Houses of the Oireachtas

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

Go to oireachtas.ie

Quinn, Ruairí

Wednesday, 8 May 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 465 Nbr. 1


Written Answers. - Job Sharing Applications.

Was asked: if he will request the Department of Justice to re-examine its approach to applications in respect of job-sharing in view of the reply to Parliamentary Question No. 105 of 23 April 1996 wherein it ...More Button

Was asked: if he will request the Department of Justice to adopt a more sympathetic and enlightened approach to job-sharing applications in view of his reply to Parliamentary Question No. 43 of 23 April 1996 ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 43 and 48 together.More Button

The matter is under discussion between officials from my Department and those of the Department of Justice. Arrangements are being put in place as an alternative to the current 1:3 restriction on ...More Button

Written Answers. - Vehicle Registration Statistics.

Was asked: the number of new and imported used vehicles registered in 1995; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The number of new and imported used vehicles registered in 1995 is as follows: new, 107,097; used, 61,878. The total number of vehicles registered in 1995 represents an increase of 5 per cent over...More Button

Written Answers. - Back to Work Allowance.

Was asked: whether income from social welfare or supplementary welfare payments such as rent allowance or diet allowance is taxable in respect of a person who is self employed under the back to work schemes; ...More Button

I have been advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the back to work allowance which is payable to individuals who take up self-employment or specified employments under that scheme is not taxabl...More Button

Written Answers. - Tax Liability of Unmarried Couples.

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has to change the current tax and social welfare treatment of unmarried couples living together as man and wife.More Button

While the social welfare treatment of married and cohabiting couples, under social assistance schemes, is primarily a matter for the Minister for Social Welfare, it appears that the Supreme Court h...More Button

In relation to taxation, there are no special income tax allowances for unmarried couples living together. In this context, I would point out that tax law follows the general law relating to marri...More Button

I am conscious of the difficulties which can arise for cohabiting couples in certain circumstances. The Expert Working Group on the Integration of the Tax and Social Welfare Systems has been looki...More Button

Written Answers. - Capital Allowances.

Was asked: if share fishermen are entitled as partners to a share of capital allowances under section 79 of the Consolidation Act, 1967; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am assuming that the reference in the Deputy's question to section 79 of the Consolidation Act, 1967 is intended to mean section 72 of the Income Tax Act, 1967 which deals with capital allowances...More Button

The entitlement to capital allowances would depend on the circumstances of the particular case. In general, the skipper/owner is the person who incurred the expense of acquisition of the vessel. ...More Button

If there is any particular case about which the Deputy has a concern she should pass the relevant details on to the Revenue Commissioners at Dublin Castle where the matter will receive immediate at...More Button

Written Answers. - Customs Clearance Agents.

Was asked: the total amount of compensation paid out to customs clearance agents in Ireland in view of the fact that EU customs clearance was abolished a few years ago; the total size of the fund made availab...More Button

The European Commission established a fund of 30 million ecu (approximately £IR24 million) under Council Regulation 3904/92 on measures to adapt the profession of customs agent to the intern...More Button

Under the regulation, Community assistance was to be provided for the following measures: management of the conversion or restructuring of companies, in particular by market studies and research; t...More Button

Ireland was allocated 526,038 ecus (IR£420,830) from the fund on the basis of the number of jobs threatened here as a percentage of the EU total. As the financing was to be provided under th...More Button

The European Council regulation establishing the scheme required member states to consult relevant professional and social interest groups before submitting applications for aid to Brussels. The D...More Button

Applications for retraining programmes were to be submitted to FÁS; applications for business diversification projects were to be submitted directly to the Department of Enterprise and Emplo...More Button

Twelve applications for funding were received from customs clearance agents. These applications plus the FÁS application, totalling 13 applications, were forwarded to the European Commissio...More Button

The customs clearance agents' programme was originally scheduled to run from 1 January 1993 to 31 December 1994. It was subsequently extended for one year to 31 December 1995. Ireland's full allo...More Button

No further EU funding is available specifically for former customs clearance agents.More Button

Written Answers. - Customs and Excise Drugs Unit.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there is no customs and excise drugs unit, including sniffer dogs in counties Monaghan or Cavan; if he intends to have such a unit placed in these t...More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the deployment of the various units of the Customs National Drugs Team (CNDT) throughout the country is designed to afford the best possible protect...More Button

The Revenue Commissioners have advised me that there is no intelligence available at present to indicate that there is smuggling of illegal drugs into these counties from Northern Ireland and no un...More Button

The deployment of units of the CNDT is, of course, kept under review in the light of experience.More Button

Written Answers. - Appointments to State Bodies.

Was asked: the persons appointed by him to the boards of semi-State companies and other organisations under the aegis of his Department since February 1995; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have made the following appointments to boards of semi-State companies and other organisations, other than interdepartmental task forces and review groups, under the aegis of my Department since ...More Button

Written Answers. - Public Service Retirement Schemes.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that persons in the public service are being granted redundancy/early retirement packages in circumstances in which they are free to seek employment in o...More Button

A person who availed of a voluntary redundancy or early retirement scheme from a private sector organisation would clearly be free to seek employment subsequent to such redundancy or retirement. S...More Button

It would not of course be acceptable that a person who was granted early retirement terms, including pension benefits, should be re-employed in the same organisation and continue to receive pension...More Button

Redeployment is one of the options to be considered when the question of redundancies arise in the public service and is brought to attention. It is clearly necessary, however, to locate areas wh...More Button

Written Answers. - Hydrocarbon Oil Dealers.

Was asked: the number of hydrocarbon oil dealers that were prosecuted for trading without a current licence in view of the fact that their tax affairs were not in order.More Button

Was asked: the number of licensed petrol and oil fuel filling stations in this State.More Button

Was asked: the number of licensed hydrocarbon oil dealers in this State.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 53, 54 and 55 together.More Button

In accordance with section 21 of the Finance Act, 1935 any person who sells or delivers petrol or diesel fuel for use for combustion in the engine of a motor vehicle is required to obtain an excise...More Button

With effect from 1 July 1994, applicants for these licences were required to obtain a tax clearance certificate as a precondition for the grant of a licence. Traders who persist in trading without ...More Button

The Customs and Excise staff continue to carry out regular checks to detect unlicensed trading.More Button

Written Answers. - Drug Trafficking Prevention.

Was asked: if he will reverse the decision to close the customs office at Castletownbere, County Cork in view of the increased level of illegal drug trafficking through this port; and if he will make a statem...More Button

Was asked: the plans, if any, he has to improve measures currently in place to prevent illegal drug trafficking at the port of Castletownbere, County Cork and other sea ports along the south-west coastline.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 56 and 57 together.More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that they are satisfied that the most effective means of providing a customs service in the Bantry Bay-Beara Peninsula area is to have staff centralised i...More Button

The Commissioners recognise that because of the large concentration of fishing vessels in Castletownbere at certain times of the year, the full-time assignment of an officer of Customs and Excise d...More Button

Outside the peak fishing period, the Commissioners cannot accept that a sufficient volume of work exists to justify the full-time attendance of an officer of Customs and Excise. In the off-peak se...More Button

The Revenue Commissioners are fully alert to the dangers of drug smuggling along the coastline, including smuggling through ports in the south west of the country. Experience has shown that intel...More Button

As I have informed the House on previous occasions, the customs service has also enlisted the assistance of the general public in the fight against drug smuggling through the Drug Watch Programme, ...More Button

In the circumstances, I am satisfied that the present measures taken by customs in co-operation with the other enforcement agencies concerned provide adequate protection against the illegal importa...More Button

Written Answers. - Pension Funds Valuation.

Was asked: the current value of Irish pension funds; and if he will give a breakdown of the investment portfolio.More Button

The latest available information on the value of Irish pension funds is that contained in the Irish Association of Pension Funds Investment Survey 1994. According to the IAPF survey the total asset...More Button

Written Answers. - Introduction of the Euro.

Was asked: the exact amount that the European Commission has granted to the Irish Government to promote the Europeanwide information campaign on the introduction of the Euro; and if he will make a statement o...More Button

The European Commission proposed a sum of 19 million ecu in the 1996 EU budget for a communications plan for the introduction of the Euro, which is set to take place in January 2002. The Commissi...More Button

The question of Ireland's participation in the ongoing communications plan is under consideration. The Deputy will be aware that information about economic and monetary union and the single curren...More Button

Written Answers. - VAT Refunds.

Was asked: when a refund of VAT will be made to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that a refund in the amount of £1,462.85 has recently been issued in this case.More Button

Was asked: if he will have arrangements made for a refund of VAT on farm buildings to be made to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny in view of the fact that the application has been lodged for som...More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that a refund in the amount of £4,688.74 has recently been issued in this case.More Button

Was asked: the reason a person (details supplied) in Wexford is only getting a single person's tax free allowance.More Button

I have been advised by the Revenue Commissioners that as the taxpayer is not married to his partner he is not entitled to the married allowance.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, there are no special income tax allowances for unmarried couples living together. In this context, I would point out that tax law follows the general law relating to m...More Button

I am conscious of the difficulties which can arise for cohabiting couples in certain circumstances. The expert working group on the integration of the tax and social welfare systems has been looki...More Button

Written Answers. - Tax Relief.

Was asked: the reason a claim cannot be made for an extra tax-free allowance on a MEDI form for chiropractor services of approximately £500; and if he will amend the regulations to include such medical ...More Button

I have been advised by the Revenue Commissioners that tax relief in respect of fees paid to a chiropractor for treatment prescribed by a doctor is allowed. Qualifying medical expenses are subject t...More Button

Written Answers. - Tax Free Allowances.

Was asked: the historical developments in the establishment of different tax-free allowances for widows and widowers over that of single people; and the reason for this differential.More Button

Prior to the tax year 1954-55 the personal allowance for a widowed person was the same as for a single person. In that year a higher personal allowance was introduced for widowed persons. The wido...More Button

A special transitional allowance was introduced in 1991 for widowed parents with dependent children to operate for the first three years following bereavement. This allowance, which is provided in...More Button

In 1980 a special ceiling on mortgage interest relief for widowed persons was introduced and currently stands at £3,600 as compared with £2,500 for a single person. A special ceiling f...More Button

The position in relation to widowed persons, as indicated above, is that certain allowances are higher than the single person's in recognition of the fact that widowed persons may have taken on ex...More Button

The tax treatment of widowed persons has been reviewed on a number of occasions and the existing tax treatment is considered to be reasonable.More Button

Written Answers. - In-traineeships for Civil Servants.

Was asked: whether he will support initiatives for in-traineeships for graduates within the Irish Civil Service similar to in-trainee programmes that are run within the European Commission; and if he will mak...More Button

I am not certain as to the specific initiatives to which the Deputy refers. Any such proposals would be considered on their merits. I have no plans at present for the creation of in-traineeships ...More Button

There are excellent career opportunities for graduates who compete successfully for positions in the Irish Civil Service such as administrative officer, third secretary and executive officer as wel...More Button