McCreevy, Charlie

Wednesday, 10 December 2003

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 576 No. 6

First Page Previous Page Page of 216 Next Page Last Page

Ceisteanna – Questions. Priority Questions. - Child Support.

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself that young parents who require child care obtain sufficient financial support from the State with this cost.More Button

Over the past number of years, the Government has considered carefully the whole area of child care. The core objective of Government policy in the area of child support is to provide assistance which...More Button

Prior to the budget of 2001, all those matters were considered at length by the Government over the preceding three years. In particular, that included tax incentives, allowances and benefits in a wid...More Button

There was a considerable debate that ranged over wide areas in the three years leading up to that decision. The Deputy will recall there was also a debate on the tax proposal in a particular budget th...More Button

Ceisteanna – Questions. Priority Questions. - Offshore Accounts.

Was asked: if the Revenue Commissioners are holding a series of meetings with chief executives of Irish financial institutions as part of their investigation into tax evasion and offshore accounts; if so, the pu...More Button

I am advised that the chairman of the Revenue Commissioners recently initiated a series of high level meetings with certain financial institutions. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss issues c...More Button

I understand the Revenue Commissioners have to date met with the institutions individually and will meet with the rest of them before the end of the year. Operational matters between the Revenue Commi...More Button

There are two distinct areas in this matter. The offshore assets group of the Revenue Commissioners is inquiring into the activities of the subsidiary operations of three Irish financial institutions....More Button

Ceisteanna – Questions. Priority Questions. - Decentralisation Programme.

Was asked: the formula used for selection, the timescale and full estimated cost of implementation of the decentralisation programme announced by him in budget 2004.More Button

Was asked: the proportion of the proposed decentralisation which is going to towns designated as hubs or gateways in the national spatial strategy; the gross cost of property acquisition and other costs of the d...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 8 and 9 together. I refer the Deputies to the summary of the 2004 budget measures which sets out the wide range of factors taken into account in selecting Departments ...More Button

I needed a hand.More Button

As I pointed out in interviews on this matter, this decision was originally announced in December 1999. Four years later to the day I announced the locations to host these Departments. This was not a ...More Button

In the four years we consulted trade unions, one of which made a detailed submission which was taken into account. The Secretaries General met and wrote a report. We received submissions on behalf of ...More Button

Can Deputies imagine what would have happened had we consulted widely within the Government system. Those who have been in Government, such as Deputy Richard Bruton and Deputy Durkan, know what would ...More Button

In the past week we have seen a considerable degree of the Dublin mindset suggesting it would not be possible to run the country from outside Dublin. This shows considerable arrogance to the people. T...More Button

Inside and outside the House, people are talking about the spatial strategy who did not even know it existed until last week.More Button

Deputy Paul McGrath has asked me many questions about decentralisation. A question which has often been posed relates to the criteria to be used. I have consistently said there was no one set of crite...More Button

I regard what has gone on in the constituency of Laoighis-Offaly as a release of the creative tensions resulting from the stresses of multiseat constituency politics. Deputy Parlon could not have brok...More Button

He made representations.More Button

Deputy Parlon had nothing to do with the decision.More Button

I understand from sources close to Leinster House that on the Tuesday night before the budget was announced, Deputy Parlon happened to fall into certain company in a hostelry not far from here. Someon...More Button

I say the best of luck to the Minister of State. If all Deputies were up as early in the morning, Fianna Fáil would have 98 seats at every general election. (Interruptions).More Button

As far as the process was concerned, Deputy Parlon was not involved. He was not involved in the decision making or the preparation. He knew nothing about it and he was as wise as everybody else. He wa...More Button

In the documentation we have outlined our hope that we will benefit from our Dublin property portfolio. The Office of Public Works pays about €100 million in rent annually for properties in which offi...More Button

If one goes to the relevant section of the budget document, one will see that a contingency allocation of €300 million up to €900 million is set out in the multiannual envelopes from 2005 to 2008.More Button

Deputy Ó Caoláin has asked a good question. It was announced last week that 10,300 public servants, approximately 7,000 of whom are civil servants, will be involved in the decentralisation programme. ...More Button

It is funny that the relevant section of the Constitution does not refer to decisions made by anybody else. It does not refer to the groups which were mentioned earlier, such as interdepartmental comm...More Button

The elected representatives of the people are trusted to make such decisions.More Button

The Cabinet made a decision. I think we did a very good job. I apologise to everybody for not having a league table, as Deputy Rabbitte wanted, so that we could have endless discussions. The arguments...More Button

At least Deputy Durkan lives in the real world.More Button

Ceisteanna – Questions. Priority Questions. - Tax Code.

Was asked: the number of taxpayers expected to pay tax at the higher rate in 2004; the percentage of taxpayers this represents; the equivalent figures for 2003 and each of the previous three years; his views on ...More Button

I assume the Deputy is seeking the number of higher rate taxpayers as a percentage of all income earners on the tax record. I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the information requested, wh...More Button

Not for the first time, I do not accept what Deputy Burton has said on this matter. I remind her that 35% of income earners will be exempt from tax, 32% will pay tax at the standard rate and 33% will ...More Button

Other Questions. - Price Inflation.

Was asked: his latest estimates of the improvement in the price index of imported goods and exported goods in the past 12 months; and the way in which those affect his estimate of inflation.More Button

I assume the Deputy is referring here to the Central Statistics Office external trade release, which measures the price of traded goods. The latest CSO figures show that import prices for the first ei...More Button

As I explained in my reply, the price of exports has fallen by 6%, but that has no direct impact on inflation. Most of our inflation is caused by outside factors such as the price of oil, the value of...More Button

CIE has put forward upgrade increases to meet its costs, and An Post and the ESB have done the same. There is therefore no consistency in saying that those organisations should be free of Government c...More Button

The Deputy will have to give me some book to show how a failure to index tax bands has an impact on inflation. I would be interested to see it. We calculated that last year's VAT increase added about ...More Button

There is no difference in the way any country in Europe calculates the underlying rate of inflation.More Button

No, the Deputy is mistaken. Europe, for example, uses what is called the harmonised index. Differences between that and the Irish CPI relate mainly to mortgage interest not being included in the harmo...More Button

The Department of Finance has no role in this regard. It is a matter for the Central Statistics Office which applies international comparisons. Every five years, the CSO carries out a major household ...More Button

The CSO carries out the surveys every few years. Therefore, there will be a lower rate the next time.More Button

I did not say that. Whether inflation was rising or falling, I have always said that most of the inflation in Ireland is caused by external influences.More Button

I do not mean to give the impression that service inflation has no impact on the CPI, nor should I give the impression that the charges to which the Deputy referred were not a major cause of inflation...More Button

It is a separate argument whether they should be structured in a different manner and whether there should be more competition in these sectors, which is a debate for the House on which we will hear d...More Button

Other Questions. - Tax Code.

Was asked: the reason he is not honouring his commitment to introduce a carbon tax as promised by him in the budget for 2003.More Button

I remind the Deputy of what precisely I said on the subject in my 2003 budget speech. I stated that: “the Government has asked the relevant Departments to advance the plans for a general carbon energy...More Button

I said from the end of 2004.More Button

The number of submissions we have received proves that there are divergent opinions in this area. There are implications for competitiveness and the less well-off. To take the position of the Deputy a...More Button

This is evidenced by the number of submissions we received. We published our own documents on the matter, which will be considered further by the Government. It will be looked at in the coming months ...More Button

The Government will have to take all considerations into account before reaching a final conclusion.More Button

The Deputy has just outlined some of the major difficulties that exist in this area. Such difficulties must be given further consideration and I would welcome contributions from the Deputy and other M...More Button

I will give my views when the Government reaches its final decision.More Button

What is the current thinking of the Labour Party? Is it for or against it?More Button

Is the Labour Party for or against it? What is the position of Deputy Richard Bruton's party? (Interruptions).More Button

At least I know where the Green Party stands. It is in favour of it. (Interruptions).More Button

Combat Poverty Agency is one of the 116 persons or groups that have made submissions on this matter. There are differing views on this issue. I cannot obtain an answer from Deputy Burton as to whether...More Button

We could debate it at any time before the relevant committee and we would be glad to hear Members' views. The Government and I have to take all these matters into accounts. I am aware that, as Ministe...More Button

I never pontificate or state that we want to take the high moral ground and neither, for that matter, does Deputy Durkan's party. However, Deputy Burton's party wants to live on the high moral ground....More Button

So we do not know what is the position of the Labour Party. The members of that party, who are the doyens of openness, have not made up their minds.More Button

Written Answers. - ESRI Review.

Was asked: if the ESRI review of the national development plan has been studied by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In my reply to Priority Questions Nos. 2 and 3 and oral Questions Nos. 10, 11, 76 and 82 of 6 November last, I set out in some detail the broadly positive assessment of the NDP by the ESRI. Key conclu...More Button

Written Answers. - Revenue Review.

Was asked: the progress made to date by the revenue powers group; if the report of the group has now been received by his Department; when it is expected that the report will be published; and if he will make a ...More Button

The revenue powers group has completed its review and its report was sent to me on 2 December. I am grateful to the chairman, Mr. Justice Frank Murphy, and the group for their important work and for b...More Button

Written Answers. - Pension Provisions.

Was asked: the anticipated cost savings to the State through his proposals on public sector pensions; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In 2003, public service pensions are estimated to cost some €1,500 million or, 1.4% of GNP. By mid-century, this is projected to grow to some 2.5% of GNP. The package of public service pension reforms...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Properties.

Was asked: the number of properties currently leased by the Office of Public Works; the specific Departments and sections of Departments located in these properties; the cost per annum of each of these leases in...More Button

Written Answers. - Smoking Ban.

Was asked: his estimate of the impact of the proposed smoking ban in the workplace on the excise receipts from tobacco and from alcohol, in aggregate and in proportionate terms, assuming unchanged levels of taxa...More Button

The possible effect of the proposed workplace smoking ban on tax receipts was reviewed in assessing tax revenue prospects for 2004. However, it is hard to predict with a high degree of confidence what...More Button

Written Answers. - Decentralisation Programme.

Was asked: the timescale involved in the decentralisation process; when it will start; the length of time it will take to complete; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the Government's proposed decentralisation programme; when the programme will begin; the proposed timeframe for the completion of the programme; the consultation there has been ...More Button

Was asked: his plans for decentralisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: when the decentralisation proposals which he announced in his budget 2004 speech will become fully effective and operational; if the financial provisions outlined will be sufficient to meet the necess...More Button

Was asked: the costs identified to date in relocating Departments in his Department's proposed decentralisation programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the estimate of the cost of acquiring property for decentralisation; and the proportion of the investment which will be in the designated hubs and gateways outlined in the spatial strategy.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 18, 43, 50, 54, 64 and 71 together. I refer Deputies to the summary of budget 2004 measures which sets out the locations and Departments-agencies covered by the new de...More Button

Written Answers. - Patent Relief.

Was asked: his estimate of the cost of patent relief; the number of outstanding patents in respect of which this relief is claimed; and the number of persons who are benefiting from the relief.More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that returns of income from patents are not captured in such a way as to provide a basis for compiling the information sought by the Deputy. Patent income is...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Properties.

Was asked: the progress made to date by the Office of Public Works in its examination of the State property portfolio with a view to identifying vacant, under-utilised or surplus property; when he expects that t...More Button

Written Answers. - Information Commission.

Was asked: the progress made to date with regard to efforts to clear the backlog of appeals in the Office of the Information Commissioner; the number of appeals outstanding at the latest date for which figures a...More Button

I understand that the Information Commissioner's Office adopted new working procedures in April 2002 for dealing with review applications, appeals and historical review cases. All cases received from ...More Button

Written Answers. - European Council Meetings.

Was asked: the projected cost of the planned meeting of EU Finance Ministers at Punchestown Racecourse in April 2004; the total amount to be paid to the racecourse for use of its facilities; the reason a company...More Button

Was asked: the anticipated cost to the State of holding a proposed meeting of EU Finance Ministers at the Punchestown Centre in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 22 and 52 together. The informal meeting of the Council of Economics and Finance Ministers of the EU, known as the ECOFIN Council, takes place in Punchestown on 2-4 Ap...More Button

Written Answers. - Benchmarking Awards.

Was asked: the progress made to date in regard to the implementation of the Civil Service action plan drawn up to meet the requirements of the benchmarking process within his own Department and within the public...More Button

In accordance with the procedures set out in Sustaining Progress, Departments and offices have submitted to the Civil Service performance verification group reports of progress made to date with the i...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Estimates.

Was asked: if he plans to introduce a new procedure for the presentation and examination of Estimates in Dáil Eireann, which would be more meaningful and more timely; and his proposals in this area.More Button

The Estimates are presented by me to Dáil Éireann in accordance with the Standing Orders of the Dáil in the year to which they relate. I normally present the pre-budget or Abridged Estimates to Dáil É...More Button

Written Answers. - Light Rail Project.

Was asked: the progress of his consideration of the report commissioned from a company (details supplied) into a number of issues arising from the proposed city centre to Dublin Airport metro; the main findings ...More Button

My Department engaged Goodbody Economic Consultants to undertake a study of a number of issues arising on the proposed construction of a metro from Dublin city centre to the airport. A report has been...More Button

Written Answers. - Revenue Commissioners' Investigations.

Was asked: the progress made to date by the offshore assets group of the Revenue Commissioners in its investigations into the use, for the purposes of tax evasion, of offshore bank accounts and trusts by Irish r...More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that their offshore assets group was established in the autumn of 2001 for the purpose of inquiring into the use, for the purposes of tax evasion, of offshore...More Button

Written Answers. - Tax Code.

Was asked: if roll over relief will be reintroduced for the agricultural industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I announced in budget 2003 that no roll-over relief would be allowed for any purpose on gains arising from disposals on or after 4 December 2002. This relief applied when CGT rates were much higher. I...More Button

Written Answers. - Benchmarking Awards.

Was asked: the value of benchmarking awards which are being deferred due to the failure to meet the standards set by the verification groups; and the main areas involved.More Button

Sustaining Progress set out in detail the steps to be followed for verification of the achievement of the commitments made on industrial peace and the modernisation agenda. All of the processes are no...More Button

Written Answers. - Growth and Stability Pact.

Was asked: his policy in relation to the enforcement of the rules of the stability pact; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if Ireland's position in relation to the Stability and Growth Pact has altered; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 29 and 149 together.More Button

Written Answers. - Revenue Commissioners' Investigations.

Was asked: the progress made by the Revenue Commissioners into allegations that tax improprieties may surround trust operations in a bank (details supplied) in Jersey; if the Revenue Commissioners have reached a...More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that substantial progress has been made in relation to this inquiry. I understand that 254 individuals came forward and made voluntary disclosures and that, ...More Button

Written Answers. - Special Savings Incentive Scheme.

Was asked: the number of special savings investment scheme accounts opened at the latest date for which figures are available; the average amount of savings per investor per month; if, on the basis of such figur...More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that, based on the 2002 annual returns furnished by all qualifying savings managers, the total number of active accounts at 31 December 2002 was 1,143,418 an...More Button

Written Answers. - Tax Collection.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the recent claim made by the chairman of ISME that the black economy was costing the State up to ?6 billion annually, with a loss to the Exchequer of ?2 billion in u...More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that it has not proved possible to design a tool which is capable of computing shadow economy activity with any level of certainty as all available technique...More Button

Written Answers. - EU Matters.

Was asked: his priorities for the Council of Finance Ministers for the period of Ireland's presidency of the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Irish Presidency's programme for the ECOFIN Council meetings will be published shortly. Among the priorities in the programme will be: preparation of ECOFIN's input to the Lisbon process and to th...More Button

Written Answers. - Revenue Commissioners' Investigations.

Was asked: the number of persons, companies and trusts being investigated by the Revenue Commissioners arising from the Clerical Medical Insurance/NIB inquiry at the latest date for which figures are available; ...More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that 452 cases were subject to investigation arising from the Clerical Medical Insurance-NIB inquiry. To date, Revenue has collected €48.52 million in tax, in...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Structures.

Was asked: the plans he has to introduce an actuarial unit within his Department, or to establish a stand alone body that would assist various Government Departments in actuarial work.More Button

The Department has a pension section specialising in the development of pension policy and the provision of advice to all other Departments in relation to pension matters. This is staffed by two princ...More Button

Written Answers. - Tax Code.

Was asked: the implications the Hoffman judgment in the European Court has here for the argument that fees paid to non-established artists by not for profit organisations be exempt from VAT.More Button

My Department and the Revenue Commissioners are still considering the full implications of the Hoffman ruling and I am unable to give a definitive view on the matter at this stage. I will be examining...More Button

Written Answers. - Tax Policy.

Was asked: the progress made to date in his review of tax incentive schemes, especially in view of the recent finding of the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General that in 2002 the top 400 earners benefit...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which his Department is conducting a review of tax breaks in the tax code; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 37 and 76 together. All tax reliefs and incentives were reviewed in the context of budget 2004. On foot of that review and having considered the many pre-budget submis...More Button

Written Answers. - Flood Relief.

Was asked: the plans he has to reintroduce the home relocation scheme for families in areas vulnerable to flooding; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers. - Revenue Commissioners' Investigations.

Was asked: the number of persons, companies and trusts being investigated by the Revenue Commissioners arising from the Ansbacher accounts at the latest date for which figures are available; the number of cases ...More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that its Ansbacher review team has been carrying out detailed investigations since October 1999. The investigation has essentially two elements. There are Ans...More Button

Written Answers. - Tax Code.

Was asked: his views on the concept of a minimum tax to be paid by high income groups irrespective of the tax shelters which they may avail of.More Button

The concept of a minimum tax as one possible way in which to limit the opportunities for high earning individuals to reduce their tax bills to very low levels has been considered on a number of occasi...More Button

Written Answers. - Tax Collection.

Was asked: the progress made to date with regard to the negotiations between the Revenue Commissioners and the authorities in the Cayman Islands with a view to the conclusion of a tax information exchange agreem...More Button

Since I last informed the House on this matter on 6 November, first-round negotiations between the Cayman Islands authorities and the Revenue Commissioners for a tax information exchange agreement wer...More Button

Written Answers. - Economic Competitiveness.

Was asked: his views on the likely effects on the economy of the appreciation of the euro.More Button

The euro is trading higher against the US dollar and sterling than at any time since it was introduced in January 2002. The appreciation of the euro affects the economy in a number of different ways. ...More Button

Written Answers. - Capital Projects Evaluation Unit.

Was asked: his views on the proposal of an evaluation unit within his Department for independently evaluating capital projects, as proposed by the ESRI.More Button

In my reply to Question No. 81 of today, I set out a number of initiatives which will have an impact in this area, namely, the introduction of rolling five year capital envelopes and proposed changes ...More Button

Written Answers. - National Pensions Reserve Fund.

Was asked: if he has considered the approach advocated by the ESRI for the deployment of funds set aside for the National Pensions Reserve Fund.More Button

I am aware of various views expressed by individuals and institutions concerning the National Pensions Reserve Fund, NPRF. The NPRF was established in April 2001 with the objective of meeting as much ...More Button

Written Answers. - Tax Collection.

Was asked: the average number of tax audits undertaken by the Revenue Commissioners each month in 2002; the average number conducted in each month to date in 2003; if there has been a decline in the number of su...More Button

The following table sets out information provided by Revenue regarding the actual number of audits completed in each month during 2002 and in each month up to and including October 2003. The Revenue C...More Button

Written Answers. - Tax Code.

Was asked: the cost of eliminating the minimum wage from the income tax code and from the PRSI code.More Button

I assume the Deputy is referring to the new minimum wage of €7 per hour, which will apply from 1 February 2004 and which is equivalent to an annualised figure of €14,196.More Button

Written Answers. - European Council Meetings.

Was asked: the role he played in the recent meeting of EU Finance Ministers, which decided not to take any action against France and Germany for breaches of the growth and stability pact; the basis on which he d...More Button

Was asked: the role he played in the recent meeting of EU Finance Ministers, which decided not to take any action against France and Germany for breaches of the growth and stability pact; the basis on which he d...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 48 and 128 together.More Button

Written Answers. - Insurance Levy.

Was asked: his views on whether the State should continue to add to the cost of insurance through the insurance levy of 2%; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, the 2% insurance levy is imposed on almost all non-life insurance premia, including car insurance. The exceptions are re-insurance, voluntary health insurance, marine, avia...More Button

Written Answers. - Tax Code.

Was asked: the number of taxpayers expected to be paying tax at the higher rate in 2004; the percentage of taxpayers this represents; the equivalent figures for 2003 and each of the previous three years; his vie...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 10 from Deputy Joan Burton. I assume that what the Deputy requires is the number of higher-rate taxpayers as a percentage of all income earners on the ta...More Button

Written Answers. - Tax Yield.

Was asked: if his Department compiles statistics in regard to the value to the Exchequer of the film, television and drama industry here; if so, the amount accrued to the Exchequer by this industry for each year...More Button

My Department does not compile the statistics sought by the Deputy. The value of the film, television and drama industry and the return claimed to accrue to the Exchequer have been the subject of a nu...More Button

Written Answers. - Offshore Accounts.

Was asked: if the Revenue Commissioners are holding a series of meetings with chief executives of Irish financial institutions as part of their investigation into tax evasion and offshore accounts; the purpose o...More Button

I am advised that the chairman of the Revenue Commissioners recently initiated a series of high level meetings with certain financial institutions. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss issues c...More Button

Written Answers. - Tax Code.

Was asked: the progress which has been made by the Revenue Commissioners in their discussions with the Portuguese authorities with a view to closing off tax loopholes which allow those who sell off assets here t...More Button

In response to a parliamentary question on 6 November 2003, I stated that I had been informed by the Revenue Commissioners that a first round of negotiations for a protocol to amend certain provisions...More Button

Was asked: if he will address the anomaly currently pertaining whereby a cohabiting couple are treated as a married couple for the purposes of qualifying for certain payments, and as two single individuals in th...More Button

There are no special income tax allowances for unmarried couples living together. In this context, tax law follows the general law relating to marriage. Generally speaking, the basis for the current t...More Button

Written Answers. - Disabled Drivers.

Was asked: when the report of the review group concerning tax concessions for the disabled drivers and passengers scheme will be made public; his views on the recommendations in the report; his further views on ...More Button

As I have indicated in replies to previous questions on this issue, the interdepartmental report of the review group on the disabled drivers' and disabled passengers' tax concessions scheme is under c...More Button

Written Answers. - Tax Code.

Was asked: when he will introduce a scheme whereby tenants renting local authority houses can claim tax relief on the rent they are paying in cases in which such tenants are paying rents to the equivalent of a m...More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, responsibility for rent schemes was devolved to local authorities in August 1986. The principles governing rent schemes were set out broadly as follows: the rent payable sh...More Button

Written Answers. - Non-Resident Accounts.

Was asked: the number of High Court orders sought to date by the Revenue Commissioners under the Finance Act 1999 to require institutions to supply names, addresses and other relevant information regarding holde...More Button

Authorised Revenue officers are empowered to make an application to a judge of the High Court seeking an order requiring financial institutions to supply names, addresses and other relevant informatio...More Button

Written Answers. - Urban Renewal Schemes.

Was asked: the numbers who are anticipated to benefit from the continuation of property based tax reliefs; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I announced in budget 2004 the extension of the termination date, subject to certain conditions, to 31 July 2006 for the following property tax incentive schemes:More Button

Written Answers. - Public Service.

Was asked: the progress made to date with regard to the proposed shedding of 4,300 jobs in the public service; the steps being taken to ensure that this measure does not lead to a reduction in public service; if...More Button

The Government approved proposals on the timing and distribution of 4,300 of the 5,000 reduction in authorised numbers last June and I intend to revisit this issue early in the new year to see where t...More Button

Written Answers. - Tax Code.

Was asked: if he has made representations to the Revenue Commissioners regarding the wisdom of imposing the full weight of the VAT Act 1972 on the fees earned by all overseas cultural organisations, no matter wh...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that the care and management of the tax system is the direct responsibility of the Revenue Commissioners. It would therefore be inappropriate for me to interfere in how the ...More Button

Written Answers. - Pension Provisions.

Was asked: the changes he plans to introduce in regard to public service pensions; if there have been consultations with the public service unions regarding these proposals; and if he will make a statement on th...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my Budget Statement to the House on 3 December 2003 and summary of budget measures, in which I outlined the Government's decision to implement the bulk of the Commission on Publi...More Button

Written Answers. - Budget 2003.

Was asked: if he will compare the inflationary effects of budget 2003 between that which he suggested they would be, and the way in which they have eventually transpired.More Button

In budget 2003, I estimated that the increases in indirect taxes would add 0.85% to the consumer price index. The Central Statistics Office estimates that the actual effect was something in the order ...More Button

Written Answers. - Garda Stations.

Was asked: if he will prioritise the purchase of a site for the new Garda station in Castleisland, County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers. - Price Inflation.

Was asked: the way in which he proposes to tackle the ongoing and increasing problem of serious price inflation which does not seem to be recorded in the CPI; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he has examined the ongoing problem of price increases which do not seem to be reflected in the rate of inflation due to the fact that the CPI does not cover such items; and if he will make a state...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 68 and 157 together.More Button

Written Answers. - EU Presidency.

Was asked: the steps he intends to take during the Irish Presidency of the EU to re-establish the credibility of the Stability and Growth Pact; if he is planning to seek amendments to the pact; and if he will ma...More Button

In the wake of the recent meeting of the ECOFIN Council, the position of the Stability and Growth Pact has been maintained. The Stability and Growth Pact will continue to be applied during the Irish P...More Button

Written Answers. - Energy Tax.

Was asked: his views on the case for tax neutrality to accompany carbon taxation in order that the proceeds of the new tax are used to reduce the tax burden on other resource-friendly items.More Button

In my budget speech in December 2002, I said that there would be full consultation with interested parties on the design of a carbon energy tax. In July this year, I commenced this consultation proces...More Button

Written Answers. - Tax Code.

Was asked: the progress made by his Department in its consideration of the consultation papers on carbon taxes; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, following my Budget Statement regarding carbon energy taxation in December 2002, I published a carbon energy tax consultation paper prepared by my Department on 31 July of...More Button

Written Answers. - National Pensions Reserve Fund.

Was asked: the current value of the National Pensions Reserve Fund, comparing this figure with the amount which has been placed into the fundMore Button

The provisional market value of the fund at 18 July 2003, the latest date for which figures have been published by the commission, was €8,392 million. At this date a total of €8,715 million had been p...More Button

Written Answers. - Tax Code.

Was asked: if he has studied the tax take from new houses and from first-time buyers; and his views on whether there is scope for reform.More Button

It is not possible to establish the precise tax receipts arising from the transfer of residential property as tax receipts are dependent on various factors and assumptions. A number of taxes could app...More Button

Written Answers. - Financial Services Regulation.

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself that the Revenue Commissioners are receiving full co-operation from Irish financial institutions which have subsidiary companies established in tax havens overseas, in rega...More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that their offshore assets group are currently making inquiries into the activities of subsidiary operations of three Irish financial institutions, and, in g...More Button

Written Answers. - Tax Code.

Was asked: his plans to review the tax laws in regard to residency status especially in view of the information supplied by the Revenue Commissioners that it is not possible at present to identify the number of ...More Button

Was asked: if he is considering changes in the test for deciding whether a person is a resident here for tax purposes; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 77 and 82 together. As the Deputies may be aware, the residence rules were last updated in the 1994 Finance Act by the then Government following a comprehensive review...More Button

Written Answers. - EU Funding.

Was asked: if he will make a statement on his views on the Sapir report prepared for the European Commission President on the redistribution of funds and economic priorities within the EU budget.More Button

In July 2002 a high level group of independent experts was invited by the EU Commission President, Romano Prodi, to analyse the consequences of the two strategic economic goals set by the European Uni...More Button

Written Answers. - Public Service Contracts.

Was asked: further to his address to the Construction Industry Federation business conference on 6 November 2003, the specific steps he plans to take to protect taxpayers on escalating project costs; and if he w...More Button

The primary responsibility for the management and implementation of capital projects rests with individual Departments and relevant agencies. However, given the scale of outturn cost on public capital...More Button

Written Answers. - Decentralisation Programme.

Was asked: his views on the case for the decentralisation of a Government office to Bandon; and when he now expects decisions to be made in this regard.More Button

Since the announcement in budget 2000 to proceed with a new, more radical, programme of decentralisation my Department has received submissions, representations and inquiries on behalf of more than 13...More Button

Written Answers. - Public Service Contracts.

Was asked: if his Department has undertaken exercises to compare initial estimates of project costs and project benefits at the time when projects were first approved, with the ultimate outcome of such projects;...More Button

In accordance with the principles underlying the strategic management initiative, my Department has been for some time pursuing an active policy of maximum delegation to Departments. With regard to la...More Button

Written Answers. - Tax Code.

Was asked: his views on the case for indexation of the key parameters of the tax code in order to protect taxpayers from the impact of inflation.More Button

I assume the Deputy is referring to indexation of the main personal tax credits and tax bands. Indexation of credits and bands is one policy option. It has not been pursued by any Government on an aut...More Button

Written Answers. - Proposed Legislation.

Was asked: if he has received correspondence from the Standards in Public Office Commission drawing his attention to limitations in the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995, arising from consideration of a case (det...More Button

I confirm to the Deputy that I received correspondence from the Standards in Public Office Commission concerning the Standards in Public Office Act 2001 and the possible changes to the powers of the c...More Button

Written Answers. - Insurance Industry.

Was asked: the progress made to date in regard to implementing those areas of the Motor Insurance Advisory Board action plan for which his Department has responsibility; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

The MIAB action plan identifies three recommendations as being my Department's responsibility. The Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act 2003 implements recommendation 4 that th...More Button

Written Answers. - Benchmarking Awards.

Was asked: the improvements in service which customers of his Department can expect to see arising from the implementation of the Civil Service action plan drawn up to meet the requirements of the benchmarking p...More Button

The Department's modernisation action plan under Sustaining Progress,which incorporates the actions being pursued under the public service benchmarking process, was published in full on the Department...More Button

Written Answers. - EU Presidency.

Was asked: the number of ECOFIN meetings he will chair during the Government's EU Presidency; and the locations, agendas and projected cost of each.More Button

I will chair six meetings of the ECOFIN Council during Ireland's Presidency of the EU of January to June 2004. Five of these meetings will be formal meetings held in Brussels or Luxembourg. The sixth ...More Button

Written Answers. - Pension Provisions.

Was asked: his plans to raise the retirement age in the public service; and if current arrangements for retirement ages generally are financially viable in view of long run demographic trends.More Button

I refer the Deputy to my Budget Statement to the House on 3 December 2003 in which I announced the Government's decision to implement the bulk of the recommendations of the commission on public servic...More Button

Written Answers. - EU Summits.

Was asked: the position he is taking in the Intergovernmental Conference on the question of whether the European Parliament should have a deciding role on the EU budget, as recommended by the Convention, or just...More Button

The Taoiseach and the Minister for Foreign Affairs will be representing Ireland at the Intergovernmental Conference. However, I can indicate to the Deputy the current position. At the moment, the annu...More Button

Written Answers. - Special Savings Incentive Scheme.

Was asked: the status of the Government's contribution to SSIA's; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Department of Education and Science is treating it as income rather than as a tax refund as ...More Button

The specific goal of the SSIA scheme is to encourage people to save over a period of at least five years. In order to provide an incentive to save for this period, a 25% top up on savings is provided ...More Button

Written Answers. - Tax Code.

Was asked: the position regarding election accounts and personal taxation of members of Dáil Éireann.More Button

Candidates at a Dáil election are required under section 36 of the Electoral Act 1997 to furnish a statement in relation to their election expenses to the Standards in Public Offices Commission within...More Button

Was asked: the progress which has been made by the Office of the Revenue Commissioners regarding the alleged failure by a company to issue a P45 to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.More Button

The Revenue Commissioners have confirmed to me that the alleged failure referred to by the Deputy is being investigated by their Cork office. The Deputy will appreciate that any action to be taken in ...More Button

Written Answers. - Public Private Partnerships.

Was asked: if he has considered a system of municipal bonds as an alternative to public private partnerships; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The question of funding for public private partnerships is a matter for consideration by the relevant Minister or agency. The Minister or agency makes decisions with regard to the advice of the Nation...More Button

Written Answers. - Consultancy Contracts.

Was asked: the total amount of expenditure on consultancy by his Department in 2000, 2001 and 2002; the numbers of consultants engaged by his Department in those years; the steps which have been taken to reduce ...More Button

The amounts shown in the following table were spent by my Department on consultancies in 2000, 2001 and 2002. It should be noted that consultancy costs relating to the euro changeover, including expen...More Button

Written Answers. - Decentralisation Programme.

Was asked: the staff or staff representatives in his Department or boards or agencies under the aegis of his Department, which had been consulted in regard to the proposals on decentralisation set out in the bud...More Button

There was extensive consultation with staff unions shortly after the original announcement in 1999 and the existing partnership structures within each Department and agency will now deal with any impl...More Button

Was asked: the selection process used to decide on each such location in respect of each location identified in Phase 1, 2 and 3 of the proposed programme of decentralisation set out in the Budget statement of t...More Button

Since my original announcement in December 1999, my Department has received submissions, representations and inquiries on behalf of more than 130 centres throughout the country seeking to be included ...More Button

Was asked: the functions or sections of his Department, or boards or agencies under the aegis of his Department, it is proposed to decentralise in respect of each location identified in Phase 1,2 and 3 of the pr...More Button

Was asked: the legislation required to allow for decentralisation of any section of his Department; the section involved; the legislation which must be amended; the timetable for the publication of the legislati...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 138 and 140 together. I have established an implementation committee to oversee the decentralisation programme announced in the budget. Decentralisation will involve t...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Properties.

Was asked: the location of all properties and buildings rented by his Department; the annual rent; the date the rental lease was entered into; the duration of the lease; and the person from whom each property wa...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Staff.

Was asked: the number of civil servants working in County Wexford at present; and if those announced in his Budget 2004 speech are in addition to this number.More Button

Was asked: the Government Departments which are already decentralised prior to Budget 2004 announcements; the location of each such Department; and the number of employees in each of those Departments at each lo...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 141 and 145 together. Approximately 12,000 civil servants are already working outside Dublin. This figure excludes Prison Service staff deployed in prisons throughout ...More Button

Written Answers. - Tax Yield.

Was asked: the number of PAYE workers and self-employed who pay benefit-in-kind on company cars in each of the past five years; and the yield to the Exchequer on this tax for each of those years.More Button

Was asked: the estimated member of PAYE workers and self employed who pay benefit in kind based on medical insurance premia which are paid for them in each of the past five years; and the yield to the Exchequer ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 142 and 143 together. The information requested by the Deputy in respect of benefits-in-kind arising from the provision of cars and vans in each of the five years up t...More Button

Was asked: the yield to the Exchequer as a result of the 35 cent excise duty on alcopops which was introduced in Budget 2003; and if this duty has reduced the consumption of these products.More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that an estimated €8.7 million in extra excise duty was collected up to the end of November 2003, as a result of the increase in duty on alcopops mentioned b...More Button

Written Answers. - Child Support.

Was asked: his views on whether his budget 2001 and budget 2002 commitments in relation to child benefit are now factually incorrect; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The programme for Government indicated that the Government's overall budgetary and economic policy is to ensure that the public finances remain in a healthy position. This is essential if we are to ma...More Button

Written Answers. - Seed Capital Scheme.

Was asked: the position in relation to an application of the seed capital scheme for a company (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

A company must be regarded as carrying on a qualifying trade for the purposes of the scheme to qualify under the seed capital scheme. The term “qualifying trade” is defined in the legislation governin...More Button

Written Answers. - Banking Sector Regulation.

Was asked: if he has satisfied himself that adequate banking controls exist to ensure against situations similar to the Allfirst issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Minister of Finance is responsible for the development of the legal framework for most of the regulation of the financial services sector carried out by the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Aut...More Button

Written Answers. - Flood Relief.

Was asked: if and the extent to which the Office of Public Works proposes to assist or initiate in the alleviation of flooding at Mill Lane, Leixlip, County Kildare and the various other locations at County Kild...More Button

Written Answers. - EU Summits.

Was asked: the likely financial strategy to be pursued by Ireland at EU Council of Minister meetings with reference to taxation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am not clear whether the Deputy is referring to specific taxation dossiers or to proposed changes to treaty provisions. Ireland's strategy in respect of treaty provisions on taxation at meetings of ...More Button

Written Answers. - Social Partnership.

Was asked: the extent to which the partnership agreement remains on course; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am satisfied that good progress is being made on the implementation of Sustaining Progress. Two detailed progress reports have been laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas. A basic objective of the...More Button

Written Answers. - National Development Plan.

Was asked: the implications for his Department arising from postponement or delays on elements of the national development plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I assume the Deputy is referring to the implementation of the national development plan infrastructure programme via the plan's economic and social infrastructure operational programme. The ESRI's mid...More Button

Written Answers. - Economic Competitiveness.

Was asked: the steps he proposes to take to ensure that Ireland's economic position within the European Union remains attractive; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Our economic record far outshines that of our main European partners. Ireland's gross domestic product grew by an average of 9% between 1997 and 2002, compared to an average of about 2.5% in the Union...More Button

Written Answers. - Decentralisation Programme.

Was asked: the procedures likely to apply in regard to civil servants seeking a transfer to one of the decentralised Departments; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the timescale for the decentralisation proposals which he announced recently, with particular reference to the implementation of the necessary preparations; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 155 and 156 together.More Button

Written Answers. - Garda Stations.

Was asked: the progress in regard to the provision of the promised new Garda station at Leixlip, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Written Answers. - Disabled Drivers.

Was asked: the position in regard to the interdepartmental review of the 1994 disabled drivers and disabled passengers tax concessions; when it is expected to extend the current limits of the scheme; and if he w...More Button

As I have indicated in replies to previous questions on this issue, an interdepartmental review group has examined the disabled drivers' and disabled passengers' tax concessions schemes. I have receiv...More Button


Last Updated: 10/09/2010 02:24:44 First Page Previous Page Page of 216 Next Page Last Page