.6 million has been received into the Excheq...More Button

It is the Government’s stated intention to break the link between the Sovereign and the Banks which is a desire shared by our European partners. Should an opportunity arise to sell any further in...More Button

Was asked: if he has presented to the ESM a formal case for retroactive recapitalisation of the continuing Irish banks; the timetable for the conclusion of efforts in this regard; and if he will make a statem...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that 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 Mechan...More Button

There is a specific provision for retrospective recapitalisation which states that “The potential retroactive application of the instrument should be decided on a case-by-case basis and by mutual...More Button

Finally, it is a matter for the ESM Board of Governors (i.e. Euro area Finance Ministers) to decide on any application made for its facilities, including the DBR facility and its retrospective re...More Button

Was asked: the progress that has been made on separating banking and sovereign debt.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that 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 Mechan...More Button

There is a specific provision included in the instrument. This provision states that “The potential retroactive application of the instrument should be decided on a case-by-case basis and by mutu...More Button

The objective of the ESM Direct Bank Recapitalisation instrument is to help preserve the stability of the euro area and help remove the risk of contagion from the financial sector to the sovereig...More Button

  Question No. 19 answered with Question No. 15.More Button

IBRC Mortgage Loan Book

Was asked: if he will address the concerns of former Irish Nationwide Building Society customers, who have been advised that their mortgage is being sold, that they may be adversely impacted by the sale; and ...More Button

I am advised that the contractual terms and conditions of customer mortgages and other borrowings have not changed as a result of the appointment of the Special Liquidators nor will they change as ...More Button

I am advised that the Special Liquidators of IBRC are maintaining contact with its mortgage holders and with the Central Bank (as part of its overall Mortgage Arrears Resolution Strategy (MARS) p...More Button

The Central Bank’s Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears, which applies to all mortgage lending activities of all regulated entities, except Credit Unions, operating in the State, remains a key pro...More Button

The continued applicability of the Central Bank Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears and Mortgage Arrears Targets Programme will depend on the regulatory status of the ultimate acquirer of the por...More Button

Central Bank of Ireland IT Operations

Was asked: if he will confirm that in relation to the Central Bank’s IT system an engineer (details supplied) making a change to the application server which was not approved by the Central Bank caused a shor...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide update of the outsourcing of the Central Bank’s IT system; and what steps are being taken to minimise the security risk.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 14 and 24 together. More Button

The Central Bank of Ireland has entered into a contract with HP to provide the physical data centre environment to host the Central Bank’s IT systems and to manage the technical infrastructure as...More Button

The incident to which the Deputy refers occurred on 17th September when one of the servers which had recently been migrated to the HP Data Centres became unavailable for a short period. The inci...More Button

I have been informed by the Central Bank that its IT systems are operating within expected norms and service levels. Incidents can arise in the normal course of events and these are all investiga...More Button

The responsibility for operational and security policies at the Central Bank continues to be a matter for the Central Bank Commission and the Governor of the Bank. The security of the technical a...More Button

Was asked: if he will obtain from the Central Bank a report setting out the numbers of staff at the Central Bank dedicated to on-site audit/inspection of the banks, in particular providing aggregate particula...More Button

According to the Central Bank’s Annual Report 2012, which is available on the Central Bank website, the Central Bank employed 1,394 staff at the end of 2012, comprising both permanent and fixed ter...More Button

Mortgage Resolution Processes

Was asked: the reason banks relied 62% on legal letters to meet the Central Bank’s MARTs; and if he will review the targets and the definition of a sustainable arrangement.More Button

Was asked: his plans to put pressure on banks to arrive at more permanent and sustainable solutions for distressed mortgage holders; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will make it clear to the Central Bank of Ireland that letters threatening repossession do not constitute sustainable offers of sustainable conclusions under the mortgage arrears resolution t...More Button

Was asked: if he will confirm target of 25% of concluded mortgage solutions under the MARTs for Q1 2014 can include repossessions; and at what point of the repossessions or legal process would be considered c...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 15, 19, 34 and 53 together.More Button

The Central Bank has advised that its Mortgage Arrears Resolution Targets (MART) publication of March 2013 clearly defines the criteria by which a sustainable solution can be reported. Where a b...More Button

It is a key responsibility of financial institutions to do more to assist those in severe financial difficulty. Letters threatening repossession or legal action could not in my opinion be conside...More Button

The MART document sets out three modes of generating a sustainable solution. The first and most preferred type of solution is an arrangement where payments are re-established on the original, or...More Button

In his appearance at the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, the Governor of the Central Bank acknowledged that more than sixty per cent of the end June proposals by the re...More Button

In the targets set by the Central Bank, repossession of a property can be counted as a conclusion once the case has progressed to the lodgement of the Civil Bill with the Circuit Court. The Centr...More Button

The Central Bank does not expect that repossession will be the lender’s preferred solution to mortgage difficulties and in most cases engagement by the borrower will make the legal course unneces...More Button

VAT Rate Reductions

Was asked: if consideration will be given to extending the 9% tourism VAT rate beyond 2013 in order to continue to boost tourism figures and create and retain jobs in the tourism sector; and if he will make a...More Button

Was asked: if he will re-think his plans to increase the VAT rate from 9% to 13.5% in view of the negative effect this will have on employment in the hospitality sector; and if he will make a statement on the...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 16 and 51 together. More Button

The 9% reduced VAT rate for tourism related services was introduced in July 2011 as part of the Government Jobs Initiative. The measure was designed to boost tourism and create additional jobs in...More Button

European Stability Mechanism

Was asked: if all 17 euro zone member states have indicated a willingness to use the ESM to retrospectively recapitalise Ireland’s banking system. More Button

The Deputy will be aware that 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 Mechan...More Button

This overall framework agreed this summer builds upon the earlier Euro area Heads of State and Government agreement secured on the 29th of June 2012, and is an important step in the Eurozone’s ef...More Button

Finally, it is a matter for the ESM Board of Governors (i.e. Euro area Finance Ministers) to decide on any application made for any of its facilities, including the DBR facility and its retrospec...More Button

Consumer Spending

Was asked: if he agrees with the ESRI that action is required to boost weak consumer demand; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Government’s primary macroeconomic policy objective is to put the economy back on a sustainable growth path in order to move to a point where sustained job creation is taking place. All of the...More Button

In addition, developments in the labour market have been positive with employment up by 1.8 per cent in the second quarter this year which represents over 33,000 addition jobs. We have now seen ...More Button

Bank Stress Tests

Was asked: the reason Irish banks are facing earlier stress tests than other EU banks; and his views on what the results of those tests might reveal.More Button

Originally our programme of support envisaged another stress test, or PCAR, that was to take place in tandem with similar exercises across Europe. When these tests were postponed a new position was...More Button

Consequently the Irish authorities have agreed with the Troika that detailed preparatory work required for the stress test will be completed in 2013. The Central Bank of Ireland, in consultation ...More Button

National Treasury Management Agency Deposits

Was asked: the amount of cash reserve currently held by the State through the National Treasury Management Agency; the banks with whom that money is currently on deposit; the interest rate on each of those sp...More Button

I am informed by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) that the Exchequer had €25.6 billion on hand in Exchequer cash and other short-term cash management balances at the end of September ...More Button

Balances held in the Exchequer account at the Central Bank of Ireland earn interest at the Euro Overnight Index Average (EONIA) rate. These balances are available immediately to the State. The i...More Button

  Question No. 24 answered with Question No. 14.More Button

Was asked: the current average interest rate earned by the National Treasury Management Agency on its cash balance; the actual average interest earned by the NTMA on its cash balance in 2012; the current aver...More Button

Exchequer cash balances are held in the Exchequer account at the Central Bank of Ireland and earn interest at the Euro Overnight Index Average (EONIA) rate. These balances are available immediately...More Button

Was asked: the amount of cash reserve currently held by the State through the National Treasury Management Agency; the banks with whom that money is currently on deposit; the interest rate on each of those sp...More Button

I am informed by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) that the Exchequer had €25.6 billion on hand in Exchequer cash and other short-term cash management balances at the end of September ...More Button

  Question No. 24 answered with Question No. 14.More Button

Was asked: if he will instruct the Central Bank of Ireland to listen to and to forward on its comments on the rest of the Anglo Irish recordings to which it has access to the Gardaí and Director of Corporate ...More Button

Neither I nor my Department have any role in the on-going Garda or other regulatory investigations into Anglo Irish Bank or any other Irish Bank. It would be completely inappropriate for the Depart...More Button

Was asked: his view on whether current and former ECB officials should make themselves available to an Oireachtas banking inquiry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Act 2013 has completed all stages in the Dáil and Seanad and was signed into law on the 24th July 2013. This legislation e...More Button

Was asked: if he has had negotiations with the Troika on a so-called fast track process for repossessions of some properties and the legislative steps he has planned.More Button

Was asked: the impact on homeowners seeking to negotiate a sustainable solution with their lender of the agreement between the Government and the Troika to accelerate property repossessions as outlined in the...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 27 and 30 together.More Button

There is a Troika commitment to examine aspects regarding the operation of the Courts repossession framework. This commitment includes an examination, by the end of October, of the possibility o...More Button

It is not considered that these Troika commitments will have any particular impact on the engagement between banks and co-operating borrowers in seeking to conclude a sustainable solution to a mo...More Button

Was asked: if he remains committed to the current timeline for the liquidation of Irish Banking Resolution Corporation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Special Liquidators are continuing the orderly and efficient wind-down of IBRC in accordance with the provisions of the IBRC Act and instructions that have been provided to the Special Liquidat...More Button

I have been informed by the Special Liquidators that they fully expect to comply with the timelines set out by me, as Minister, namely that the valuation of IBRC’s loan assets be completed by 30 ...More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied that there is sufficient oversight of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation liquidation process to ensure the interests of the taxpayer are protected; and if he will make a state...More Button

The liquidation of IBRC is similar to any other liquidation with the exception that the Special Liquidators have been appointed by the Minister under the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Act 2013 ...More Button

This constant engagement will continue throughout the course of the liquidation and is supported by a comprehensive monthly report furnished to the Department by the Special Liquidators. More Button

  Question No. 30 answered with Question No. 28.More Button

Was asked: the impact he expects the single European banking supervision mechanism will have on the day to day operation of Irish bank; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Under the agreement on a Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) the ECB will be the direct supervisor of the most significant credit institutions including those with assets of more than €30bn or with ...More Button

While the ECB will be responsible for the supervision of all EU banks it will rely on national level supervisors for the day-to-day supervision of the less significant credit institutions. The E...More Button

In Ireland, the Central Bank of Ireland is the national level supervisor of credit institutions. The CBI is actively involved in the preparations for SSM in terms of its participation in all the ...More Button

Central Bank of Ireland Investigations

Was asked: if he will instruct the Central Bank of Ireland to listen to and forward on its comments on the rest of the Anglo Irish Bank recordings to which it has access to the Garda and Office of the Directo...More Button

Neither I nor my Department have any role in the on-going Garda or other regulatory investigations into Anglo Irish Bank or any other Irish Bank. It would be completely inappropriate for the Depart...More Button

Oireachtas Banking Inquiry

Was asked: his view on whether current and former ECB officials should make themselves available to an Oireachtas banking inquiry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Act 2013 has completed all stages in the Dáil and Seanad and was signed into law on the 24th July 2013. This legislation establis...More Button

EU-IMF Programme of Support Issues

Was asked: if he has had negotiations with the Troika on a so-called fast track process for repossessions of some properties and the legislative steps he has planned. More Button

Was asked: the impact on homeowners seeking to negotiate a sustainable solution with their lender of the agreement between the Government and the troika to accelerate property repossessions as outlined in the...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 27 and 30 together.More Button

There is a Troika commitment to examine aspects regarding the operation of the Courts repossession framework. This commitment includes an examination, by the end of October, of the possibility o...More Button

It is not considered that these Troika commitments will have any particular impact on the engagement between banks and co-operating borrowers in seeking to conclude a sustainable solution to a mo...More Button

Was asked: the likely financial facility or line of credit that will be required from the financial institutions of the European Union for Ireland when it exits the current bailout programme later this year.More Button

Was asked: the options being considered for additional funding or credit lines if Ireland leaves the troika programme and the level of conditionality each option would bring. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 42 and 57 together.

  As the Deputy is aware, the EU-IMF Programme of Financial Support runs to December this year. The Government’s focus is now...More Button

IBRC Liquidation

Was asked: if he remains committed to the current timeline for the liquidation of Irish Banking Resolution Corporation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Special Liquidators are continuing the orderly and efficient wind-down of IBRC in accordance with the provisions of the IBRC Act and instructions that have been provided to the Special Liquidat...More Button

I have been informed by the Special Liquidators that they fully expect to comply with the timelines set out by me, as Minister, namely that the valuation of IBRC’s loan assets be completed by 30 ...More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied that there is sufficient oversight of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation liquidation process to ensure the interests of the taxpayer are protected; and if he will make a state...More Button

The liquidation of IBRC is similar to any other liquidation with the exception that the Special Liquidators have been appointed by the Minister under the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Act 2013 ...More Button

  Question No. 30 answered with Question No. 27.More Button

Was asked: the reason he has introduced a statutory instrument that will specifically conceal the names of Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation creditors; and if he will make a statement on ...More Button

Was asked: the benefit to the taxpayer of the former Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation from his introduction of a statutory instrument that will conceal the names of creditors and further...More Button

Was asked: if any precedent exists for his legal involvement in the concealing of names in the statement of affairs at Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 75 to 77, inclusive, together.More Button

Section 224 of the Companies Act, 1963, as it applies in modified form to the liquidation of IBRC pursuant to Section 10 of the IBRC Act, requires the directors of IBRC, unless “the Minister thin...More Button

The effect of the two SIs was to extend the date of submission of the Statement of Affairs out to the 30th September 2013 and also to waive the requirement to include the personal details of debt...More Button

I am advised that it was not feasible for the directors of IBRC to prepare a Statement of Affairs for IBRC within 21 days of the appointment of the special liquidators due to the complexity of th...More Button

I also agreed that it would not be appropriate or necessary for the purposes of the orderly winding-up of IBRC for the directors to disclose personal details of the bank’s approximately 2,500 dep...More Button

The directors of IBRC remain obliged to produce a Statement of Affairs which will provide a detailed list of the assets and liabilities of the bank at the time of liquidation and the directors re...More Button

It is also important to note that the personal information concerning depositors and debtors which will not now be included in the Statement of Affairs is information which is already fully avail...More Button

European Banking Union

Was asked: the impact he expects the single European banking supervision mechanism will have on the day-to-day operation of Irish banks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Under the agreement on a Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) the ECB will be the direct supervisor of the most significant credit institutions including those with assets of more than €30bn or with ...More Button

While the ECB will be responsible for the supervision of all EU banks it will rely on national level supervisors for the day-to-day supervision of the less significant credit institutions. The E...More Button

Banking Sector Investigations

Was asked: if he will release the report on Irish Nationwide Building Society of 2009; and if this report will be made available to any banking inquiry.More Button

I am advised that a number of reports on INBS have been produced by Ernst and Young and McCann FitzGerald at the request of the INBS Board. Copies of all of these reports have been provided to the...More Button

Departmental Staff Recruitment

Was asked: if he will confirm that the position of chief economist in his Department was first advertised in June 2012 and then re-advertised in July 2013; if the position has been filled yet; the number of a...More Button

When the position of Chief Economist in my Department was first advertised in June 2012, a suitable candidate was identified, and following negotiations, a contract offer was made. However, the ca...More Button

My Department has successfully recruited ten high quality economics graduates since 2012, and more recently a further two more senior level Economists have also been recruited. Graduates continu...More Button

  Question No. 34 answered with Question No. 15.More Button

Credit Unions Issues

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the case of Newbridge Credit Union.More Button

Was asked: the role of the Central Bank in appointing a special manager to Newbridge Credit Union; his views on whether it is appropriate that to date no detailed reasons have been given to the members for th...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 35 and 46 together.More Button

The decision to apply to the High Court for the appointment of a Special Manager is a matter for the Governor of the Central Bank, following consultation with me as Minister for Finance. On 13 J...More Button

The Special Manager appointment was made because of Central Bank concerns in relation to the high level of loan losses incurred by the credit union, which impacted on the level of its reserves. ...More Button

The Central Bank is responsible for the regulation and supervision of credit unions. That role includes the implementation of resolution action, where required. The Central Bank undertook a pro...More Button

At the request of the Governor of the Central Bank, I have confirmed that I am prepared, in principle, to support the proposal. However, the proposal remains subject to amongst other things due ...More Button

I met with the Newbridge Action Group on 19 September. Following that meeting, the agreed next steps were for the Newbridge Action Group to submit its proposal to me expeditiously. Once receive...More Button

Was asked: when the Credit Union owned CUSOP will receive its authorisation from the Central Bank; if the Government is fully supportive of this initiative; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

A Credit Union Service Organisation for Payments (CUSOP) requires a Payments Institution licence to operate electronic payment accounts for credit unions. Authorisation for the provision of such a ...More Button

Was asked: if he will instruct AIB, a State owned bank, to assist the credit union movement with access to the clearing system to enable credit unions to offer full account services to their members; and if h...More Button

AIB does not currently offer this service but, as the Deputy will be aware the Relationship Framework with the bank provides that the State will not intervene in the day-to-day operations of the ba...More Button

Was asked: the details of the strategy to underpin the solvency and viability of the credit union sector that was presented to the European Commission, the ECB and the IMF; the further discussions with the st...More Button

The details of the strategy to underpin the solvency and viability of the credit union sector are set out in the agreed EU-IMF Programme. As part of this Programme the Government committed to a num...More Button

Departmental Correspondence

Was asked: if he will release the letter of 19 November 2010 from Jean-Claude Trichet; and if this letter will be made available to any banking inquiry. More Button

The position remains as I outlined in my replies to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 155 of 28 June 2011, and 125 of 18 July 2013. While the immediate crisis that this Government inherited when it too...More Button

Indeed, this is reflected in the Freedom of Information Act, which provides for exemptions for records relating to, for example, information received in confidence, commercially sensitive informa...More Button

Any request which may be received from the recently announced banking enquiry will be considered taking account of the above considerations and also the terms of reference of the enquiry.More Button

Banking Sector Regulation

Was asked: the number of inspection audits carried out at each of the banks, AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank and Permanent TSB by the Central Bank inspection team in the past 18 months; the average number o...More Button

I am advised by the Central Bank that information on the Prudential Supervision Engagement Process conducted of credit institutions in 2012 is available on Page 37 of the Central Bank Annual Report...More Button

Was asked: when he will publish the submissions from Bank of Ireland, AIB and PTSB following the Mercer report; and the reason the assertion that the report would include a substantial contribution from the l...More Button

As I stated in earlier replies to Parliamentary Questions on this matter I can confirm that the three State supported banks responded with their individual strategies, designed to achieve the requi...More Button

Bank of Ireland is currently in discussions relating to changes to its pension scheme entitlements through the State Labour relations mechanism. As the Deputy will be aware Permanent TSB has cea...More Button

Corporate Tax Regime Issues

Was asked: if he will introduce measures in budget 2014 to increase the tax contribution of highly profitable corporations through the introduction of a minimum effective corporation tax rate by closing off l...More Button

In a number of answers to previous Parliamentary Questions on this issue I have repeatedly advised that there is no agreed international methodology for calculating the ‘effective rate’ of corporat...More Button

I am aware of media reports which refer to the ways that some multinational companies structure their international tax affairs to minimise their tax costs and I understand that some of these rep...More Button

The profits charged in Ireland fully reflect the functions, assets and risks located here by a multinational group. The payments to the non-resident company represent the required remuneration o...More Button

The ability of multinational entities to lower their world-wide rates of tax using international structures reflects the global context in which Ireland and indeed all countries operate. Differe...More Button

Economic Growth Rate

Was asked: the reason the growth prediction from his Department for 2013 has decreased each year in the stability programme update from 2011 to 2013.More Button

All economic forecasts are conditional forecasts - they are based upon assumptions for key inputs such as demand in export markets and exchange rates etc. When these assumptions change, projection...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which he expects the economy to grow in the coming year, having regard to the need to maintain the highest possible level of economic activity throughout the economy within the object...More Button

As Ireland's EU-IMF Programme of Financial Support comes to an end this year the Government’s focus is now firmly fixed on achieving a successful and durable exit from our programme, and a full and...More Button

Labour market conditions have also improved markedly over the last year, with employment having increased in each of the last four quarters. Employment was up by 1.8 per cent in year-on-year ter...More Button

These indicators point to a modest recovery in the Irish economy. My Department will be publishing updated forecasts for 2013 and 2014 along with the Budget on October 15th which will take accou...More Button

On the fiscal side, we continue to meet and exceed our budget deficit targets. It should however be noted that part of our current deficit is structural; in other words, economic recovery alone ...More Button

Ireland's considerable efforts in restoring our public finances to a sound footing has not only been reflected in the deficit figures but has also had significant confidence effects. Ireland’s 1...More Button

Ministerial Meetings

Was asked: if he will detail the outcomes from his series of meetings in Northern Ireland on Friday, 27 September; the persons he met and the content of his discussions. More Button

On Friday September 27th I travelled to Belfast to speak at the Confederation of British Industry’s, Northern Ireland Annual Lunch at a time when economic fortunes on both sides of the border are s...More Button

On both sides of the border, families and businesses borrowed heavily to invest in residential and commercial property. People got drawn into the property market with many small businesses movin...More Button

Consistent with that theme, I met with First Minister, Peter Robinson, and the Finance Minister, Simon Hamilton at Stormont Castle in advance of the lunch to discuss NAMA’s activity in Northern I...More Button

We discussed the very strong level of engagement NAMA has in Northern Ireland with all key stakeholders, which is supported by NAMA’s Northern Ireland Advisory Committee. NAMA is investing to en...More Button

Our meeting was very constructive with both sides sharing an understanding of the importance of NAMA to the economy in Northern Ireland and of the care NAMA is taking in its dealings in Northern ...More Button

National Debt

Was asked: the amount paid in interest on the national debt in the past year; and the amount of that interest due to debt arising from the capitalisation of the banks and other supports given by the State.More Button

The end September 2013 Exchequer Returns published on 2 October show that interest expenditure on the National Debt was €4,793 million in the first nine months of the year. State support, on a gro...More Button

The Deputy will be aware however that the €3.06 billion Promissory Note instalment due to IBRC at end-March 2012 was settled with a Government bond. The NTMA issued bonds with a nominal value of ...More Button

Credit Review Office Appeals

Was asked: if he will consider increasing the credit limit for the Credit Review Office to investigate loans that have been refused to small and medium business; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy may be aware that the Credit Reviewer stated in his eleventh quarterly report that he had asked that the threshold by which the Credit Review Office (CRO) review decisions to refuse, red...More Button

In looking at the implementation of other recommendations, my officials have also been considering where the CRO should fit into the broader overall strategy of ensuring credit availability for v...More Button

  Question No. 46 answered with Question No. 35.More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a breakdown by month of the number of appeals to the Credit Review Office and the numbers that have been successful since its creation to August 2013; and if he will make a state...More Button

The Credit Review Office has provided me with the following information:

More Button

Strategic Investment Fund Investments

Was asked: when he envisages the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund will commence investment of assets from the National Pension Reserve Fund; the scale of investment that can be expected in 2014; and if he wi...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 Irish economy and improve key infrastructure to maintain Ireland's attractiveness as a place t...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 main...More Button

Credit Union Fund Issues

Was asked: if he expects payments to be made in 2013 from the credit union fund established to facilitate the restructuring of the sector; if he expects additional funds will be required over and above those ...More Button

The Credit Union Fund was established by ministerial order under the Credit Union and Co-operation with Overseas Regulators Act 2012. Under section 57 of the Act, I contributed €250 million to the ...More Button

Credit Ratings

Was asked: the efforts being made to secure a revision of Ireland’s credit rating with bond rating agencies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) has responsibility for maintaining a relationship with each of the rating agencies, in connection with Ireland's sovereign credit rating. I am infor...More Button

The authorities aim to be as transparent as possible with the agencies in order to ensure that all relevant information is provided to them and that Ireland's positive steps towards improving its...More Button

Fitch: BBB+, stable outlookMore Button

Standard and Poor's: BBB+, positive outlookMore Button

Moody's: Ba1, stable outlookMore Button

DBRS: A (low), negative trendMore Button

R&I: BBB+, stable outlook.More Button

  Question No. 51 answered with Question No. 16.More Button

Credit Availability

Was asked: the extent to which he has become aware of the difficulties faced by small to medium sized enterprises that have been affected by the downturn in the economy and have a negative credit rating regis...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 also recognises that businesses with legacy ...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the Credit Reporting Bill, 2012 is currently passing through the Houses of the Oireachtas which provides for the creation of an effective statutory based credit repo...More Button

- The database will be owned by the Central Bank and the Bank will be responsible for the operation of the Central Credit Register. More Button

- There will be mandatory reporting of a comprehensive range of credit information by credit providers. More Button

- The Bill provides for controls with regard to access to information on the Register. By including provisions relating to access to data and security measures as well as provisions to help to dea...More Button

- The legislation proposes to extend the role of the Data Protection Commissioner to deal with complaints from micro enterprises and SMEs (with a turnover of less than €3m) in respect of their data...More Button

- In line with International practice, it provides for a retention period of 5 years in relation to credit information with respect to debts from the day on which it is entered on the Register. Th...More Button

In addition, the Government is fully engaged in supporting the SME sector and has imposed SME lending targets on AIB and Bank of Ireland for the three calendar years, 2011 to 2013. Each bank was...More Button

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

  Question No. 53 answered with Question No. 15.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which small and medium sized enterprises seeking credit from their respective lending institutions have been accommodated by their banks in each of the past three years to date; the e...More Button

I assume the Deputy is referring to the extent to which SMEs seeking credit have been accommodated by their banks. As the Deputy is aware, the Government recognises that SMEs are the lifeblood of ...More Button

Was asked: the degree to which Government policy towards assisting small and medium sized enterprises by way of enhanced lending for working capital or other purposes has been successful to date; and if he wi...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which the lack of the availability of adequate working capital to the manufacturing and services sectors has inhibited employment expansion and-or economic growth as a result; and if ...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which adequate working capital remains available to the hotel and catering sectors; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 85, 86 and 91 together.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 su...More Button

The Government has imposed SME lending targets on AIB and Bank of Ireland for the three calendar years, 2011 to 2013. Each bank was required to sanction lending of at least €3 billion in 2011, €3...More Button

AIB and Bank of Ireland are expected to lend to viable businesses both for investment and working capital purposes. The Credit Review Office is available to assist businesses which have been refu...More Button

The Government has taken a number of actions to improve the situation in relation to credit availability to SMEs. The credit stream available to SMEs now includes the Microenterprise Loan scheme...More Button

It is vital that the banks continue to make credit available to support economic recovery. However, it is not in the interest of the banks, businesses or the economy for finance to be provided un...More Button

VAT Payments

Was asked: the reason a taxi company (details supplied) was levied with a bill for almost €500,000 for VAT on radios supplied to taxi drivers, despite the fact that no such payments have been sought from othe...More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that a Revenue audit was conducted on the firm in question. The audit identified a number of liabilities, including interest and penalties. These additi...More Button

EU Issues

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the tripartite talks taking place at EU level to regulate food securities trading on the stock market; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Proposals to regulate food securities at an EU level form part of the current MiFID II and MiFIR proposals which aim to make financial markets more efficient, resilient and transparent, and to stre...More Button

This file, along with the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR), seeks to protect against excessive financial speculation in the food and other commodity derivative markets. The Regul...More Button

Under the current MiFID II proposals, the level of exemptions available has been reduced and more products will be defined as derivative financial instruments, when compared with MiFID I and will...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

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

NAMA Property Sales

Was asked: if he will use his powers under section 14 of the National Asset Management Agency Act 2009 to direct NAMA to delay the sale of lands at St. Edmundsbury, County Dublin, so as to enable consideratio...More Button

I do not intend to use my powers under Section 14 of the NAMA Act to direct NAMA on the sale of this property. The property in question was sold at auction on the 27th of September and had been for...More Button

NAMA fulfils its social obligation remit by facilitating a dialogue between NAMA debtors and third parties so as to enable the latter to acquire suitable property for social, sporting and other p...More Button

Was asked: the reason no effort was made on his part under section 14 of the National Asset Management Agency Act, or other similar provisions of that Act, to delay the sale of lands by the National Asset Man...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my previous answer to Question 181 on the 1/10/13. It would not be appropriate for me to comment further on an individual property or transaction. On the general social divi...More Button

As part of ensuring this, it is NAMA’s clear policy that properties and loans that are for sale are openly marketed. This ensures a competitive and transparent sales process and the best possibl...More Button

- The identification of 4,350 houses and apartments for social housingMore Button

- The identification of more than 70 sites as potentially suitable for new schoolsMore Button

- The sale of sites to University College Dublin and University College CorkMore Button

- The sale of the Opera Centre site in Limerick to Limerick City CouncilMore Button

- The release of lands in Baldoyle, north Co. Dublin to Fingal County Council for parklandMore Button

- Co-funding, with Fingal County Council, of an N2-N3 link road through lands in west Dublin to facilitate identified development requirements.More Button

NAMA is also engaging with the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive in relation to possible sites and buildings for primary health care centres and other step-down and community ...More Button

The Agency, therefore, whilst working to obtain the best achievable financial return for the taxpayer, is very open to realistic proposals that achieve desirable social objectives and there are n...More Button

I believe the approach determined by NAMA’s Board is contributing in terms of its primary commercial objective, while at the same time contributing to the achievement of wider public policy objec...More Button

European Central Bank Issues

Was asked: if he has considered initiating judicial review proceedings at the European Court of Justice, under Statute Article 35.1 of the ECB Statute, insisting on a full discovery of all the communications ...More Button

I have not initiated Judicial Review proceedings at the Court of Justice of the European Union in respect of any decision of the ECB. Nor do I consider that the initiation of proceedings as suggest...More Button

Insurance Coverage

Was asked: if he or his Department have investigated the reason insurance companies are refusing to provide quotes to homes that are prone to subsidence; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

At the outset the Deputy should note that neither I, as Minister for Finance, nor the Central Bank can compel insurers to quote for business. The decision to provide any specific form of insurance ...More Button

World Bank Doing Business Report

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the World Bank’s Doing Business Report; his views on the recently published findings of the independent panel of experts who reviewed the Doing Business Report; a...More Button

The Doing Business Report is published annually by the World Bank and it assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 185 economies and ranks the economies in 10 areas of business regulation wi...More Button

The report includes detailed subnational data on the ease of doing business, ranks each location and recommends reforms to improve performance in terms of various indicators. This enables countr...More Button

As the findings and recommendations of the review are under ongoing consideration by World Bank management, it would not be appropriate to pre-empt the outcome of this process and any subsequent ...More Button

Ireland ranks well in the Doing Business Report, achieving 15th position in the report published in 2012. As World Bank Governor for Ireland, my Department has a lead role in liaising with the D...More Button

Revenue Commissioners Investigations

Was asked: if he will provide in tabular form the number of revenue audits carried out each year from 2008 to 2013; the revenue raised from such audits; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that their overall approach to tackling compliance is to make the appropriate intervention following careful appraisal of the risk factors in each case. N...More Button

Tax Reliefs Cost

Was asked: the yield that would be generated from standard rating the tax relief for expenses allowable to employees under Schedule E; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the full year yield to the Exchequer from confining relief for expenses allowable to employees to the standard rate of income tax for the year 2010, t...More Button

Tax Collection

Was asked: the total outstanding amount of arrears owed to the Revenue Commissioners up to and including 30 June 2013, with a breakdown of the amount owed by self employed, national companies and multinationa...More Button

Firstly, the Deputy will be aware that debt collection continues to be very challenging for both business and Revenue given the ongoing difficult financial environment. I am assured that Revenue co...More Button

Economic Policy

Was asked: the extent to which the economic fundamentals now prevailing are in accord with the requirements for economic recovery while keeping pace with bailout requirements; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which it may be possible in the coming year to expect economic growth which might offset excessive budgetary cuts while at the same time maintaining targets agreed with the troika; an...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which the domestic economy can be encouraged to grow without affecting the future stability of the national economy; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which this country’s economic recovery remains on target and in line with expectation for exit from the bailout programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 82, 88, 92 and 94 together.More Button

The latest data from the Quarterly National Accounts show that real GDP increased by 0.4 per cent in the second quarter of this year. More high frequency data have also been encouraging and sugge...More Button

There has also been a marked improvement in labour market conditions over the last year, with employment having increased in each of the last four quarters. Employment was up by 1.8 per cent in a...More Button

These indicators point to a modest recovery in the Irish economy. My Department will be publishing updated forecasts for 2013 and 2014 along with the Budget on 15 October which will take account ...More Button

On the fiscal side, we continue to meet and exceed our budget deficit targets. It should however be noted that part of our current deficit is structural; in other words, economic recovery alone w...More Button

As Ireland’s EU-IMF Programme of Financial Support comes to an end this year the Government’s focus is now firmly fixed on achieving a successful and durable exit from our programme, and a full a...More Button

Was asked: the bodies or persons with whom his Department has had contact in relation to the formation of economic programme 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I assume that the Deputy is referring to the preparation by the Government of a Medium Term Economic Strategy (MTES) for the period 2014 to 2020. The MTES is being developed jointly by the Departm...More Button

Economic Growth Initiatives

Was asked: the most successful initiatives taken by Government in the past two and a half years to regenerate growth and job creation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Government has put a priority on getting people back to work and the recent labour market figures are very positive in this regard. The Quarterly National Household Survey results for the seco...More Button

  Question No. 88 answered with Question 82.More Button

  Question No. 89 answered with Question 83.More Button

Economic Data

Was asked: the extent by which the economic fundamentals and prospects have altered year on year over each of the past five years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The improvements in economic conditions in Ireland over the past five years have been considerable and, although we still have some way to go, the achievements to date should not be forgotten. Hav...More Button

I am however cognisant of the fact that it is improvements in the domestic economy that are of greatest concern for the Irish public. Domestic activity contracted sharply following the bursting ...More Button

However recent indications have been that domestic demand is stabilising and is moving on to a modest recovery path. Personal consumption was up by 0.7 per cent in the second quarter and strong ...More Button

  Question No. 91 answered with Question 85.More Button

  Question No. 92 answered with Question 82.More Button

  Question No. 93 answered with Question 83.More Button

  Question No. 94 answered with Question 82.More Button