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Noonan, Michael

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Betting Regulations

Was asked: if there exists any prohibition on the advertising of gambling on the outcome of criminal trials similar to the prohibition on the advertising of gambling in football under the Betting Act 1931.More Button

Section 32 of the Betting Act 1931 deals with the prohibition of advertising relating to betting on football games and provides that, other than in the case of the distribution of advertising by th...More Button

As the Deputy is aware the Betting (Amendment) Bill, currently before the House  provides for the licensing and regulation of the remote betting sector.  Matters pertaining to public order will f...More Button

Illicit Trade in Tobacco

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 44 of 13 March 2014, in relation to fines issued to importers of illicit tobacco products and sellers of illicit tobacco products for each of the years 2011, 2...More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that numbers of fines imposed in the years in question in respect of offences relating to illicit tobacco products, and the total values of those fines, ar...More Button

Property Tax Application

Was asked: if the owner of a house, which has been declared uninhabitable by an engineer and is the subject of a dispute in the High Court between the owner and the builder, is not obliged to pay the local pr...More Button

Was asked: if the local property tax is liable in respect of a case (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 185 and 251 together.More Button

Based on the information supplied by the Deputies it is not possible to give definitive replies in relation to the specific cases. However, the following general information may be useful.More Button

For Local Property Tax (LPT) purposes a residential property is defined as any building or structure (or part of a building) which is used as, or is suitable for use as, a dwelling. If a resident...More Button

LPT is a self-assessed tax.  I am advised that if a property owner considers that her or his property is not suitable for use as a dwelling, s/he should notify the Revenue Commissioners without d...More Button

Each case will be considered on its merits and it is therefore not possible to provide a prescriptive list of criteria that would need to be met for a property to be deemed unsuitable for use as ...More Button

In the context of Question No. 185 [13734], the fact that a residential property is the subject of a dispute in the High Court between the owner and the builder would not remove the obligation on...More Button

Finally, a property that was not liable to LPT on 1 May 2013 on the basis that it was unsuitable for use as a dwelling will not be liable to LPT for the years 2013 to 2016.  If such a property we...More Button

Was asked: the person responsible for the payment of the local property tax where a receiver has been appointed to the property by a financial institution; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Under the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 (as amended), the person who is the liable person on the liability date for a particular year is the person who is responsible for the payment of L...More Button

In general, the owner of a residential property is the liable person and continues to be so notwithstanding the appointment of a receiver. However, where a financial institution enforces its se...More Button

While a receiver is not a liable person under the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 (as amended), it can happen that he or she may assume responsibility for payment of LPT. However, such re...More Button

Small and Medium Enterprises Supports

Was asked: the current status of the proposed agreement with Germany to secure funding for Irish businesses from the German investment bank KfW.More Button

Senior officials of the Department of Finance have already exchanged working papers on this subject with KfW and the German Ministry of Finance.  There have been meetings on this matter in Berlin, ...More Button

The NTMA and the Department of Finance are currently working on the detail of the debt products to be offered to the SME sector with a view to making them attractive in terms of both cash flow an...More Button

The precise arrangements for the structure, level of funding and distribution options are currently the subject of the discussions between the relevant officials at present and will have to adher...More Button

Household Charge Collection

Was asked: the outstanding figure for non-payment of the household charge; if the powers of collection that the Revenue Commissioners have as the collecting agency for the household charge are the same as the...More Button

I am advised by Revenue that Section 156 of the Finance Local Property Tax Act 2012 (as amended) converted any arrears of Household Charge (HHC) that were still outstanding on 1 July 2013 to Local ...More Button

Tax Code

Was asked: further to the recent announcements that grandparents looking after their grandchildren will have to fill up forms, if he will outline his proposed plans; the reason it is being proposed; and if he...More Button

I assume the Deputy is referring to recent reporting in the media about the taxation of income from the provision of childcare services.  I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that, regrettably...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding importing cars from England to strip down and sell as car parts here; and the taxes and duties that are applied.More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that section 131(4), Finance Act 1992 (as amended) provides that a person shall not have an unregistered vehicle in his possession or charge unless he is ...More Button

Was asked: if the single parent tax credit criteria can be amended to reflect equal treatment for both parents in cases where both of the parents of a child have joint custody; and if he will make a statement...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the One-Parent Family Credit has been restructured and replaced with a new Single Person Child Carer Credit from 1 January 2014.  However, the credit is more targeted, in th...More Button

Given the difficult fiscal environment, it is essential to review all tax reliefs, credits and incentives in order to ensure that they are properly targeted and if necessary re-focused in order t...More Button

There is no specific tax credit for children in the tax code. Therefore, married or cohabiting couples are unable to avail of any additional credit to assist them in the financial maintenance of ...More Button

It is the responsibility of the parents to look after a child, including financially.  The new credit is targeted to assist principal child carers to take up, or remain in employment.More Button

Notwithstanding the above, as a result of an amendment which I brought forward at Committee Stage of the Finance Bill, a primary carer who is entitled to the credit and who does not wish to avail...More Button

It should be noted that where a primary carer is married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting they would not be entitled to the new credit (or indeed the former one). In such circumstances the p...More Button

This measure was only approved by the Oireachtas and enacted in Finance (No. 2) Act 2013 in late December. To amend the legislation in the manner suggested by the Deputy would not take account of...More Button

Was asked: the reason the export repayment scheme is only available on M1 passenger vehicles, and not on commercially registered vehicles even though they have paid 13.3% VRT rate; if he will consider an exem...More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the export repayment scheme is provided for in section 135D, Finance Act 1992 and was commenced on 8 April 2013.More Button

It is first of all necessary to look at the background to the scheme.  In 2010 the European Commission initiated infringement proceedings against Ireland on the basis that "the effect of the Iris...More Button

In relation to the specific case, I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that a number of vehicle models straddle both categories M1 (passenger) and N1 (commercial).  It is common to have a v...More Button

Was asked: under the tax agreements with the United States, the obligations an Irish citizen residing in Ireland has to pay income tax to Irish revenue on income from a US pension if tax is already paid to th...More Button

I assume that the Deputy is referring to a pension that, in the hands of a United States citizen, would be regarded as income for the purposes of United States tax.  On that basis,  I am informed b...More Button

The question of whether  an individual ultimately would have a tax liability in Ireland will depend on the amount of his or her total income, including pension income, and his or her personal cir...More Button

For the sake of completeness, I should add that if a United States pension (other than a Social Security pension) would not be regarded as income for the purposes of US tax where it is received b...More Button

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

I have been advised by the Office of the Revenue Commissioners that in this case (details supplied) the person concerned is assessed jointly with her husband. The Department of Social Protection pe...More Button

Was asked: further to his Department's discussions with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, his plans to address taxation issues which arise as a result of the transfer of leased single farm payme...More Button

A single farm payment entitlement is a chargeable asset for capital gains tax (CGT) purposes and once acquired it may be disposed of by way of sale, gift etc. Accordingly, gains arising from the di...More Button

With regard to the transfer of single farm payment entitlements for VAT purposes, where a payment entitlement is sold without land then VAT is due at the standard rate on the sale if the sale pro...More Button

As the Deputy has noted, officials in my Department are considering this issue with officials from the Department Agriculture, Food and the Marine.  However, I have no plans at this time to alter...More Button

Medical Negligence Claims

Was asked: the number of medical negligence claims received by the State Claims Agency in 2013; the number of claims which are currently open; the average time it takes to process and the average cost of such...More Button

I have been informed by the State Claims Agency (SCA) that they have been unable to collate this information in the timeframe available. I will write to the Deputy setting out the information reque...More Button

State Debt

Was asked: in the period from April 2016 to May 2021 the total amount of Government debt that will need to be rolled-over by new borrowing; the estimate of the yearly cost of interest payments will be on Gove...More Button

The maturity profile of Government bonds and EU/IMF Programme facilities for the period 2016-2021 as at end-February 2014 is set out in the table below.  Total bonds and EU/IMF programme facilities...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a detailed breakdown of Ireland's off-balance sheet debt; and if he will express the total as a percentage of our GDP; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Under the European System of Accounts, the public sector consists of all entities controlled by government. It is split between general government and the public corporations.

  ...More Button

Was asked: the amounts of senior debt he expects the National Treasury Management Agency to have repaid by the end of each of the following years 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware to date NAMA has redeemed a total of €10.5 billion of the Senior Bonds which were issued as consideration for the original loans acquired from the participating institut...More Button

 I am advised that the Chairman of NAMA recently stated that, by the end of 2014, 50% of its senior debt may be repaid if it can achieve all the sales that are currently in the pipeline. I am fu...More Button

In the context of my Departments review, I have asked NAMA to evaluate their disposal timing and strategy in the context of current market demand and explore the advantages and disadvantages of a...More Button

Financial Institutions Support Scheme

Was asked: the total cost to the State of the bank guarantee introduced on 29 September 2008; the total amount received from the various banks in fees relating to this facility; and if he will make a statemen...More Button

The Credit Institutions (Financial Support) Scheme, 2008, and the Credit Institutions (Eligible Liabilities Guarantee) Scheme, 2009 provide that the administrative costs -legal and other costs, cha...More Button

Tax Yield

Was asked: the total tax received and the effective rate of corporation tax paid by a company (details supplied) since 2005.More Button

The tax affairs of a particular company are a matter for the Revenue Commissioners and the company concerned. I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that their obligation to observe confidentia...More Button

Was asked: the amount of betting tax Tote Ireland paid to the Exchequer in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.More Button

Bets taken by Tote Ireland under its Totalisator licence are not subject to betting tax. More Button

Was asked: the amounts in tabular form, for VAT, PAYE, income tax and corporation tax paid in County Kerry for the years 2006, 2009 and onwards to the most recent available records.More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the relevant information available of net receipts on a geographical basis is estimated on the basis of "bailiwick" (meaning the jurisdicti...More Button

Was asked: the number of taxpayers within the high earner restriction in each of the following years, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, analysed within the following income bands, €125,000 to €250,000, €250,001 to €...More Button

The Revenue Commissioners prepare an annual report on the application of the high income individual's restrictionMore Button

Official Engagements

Was asked: the number of times he or his officials have met with a company (details supplied) to discuss their operations here.More Button

Since taking office, there have been no official meetings between me or officials of my Department and the company referred to in the question (Bristol Myers-Squibb). Nor have there been such meeti...More Button

Credit Unions

Was asked: the legal status of Newbridge Credit Union; and the legal status of the accounts held at the credit union.More Button

Was asked: the person who is the owner of the Newbridge Credit Union building.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 195 and 196 together.More Button

Pursuant to a High Court order dated 10 November 2013 all assets and liabilities of Newbridge Credit Union Limited (excluding the premises) were transferred to Permanent TSB. At transfer, all sav...More Button

The legal entity Newbridge Credit Union Limited was placed in liquidation following an order of the High Court granted on 16 December 2013. The Newbridge Credit Union building remains in the owne...More Button

The Resolution Fund is the principal creditor of Newbridge Credit Union Limited. Any proceeds realised from the sale of the building (net of disposal costs) will be remitted to the Resolution Fun...More Button

Living City Initiative

Was asked: when the living city initiative will be implemented; when the outcome of the consultation process with local authorities and Government agencies will be completed and an announcement on the designa...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that I announced in my Budget Statement that the Living City Initiative, which was enacted in the Finance Act 2013, would be extended to now include the cities of Dublin, C...More Button

The Initiative will target certain areas of these six cities, particularly those areas which are most in need of regeneration. Those designated areas will be decided upon following consultations ...More Button

The Initiative cannot be implemented until EU State Aid approval has been received. Similarly, I will not be announcing the areas to be designated until this approval has been received and the in...More Button

It is important to note that I do not see this as a wide-spread Initiative, as it is targeted at those areas which are most in need of attention.More Button

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the living city initiative; the progress that has been made on EU state aid approval; the selection process for areas of Dublin city that will qualify; when he expec...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that I announced in my Budget Statement that the Living City Initiative, which was enacted in the Finance Act 2013, would be extended to now include the cities of Dublin, C...More Button

The Initiative will target certain areas of these six cities, particularly those areas which are most in need of regeneration. Those designated areas will be decided upon following consultations ...More Button

I would like to refer the Deputy to Section 372AAA of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997, which states that the areas to be specified under this Initiative will be by order of the Minister for Fina...More Button

My Department has received a number of submissions from interested parties including citizens and resident groups. A number of stakeholders, including residents, were also consulted as part of th...More Button

Bank Charges

Was asked: if it is the case that there is a charge from the Government for cancelling a credit card with a bank in this jurisdiction; the amount that charge is; the way it is calculated; and the justificatio...More Button

There is no charge from the Government for cancelling a credit card with a bank in this jurisdiction. I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that Section 124 of the Stamp Duties Consolidation ...More Button

A financial institution is required to furnish to the Revenue Commissioners a statement showing the number of credit card accounts maintained by the financial institution at any time during the 1...More Button

The financial institution recoups the amount of the stamp duty from the card account holder on 1 April or, if it hasn t already been charged, at the time that the account is closed during the 12 ...More Button

Was asked: the reason different charges can apply to ATM transactions depending on where the ATM is located including, for example, in a shop; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have no role with regard to the regulation of ATM charges. The Central Bank has informed me that, under section 149 of the Consumer Credit Act 1995 (as amended), regulated financial institutions ...More Button

Customs and Excise Staff

Was asked: the number of staff working in customs and excise for the purpose of the detection of illegal drugs who have statutory powers enabling them to stop and search and arrest persons and search and seiz...More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that their office is a fully integrated tax and customs administration and that it is not possible to disaggregate the resources deployed exclusively at an...More Button

Up to 50 staff based in Co. Mayo are engaged on these activities but additional support from outside the county is available and can be called on to assist in operations as required.  The Deputy ...More Button

Revenue officers are given authorisations, as appropriate, to exercise specific statutory powers relevant to the work in which they are engaged, including powers to stop persons, to conduct searc...More Button

Banking Sector Remuneration

Was asked: if he will use his shares in Bank of Ireland to vote against the remuneration package of €843,000 paid to the chief executive officer at the Bank's AGM.More Button

I understand that the Notice of Bank of Ireland's Annual General Meeting and list of proposed resolutions, is due to issue over the coming days. When I have received this I will be in a position to...More Button

Tax Rebates

Was asked: the position regarding an application for a tax rebate in 2013 in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that an application for a repayment of tax deducted for 2013 was submitted recently in respect of the person concerned. An overpayment of USC in the sum of...More Button

Departmental Reports

Was asked: the number of external or internal policy reports currently that have been handed to him but not yet published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In response to PQ 13031/14 and PQ 13048/14 I would like to thank the Deputy for his clarification received on the 20th given the scope of the questions. My officials are now in the process of comp...More Button

Was asked: when he will publish reports currently in his possession that have not been published to date; if he will outline in tabular form the reports involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In response to PQ 13031/14 and PQ 13048/14 I would like to thank the Deputy for his clarification received on the 20th given the scope of the questions. My officials are now in the process of comp...More Button

Mortgage Resolution Processes

Was asked: if he will ensure that the mortgage code of conduct will be applied to any mortgages that are bought by international banks; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Where regulated financial institutions sell part, or all, of their mortgage book to another regulated financial institution, the same protections apply to borrowers, namely, the Central Bank's Code...More Button

The Deputy may be aware that, following the meeting of the Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Committee on 26 February 2014, the remaining bidders for the IBRC loan books committed, on a v...More Button

As the Deputy may also be aware, the House recently debated a Fianna Fáil Private Members' Bill entitled 'Protection of Residential Mortgage Account Holders Bill 2014'. The Government did not opp...More Button

The 'Sale of Loan Books to Unregulated Third Parties Bill', which is listed on the Government Legislative Programme, was always intended to address concerns surrounding the continued applicabilit...More Button

As I have indicated previously, this is a complex issue. Therefore I am not in a position to say when the draft legislation will be ready for submission to Government. I do not want to bring forw...More Button

Was asked: his strategy for dealing with more than 30,000 buy-to-let mortgages that are currently more than 90 days in arrears; if he envisages that the number of repossessions in this area will increase; and...More Button

The Government is aware of the significant difficulties some homeowners are facing in meeting their mortgage obligations and the Deputy will know that a comprehensive strategy to tackle the problem...More Button

The Deputy will be aware of the Central Bank's Mortgage Arrears Resolution Targets (MART) announced last March which sets time bound and measurable targets for the six main lending banks requirin...More Button

The Central Bank has indicated that all six mortgage lenders covered by the MART process have reported that they met the 20% proposed sustainable solutions target for the second quarter of 2013 a...More Button

The Central Bank's 'Residential Mortgage Arrears and Repossession Statistics' published earlier this month, shows that at end-December 2013 there were 145,530 residential mortgage accounts for bu...More Button

In addition, the monthly mortgage restructures and arrears data published by my Department will also provide an impetus for those MART banks to increase the pace of provision of mortgage restruct...More Button

My colleague, the Minister for Justice and Equality has informed me that there was, as expected, a marked increase in the number of Civil Bills lodged in the courts following the passing of the L...More Button

Early and effective engagement between borrowers and lenders is key to resolving the cases of mortgage difficulty.  Where there is effective and meaningful engagement by all parties regarding a m...More Button

Was asked: his views on recent statements from the European Commission on dealing with losses being incurred by banks relating to holdings of tracker mortgages; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As the Deputy will be aware tracker mortgages were a particular feature of the Irish mortgage market in the recent past with many tracker mortgages originated during the property market boom in 200...More Button

During recent Review Missions of the Troika, the Irish authorities discussed the issues associated with these assets which were again highlighted in the recent European Commission's report on Ire...More Button

I would point out to the Deputy that although these assets continue to be loss-making and represent a drag on the Banks' profitability the situation is improving and is not preventing the banks r...More Button

Furthermore, as recent capital market transactions have demonstrated the Irish banks have been able to access both secured and unsecured funding at competitive rates across a range of maturities....More Button

  The Deputy will also be aware that in recent times the Banks have pursued self-help measures to address this issue by introducing innovative solutions such as offering negative equity type mortg...More Button

NAMA Portfolio

Was asked: the contact he has had with National Asset Management Agency regarding the sale of a company (details supplied).More Button

Was asked: the reason the management buyout of a company (details supplied) did not proceed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the reason the National Asset Management Agency did not honour its notice of decision dated 27 January 2014 that it issued to the management buyout team and which confirmed that the buyout was acce...More Button

Was asked: the conditions the National Asset Management Agency will attach to any bid for a company (details supplied) that will ensure that the jobs at that business will be protected and that their terms an...More Button

Was asked: when a decision will be made as to who is the preferred bidder for a company (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the impending sale of a company (details supplied) by a National Asset Management Agency appointed receiver; the interaction he has had with NAMA regarding this s...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 209 and 213, inclusive, and 257 together.More Button

This matter was comprehensively addressed by my colleague Minister Bruton during a discussion in the Oireachtas two weeks ago.  As the Oireachtas is aware the company referred to is the subject o...More Button

By way of update, I understand that the Examiner is currently in the process of engaging with six parties that, I understand, have expressed an interest in the business.  As part of this process,...More Button

NAMA's role in relation to this company is that of a secured lender.  In this position, NAMA approved the sale of the assets of the parent company, Staunton Sports, to the existing management tea...More Button

I note the statement from the Directors of the company, which acknowledges the support of NAMA in the current Examinership process and states the Board's confidence that the current process will ...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 78 of 5 December 2013, the number of houses that have been transferred by the National Asset Management Agency to each local authority; the way this breaks dow...More Button

I am advised that the number of properties delivered for social housing by NAMA is published quarterly on both the NAMA and Housing Agency websites. At end-2013, 596 residential units had been deli...More Button

Action Plan for Jobs

Was asked: if the planned survey of demand for small and medium enterprise credit, as outlined in action 206 of the Action Plan for Jobs, will be brought forward as a result of the recent comments by Professo...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. Government policy is focused on ensuring t...More Button

Was asked: if the planned collaboration with KfW and the German Ministry of Finance to develop an initiative that will improve funding mechanisms for small and medium enterprises as per action 212 of the Acti...More Button

The Government recognises that SMEs are the lifeblood of the economy and play a vital role in the continuing recovery of employment growth in our country.  Government policy since 2011 has focused ...More Button

While I note Professor Kelly's recent statements on SMEs, it does not change the Government's assessment that SME financing is a priority concern and one which is a clear focus of efforts to rest...More Button

Progress on the initiative with KfW is being made as quickly as possible with dedicated project teams in place on both sides in order to expedite the discussions. My officials have exchanged work...More Button

The aim of this project is to find ways to reinforce Ireland's economic recovery by improving funding mechanisms for the real economy. The intention is to ensure that the funding provided through...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the implementation of the cross-governmental small and medium enterprise access to finance online tool, as per action 221 of the Action Plan for Jobs; and if he will make a s...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, I announced in Budget 2014 that the Government is developing a comprehensive communication strategy to increase awareness of the full suite of developmental business support...More Button

IBRC Staff

Was asked: if he will support the IBOA members in the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation in respect of their redundancy terms (details supplied). More Button

Was asked: if he will intervene to assist a person (details supplied) in their efforts to mediate at Irish Bank Resolution Corporation to resolve outstanding issues of compensation for staff who will be made ...More Button

Was asked: the progress that has been made in reaching agreement regarding redundancy terms for the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation employees (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 218, 225 and 258 together.More Button

I can confirm that senior officials from the Department have met with the person named and are continuing to engage with all parties in relation to staff concerns in IBRC.More Button

The Special Liquidators have indicated that they remain highly cognisant of the issues that the IBOA have been highlighting and that significant steps have already been taken to address those con...More Button

In relation to the improved redundancy terms being sought I am advised by the Special Liquidators that the voluntary severance scheme, that was in place prior to liquidation, is no longer operati...More Button

While my officials will continue to engage on this matter, I am not in a position to interfere directly. There are standard rules which apply to the distribution of the assets of companies in liq...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the staff at the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, specifically the terms of contracts under which they are being employed; the number of employees that have left the IBRC s...More Button

I have been advised by the Special Liquidators that the terms of contracts under which people are employed are similar to those terms that applied prior to the appointment of the Special Liquidator...More Button

Price Inflation

Was asked: the forecast for inflation in Ireland for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016; if he will provide a model showing how a lower level of inflation and how a higher level of inflation would affect Ireland's...More Button

Inflation as measured by the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), the comparable measure of inflation across the euro area, was forecast for Ireland at 1.2 per cent in 2014 and 2.0 per cent ...More Button

There are a  number of channels through which price developments impact on the economy. For instance, higher inflation could lead to a decrease in the real level of  private consumption due to th...More Button

My Department will publish a revised set of macroeconomic forecasts in the Stability Programme Update in April.More Button

Corporation Tax

Was asked: the estimated tax loss to the State in the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 as a result of section 396C of the Finance Act 2013, which has been provided to his Department in tables by Bank of Ireland and ...More Button

In terms of the impact for fiscal year 2014 we have not assumed any direct fiscal cost of this measure. The banks have yet to report a return to pre-tax profitability and while the latest market fo...More Button

The net effect of the measure in terms of tax receipts is largely one of timing and ultimately it should not impact on the State's total corporation tax take over the long-term. This will be offs...More Button

Mortgage Protection Policies

Was asked: if his Department or the Central Bank of Ireland has an estimate of the number of mortgage holders whose life assurance or mortgage protection policy might have lapsed since the mortgage was taken ...More Button

The Central Bank has informed me that it does not publish the figures requested by the Deputy. The Central Bank has advised that if a consumer does not pay the premium on their life assurance or m...More Button

Mortgage Interest Relief Extension

Was asked: if non-first-time buyers in the 2004 to 2008 period can expect to have assistance similar to the increased interest relief for first-time buyers; if the concentration of relief on first-time buyers...More Button

The position is that in Finance Act 2010, mortgage interest relief was extended up to end of 2017 for those whose entitlement to relief was due to end in 2010 or after.  Therefore, tax relief will ...More Button

In Budget 2012, I fulfilled the commitment in the Programme for Government to increase the rate of mortgage interest relief to 30 per cent for first-time buyers who took out their first mortgage ...More Button

A mortgage holder qualifies for the increased rate if they made their first mortgage interest payment in the period 2004 to 2008 or if they drew down their mortgage in that period. In addition, t...More Button

A lower rate of relief is provided for non-first time buyers in view of the fact that such individuals would have already received the first-time buyers rate of relief for the first seven years o...More Button

Given that mortgage interest relief has now been abolished for mortgages taken out since 1 January 2013, I do not propose to revisit the legislation with a view to introducing further changes.More Button

Was asked: the status of owners of buy-to-let properties who bought during the 2004 to 2008 period in regard to heavy mortgage repayments which are not covered by rental payments; if he will consider restorin...More Button

This question relates to the interest restriction applying to residential lettings, whereby the deductibility of interest in computing taxable rental income from residential property (insofar as it...More Button

  Question No. 225 answered with Question No. 218.More Button

Departmental Meetings

Was asked: the number of times his Department received requests by Philanthropy Ireland to meet in 2011, 2012 and 2013; the number of times his Department met Philanthropy Ireland in those years; and if he wi...More Button

I can confirm that there while there were three meeting requests received on behalf of Philanthropy Ireland in the years 2011, 2012 and 2013, neither I nor officials of my Department  met with same...More Button

Tax Credits

Was asked: if the new single child carer tax credit will be transferred to a parent (details supplied) who is not the principle carer in circumstances where the principle carer is married and in work and cann...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the One-Parent Family Credit has been replaced with a new Single Person Child Carer Credit from 1 January 2014.   The restructured credit is of the same value i.e. €1,...More Button

The person who receives the child benefit payment is being used as the initial indicator by the Revenue Commissioners to identify the individuals who are likely to qualify for the new credit.  Ho...More Button

The Commission on Taxation acknowledged that the One-Parent Family Tax Credit played a role in supporting and incentivising the labour market participation of single and widowed parents.  However...More Button

Notwithstanding the above, as a result of an amendment which I brought forward at Committee Stage of the Finance Bill, a principal carer who is entitled to the credit and who does not wish to ava...More Button

It should be noted that where a primary carer is married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting they would not be entitled to the new credit (or indeed the former one), on the basis that the relev...More Button

Was asked: if he will restore the single person child carer tax credit for single fathers who lost their tax credit since 1 January 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the One-Parent Family Credit has been replaced with a new Single Person Child Carer Credit from 1 January 2014.   The restructured credit is of the same value i.e. €1,...More Button

The person who receives the child benefit payment is being used as the initial indicator by the Revenue Commissioners to identify the individuals who are likely to qualify for the new credit.  Ho...More Button

The Commission on Taxation acknowledged that the One-Parent Family Tax Credit played a role in supporting and incentivising the labour market participation of single and widowed parents.  However...More Button

This measure was discussed at length during the passage through the Oireachtas of the recent Finance Bill, at which I brought forward an amendment to allow the credit to be relinquished by a prin...More Button

Was asked: the level of tax credits, that is available to a person, and the level of income, that one would have to earn in excess of the tax credits before becoming liable to tax at the 41% rate; and if he w...More Button

The Irish tax system applies a unified system of taxation to personal income which makes no differentiation between earned income (such as pay), and unearned income (such as rents).  &nbs...More Button

VAT Rebates

Was asked: if he will consider the request from agricultural contractors to be allowed to claim VAT back as other road haulage firms are able to do so. More Button

VAT registered traders, such as agricultural contractors and road haulage operators, have an entitlement to deduct the VAT charged to them on diesel used for business purposes. However, I am advise...More Button

The Deputy queries whether the rebate scheme should be extended to diesel used by agricultural contractors in agricultural machinery designed for off-road work. However, such an extension is prec...More Button

Mortgage Data

Was asked: following the recent publication of mortgage approval data by the Irish Banking Federation which showed that there were 1,587 approvals in January 2014, and following the publication on 3 March 201...More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, lending institutions in Ireland, including those in which the State has a significant shareholding, are independent commercial entities and I do not interfere in the spe...More Button

Mortgage lending decisions must be undertaken on a sustainable and prudential basis by financial institutions and conform fully with the regulatory requirements, both in relation to the financial...More Button

I have been informed by the Irish Banking Federation that the figure of 1,587 approvals represents an increase of 10.8% compared to the same time period last year.  However, it should be noted th...More Button

Was asked: the total number of new mortgages advanced by KBC, Ulster Bank and Investec in 2013; if he will provide an overall anonymised total of volume and value of new mortgages issued; and if he will make ...More Button

The Deputy himself has highlighted the need to protect the privacy of individual lenders.

  I too would be concerned that providing anonymised information in relation to a subse...More Button

Banking Operations

Was asked: the position regarding banks issuing drafts for less than €1,000; if the Central Bank of Ireland has been in contact with banks regarding the issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have been advised by the Central Bank that the banks in Ireland have varying policies with regard to the issue of bank drafts. These policies are operational matters for the management board of ...More Button

House Prices

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

While it is true that we've seen a return to growth in residential property prices over the past year, it is important to remember that this pick-up follows a peak-to-trough decline of just over 50...More Button

While much of the attention of late has focused on the Dublin market, where prices are up about 18 per cent since bottoming out in August 2012, prices in the capital are still 50 per cent lower t...More Button

It should also be noted that the previous housing bubble was accompanied by a dramatic increase in mortgage lending.  The same cannot be said of the recent increase in house prices, with indicati...More Button

However, as I said in my Budget Day speech, I am aware that there are some supply limitations in certain urban areas. In light of this I introduced several measures to help increase the supply of...More Button

More generally, as outlined in the Medium-Term Economic Strategy, the Government will continue to work on addressing remaining challenges in the property and construction sectors. This will inclu...More Button

Government Deficit

Was asked: if he will provide the latest available estimate of the 2014 deficit.More Button

The latest fiscal and macro-economic forecasts were published as part of the Budget 2014 booklet. These forecasts estimated that the underlying general government deficit for 2014 would be 4.8% of ...More Button

My Department is currently working on an update to these forecasts, which will incorporate the latest economic and fiscal data. When finalised, the updated forecasts will be included in the Stabi...More Button

Budget Measures

Was asked: if he will provide the latest available estimate figure of carry forward measures introduced in previous budgets that will affect budget 2015; and if he will list the budgetary measures that compri...More Button

Carryover measures from previous budgets are estimated to be broadly neutral in 2015 with a small negative carryover in the region of €10 million. The exact impacts of carryover will be reviewed as...More Button

Budget 2015

Was asked: if he will provide the latest available estimate for the non-budgetary adjustment to the 2014 deficit to be considered in budget 2015. More Button

Budget 2014 outlined a total adjustment package of €3.1bn. This comprised €2.5bn in expenditure cuts and tax increases complemented with additional resources/other savings of €0.6bn.More Button

These additional resources/other savings are made up of a number of items. Firstly, the NTMA Budget debt service estimate for 2014 is lower than the corresponding April SPU estimate, of the order...More Button

With Exchequer data available for only two months of the year, it is too early for a meaningful comparison against outturn for any estimates made as part of the Budget 2014 fiscal forecast. The e...More Button

Was asked: if he will provide an estimate of the earliest date that the full no policy change budget for budget 2015 will be seen. More Button

In advance of each Budget, the White Paper on Receipts and Expenditure is published, in accordance with the provisions of Article 28 of the Constitution. As the Deputy will be aware, the White Pape...More Button

This forecast is based on the same macroeconomic and fiscal policy data as the forecast contained in the budget booklet. This allows for the fiscal forecasts to be directly compared, showing the ...More Button

In order to ensure that the fiscal forecast contained in the White Paper is still relevant at the time the Budget is announced, it is necessary to wait until close to Budget day before it is fina...More Button

The Deputy should note, however, that budgetary forecasts for the next four years will be set out in the update of the Stability Programme which must be submitted to the European Commission by th...More Button

European Stability Programmes

Was asked: if he will provide an estimate of the earliest date at which his Department will publish the stability programme update; and if he will guarantee that members of the Houses of the Oireachtas will h...More Button

Each Member State is required to submit an annual update of its Stability Programme (Convergence Programme in the case of non-euro area Member States) in April, outlining the overall fiscal stance ...More Button

The Government intends to publish its 2014 Update of the Stability Programme in draft format by mid-April. Following engagement with the Houses of the Oireachtas the final document will subsequen...More Button

NAMA Loan Book

Was asked: the estimated original value of the National Asset Management Agency's loan book for the North of Ireland; the price that NAMA paid for the loans; if he will provide a breakdown of the individual l...More Button

The par or nominal value of NAMA s Northern Ireland portfolio at the time of acquisition was €4 billion. It is not appropriate that NAMA discloses what it paid the participating institutions as con...More Button

NAMA is not in a position to provide details of individual loans as it is prohibited under Sections 99 and 202 of the NAMA Act from disclosing confidential information which is specifically defin...More Button

As I have stated a sales process for loans held by Northern Ireland debtors is currently under way and is not expected to conclude for some weeks, it is not possible at this stage to speculate as...More Button

Unfinished Housing Developments

Was asked: if he will indicate, in relation to lands and property assets held by development companies for liquidation, and where developments are not completed to the planning permission, do the assets trans...More Button

The liquidation process for companies and the assignment of any proceeds under that process is governed by the Companies Acts which come under the aegis of my colleague, Mr Richard Bruton TD Minist...More Button

Bank Guarantee Scheme Bond Repayments

Was asked: if he will specify in detail the contingent liability exposure of the State relating to banking sector guarantees, including debts that have not yet matured under the eligible liabilities guarantee...More Button

The outstanding Government Guarantees as at 31 December 2013 in relation to the Irish banking sector and the National Asset Management Agency are set out in the attached table. It should be noted t...More Button

Ministerial Staff

Was asked: the number of civil servants engaged in constituency work on his behalf; and the salaries, accommodation costs and expenses involved or associated with these duties.More Button

In my Department, the following civil service staff are assigned to work on constituency matters (no additional accommodation or expenses are involved or associated with these duties):

&nb...More Button

Euro Coins Production

Was asked: his plans and that of the Central Bank of Irelands for 1 cent and 2 cent coins following the rounding trial in Wexford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have received from the Central Bank, the final report of the 'Wexford Rounding Trial', held in Wexford town last year. The report is being examined in my Department. Following that examination, a...More Button

  Question No. 251 answered with Question No. 185.More Button

International Bodies Membership

Was asked: the reason Ireland is not a listed, non-regional member of the African Development Bank (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As indicated in the Government s policy document One World, One Future Ireland's Policy for International Development published in May of 2013, the potential benefits of membership of the African ...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government is conscious of the importance of seeking new sources of growth opportunities for Irish business and this has been a priority of this Government since ...More Button

Joining an MDB is a long-term decision and involves the consideration of many factors such as the strategic fit between the MDB and the country s own development priorities, complementarity with ...More Button

I can advise the Deputy that a review of Ireland's MDB membership is in progress. Discussions have been on-going between officials in my Department and colleagues in the Department of Foreign Aff...More Button

I would refer the Deputy to Ireland's Africa Strategy which was launched in 2011. This sets out an overarching framework for Ireland's development and trade strategy for Africa. As part of the Af...More Button

Credit Availability

Was asked: his views on the Central Bank of Ireland figures that show only €1.9 billion in new lending to small and medium enterprises in 2013 versus the €4 billion target; and if he will make a statement on ...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, 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 ...More Button

  Question No. 257 answered with Question No. 209.More Button

  Question No. 258 answered with Question No. 218.More Button

NAMA Operations

Was asked: if the review of the operations of the National Asset Management Agency, which is being carried out by the Comptroller and Auditor General, will be made publically available.More Button

As per Section 226 of the NAMA Act I will lay the report before the Houses of the Oireachtas following its completion by the Comptroller and Auditor General. I am advised that this review is being...More Button

Revenue Commissioners Expenditure

Was asked: the additional equipment or resources the customs and excise division of the Revenue Commissioners have received in 2013 via the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that a scanner van, an additional detector dog and three modern replacement baggage x-ray scanners, which were all part-funded under the EU's Hercule II pr...More Button

The scanner van is a specialist vehicle that incorporates x-ray and radiation detection facilities. It is used for monitoring baggage and cargo at ports and airports for drugs, tobacco products, ...More Button

The additional detector dog brought the complement of detector dog teams to 14. Three more teams are being commissioned at present, and further funding under the Hercule II programme has been mad...More Button

Was asked: the number of drug sniffer dogs that are allocated by the Revenue Commissioners to patrol the Border, midlands and west region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that they currently have 14 detector dogs at their disposal, 8 of which are specifically trained in drugs detection. One detector dog team focused on drugs...More Button

The experience of the Revenue Commissioners is that detector dog teams play an important part in detecting and seizing illicit drugs, cash and tobacco.  Three additional dog teams are being commi...More Button

Customs and Excise Controls

Was asked: the number of customs and excise cutter patrol boats that are assigned to patrol the coastline of the west of Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that they currently have two cutters in service, RCC Suirbheir (brought into service in 2004) and RCC Faire (brought into service in 2009).  They are manag...More Button

The Maritime Unit has a national remit as specialists in coastal risk.  The Unit works very closely with locally based staff in all coastal areas, helping with the development of onshore intellig...More Button

The Maritime Unit is involved on an ongoing basis in the patrol and monitoring of the State's maritime jurisdiction and adjacent waters.  These patrol and monitoring activities are aimed at the p...More Button

The Revenue cutters are part of a multi-faceted strategy employed by Revenue in combating drugs trafficking and other smuggling by sea. This strategy includes ongoing analysis of the nature and e...More Button

Revenue Commissioners Investigations

Was asked: the checks and searches that are carried out by officers of the Revenue Commissioners on aircraft that are flown into airports here to be dismantled for the salvage of spare parts; and if he will m...More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that as regards the import of aircraft for complete dismantling, in accordance with international best practice, such activity involving air traffic into t...More Button

Universal Social Charge Exemptions

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) in County Kildare is exempt from universal social charge; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have been advised by the Revenue Commissioners that based on the information available, the person concerned is exempt from Universal Social Charge (USC).   A PAYE Balancing Statem...More Button

Programme for Government Implementation

Was asked: if he will provide an update in tabular form of the commitments in the Programme for Government that relate to his Department; and the progress that has been made in the implementation of each comm...More Button

The full list of the Programme for Government commitments that come under the remit of the Department of Finance is set out in the Statement of Strategy 2011-2014 which is available on my Departmen...More Button

State Banking Sector

Was asked: the reasons for the appointment of KPMG to liquidate Anglo Irish Bank in view of its prior role with Irish Nationwide Building Society; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Kieran Wallace and Eamon Richardson of KPMG were selected for the role of Special Liquidators having regard to their previous insolvency experience and the capacity of the firm to complete the work...More Button

Quinn Insurance Limited

Was asked: if he will publish the fees and costs of the administrators of Quinn Insurance following a recent media report stating that four partners of a company (details supplied) involved in the work attend...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 (QIL).  

 &...More Button

Appointment of Receivers

Was asked: the number of receivers appointed in each of the past five years for each of the following, receivers appointments as recorded by the Companies Registration Office, receivers appointments recorded ...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, in the event of a default arising on a secured loan, as one of the enforcement options available to the creditor, a receiver may be appointed by way of a Court Order or, out...More Button

The number of receivers appointed by the Courts is a matter for the Minister for Justice and Equality while the number of receiver appointments as recorded by the Companies Office is a matter for...More Button

Property Tax Administration

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Revenue service in Ennis, County Clare, has a section set up to deal with returns from receivers for property tax for residential homes; the num...More Button

The logistical arrangements for the administration of Local Property Tax are a matter for the Revenue Commissioners and I would not expect to be involved in any way in deciding how and where to org...More Button

I am advised by Revenue that all matters relating to the administration of Local Property Tax (LPT) are handled by LPT Branch, which is based in Ennis. This includes dealing with queries in respe...More Button

For the Deputy's information, the owner of a residential property is the "liable person" in respect of LPT and may continue to be so depending on the circumstances under which a receiver is appoi...More Button

NAMA Receivers

Was asked: the number of receivers appointed by the National Assets Management Agency to family homes and commercial properties; and the money spent to date on receivers by NAMA (details supplied).More Button

NAMA advises that a total of 258 receiver appointments have been made to date in Ireland. Appointments have been made to both commercial entities and to specific properties across various sectors. ...More Button

I am advised that receivers appointed by NAMA in Ireland control 770 residential properties,  comprising single or multiple units, which are either vacant or rented, and 701 commercial properties...More Button

Property Tax Collection

Was asked: the number of cheques and postal orders respectively that have been received for payment of the local property tax by the Revenue Commissioners that have not been matched to a property due to the a...More Button

I am advised by Revenue that where tax payments are received without the required level of detail to correctly appropriate them to the taxpayer record, they are lodged to a specific holding account...More Button

In regard to the Deputy's specific inquiry in relation to cheque and postal order payments of Local Property Tax, Revenue has confirmed to me that it currently has 24 unmatched payments. The tota...More Button

Bank Branch Closures

Was asked: the number of bank retail outlets that have been closed in the State in the past three years; the locations of these banks; the amount it would cost the State to take ownership of these premises; a...More Button

I do not have the information requested by the Deputy.  I would point out that some of these premises may have been rented or leased. There are no plans to take branches into state ownership which ...More Button

Insurance Levy

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

The Insurance Compensation Fund (ICF) levy of 2% being applied to home, motor and commercial insurance operates under the Insurance Act 1964 and came into effect from 1 January 2012, following the ...More Button

Regulatory Bodies

Was asked: if he is considering introducing statutory regulation of the Irish Tax Institute in view of the considerable fallout from financial decisions taken on projects over the past ten years or so; and if...More Button

The Irish Tax Institute is primarily a representative and educational body. It has established and maintains appropriate professional standards of conduct for its members and the exercise of profes...More Button

IBRC Mortgage Loan Book

Was asked: the position regarding former customers of all institutions with mortgages transferred to the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, now in liquidation, who are concerned about what the future holds fo...More Button

The Special Liquidators have confirmed that a voluntary agreement has been reached with the bidders for the IBRC mortgage book in relation to the application of the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arre...More Button

The Government is committed to bringing forward legislation to protect mortgage holders and will work with both the Central Bank and the Attorney General to achieve the best solution for mortgage...More Button