Cowen, Brian

Wednesday, 7 December 2005

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 611 No. 17

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Budget Statement 2005.

I am honoured to be in the House again to present the 2006 budget. This budget reflects the priorities of the Government, and I believe it reflects the needs and hopes of the Irish people also. Introd...More Button

Competition for the new funds will stimulate excellence through collaboration and change. Details of the administration of the fund will be announced by the Minister for Education and Science over the...More Button

——will form an intrinsic part of our central planning mechanism. National Development Plan 2000-2006 Under the current national development plan ending next year there have been unprecedented levels o...More Button

——to ensure joined up thinking and the delivery of projects on time and on budget. National Development Plan 2007-2013 The next national development plan, which will cover the period 2007 to 2013, wil...More Button

This will bring the old age contributory pension to €193.30 per week, which means we will be well on the way to achieving the programme for government commitment to increase the State pension to €200 ...More Button

——will be disregarded for means test purposes. Other weekly welfare payments All other personal weekly social welfare rates will be increased by €17 per week. This will bring the lowest full personal ...More Button

The increase also represents substantial progress towards the implementation of our commitments in the programme for Government and in Sustaining Progress. Child benefit In 2006, the monthly rate for ...More Button

The amounts are €7.10 and €8.40. The Deputy should try to learn the rates before coming in here.More Button

This completes the transition to a higher rate of child benefit as promised last year. The monthly rate for the first and second child in 1997, when Deputy Jim O’Keeffe’s party was in Government, was ...More Button

The rate is now four times higher.More Button

The budget summary contains a wide range of other social welfare improvements.More Button

Social welfare recipients would like to hear the details of the budget and we should respect that. The budget summary contains a wide range of other social welfare improvements the full details of whi...More Button

——and I will also announce cuts in home heating oil taxes later in my statement to address fuel deficits on a broader basis; an increase in the rate of respite care grant to €1,200; an enhanced carer’...More Button

——and improvements in the terms of the disability allowance, back to work allowance and back to education allowance schemes to assist participation in the labour force. In addition, in line with commi...More Button

While previous Governments have aimed to support this desire, this Government has decided to make a step-change in the level of care and support service for older people in their home or community. Th...More Button

This will include new home care packages, substantially more home help, more day care support and additional palliative care for the terminally ill. This will help people avoid unnecessary residential...More Button

The Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children will set out the full details of the new services tomorrow.More Button

In passing, I might mention that I will also be examining issues relating to certain limited circumstances where adult individuals may require to be cared for outside their own homes because of partic...More Button

We can only do so much in one budget. A complete solution will take time but the structured medium-term approach I am announcing will, I believe, increase the options for parents in a balanced way.More Button

I hope it will be recognised as a constructive step forward in this area. In devising the strategy the Government was particularly anxious to develop further supply side measures to increase the numbe...More Button

The Government is also very conscious of the importance of the first year in the life of a child and the strategy provides for a significant extension of maternity leave. The strategy also seeks to ad...More Button

I am making a significant start in implementing the programme today by providing €317 million in the 2006 budget for this purpose. The cost will increase to more than €600 million a year by 2008. Supp...More Button

——and continued support to community providers of up to €1 million per facility subject to a maximum grant per place of €20,000.More Button

This new investment programme will build on the success of the €500 million equal opportunities child care programme which has already been provided under the National Development Plan 2000-2006. I th...More Button

This will cost a total of €35 million in 2006. I will be following this up with a further four weeks of paid maternity leave in 2007. Thus, by 2007, mothers of new-born children will be entitled to a ...More Button

This is in addition to the existing 14 weeks’ unpaid parental leave. In total, parents will be entitled to 56 weeks between paid and unpaid leave by 2007. Early child care supplement The increase in m...More Button

These payments, which will be exempt from income tax and levies, will be made on a quarterly basis in respect of more than 350,000 children who are less than six years of age. The first payment will b...More Button

This will be an additional new payment separate from the existing child benefit scheme. This new early child care supplement and the existing child benefit will bring the amount a family will receive ...More Button

This will be even higher where a family has more than two children under six. By any standards, this is a significant contribution from the taxpayer towards the cost of child care in such circumstance...More Button

——to streamline the functions relating to child care. Helping those on the minimum wage and on average pay — Taxation Tax revenue provides us with the resources to develop a fairer and more productive...More Button

Additional revenue affords us the opportunity to return some of this to those who earn it. The Government has radically restructured the tax system in the past eight years to ensure that much more inc...More Button

I intend to take more earners out of the tax net today. I am increasing the employee tax credit by €220 per year and the basic personal tax credit by €50 per year single and €100 per year for married ...More Button

I am also increasing the annual income tax exemption limit for persons aged 65 and over by €500 single and €1,000 married. This will remove a further 1,700 taxpayers from the tax net. These age exempt...More Button

I am increasing the threshold for the payment of the 2% health levy from €400 per week to €440 per week. This will benefit 72,300 lower paid workers by an extra €8 per week on top of the other reliefs...More Button

All these increases mean that a single person on €22,000 per year will benefit by €13.65 per week in net income in 2006 and a married one-earner couple on €40,000 per year will see their net income ri...More Button

I am happy to tell the House that the tax credits for widowed persons, blind persons, incapacitated children, dependent relatives and those aged 65 and over are being further increased this year, by a...More Button

This is simply not fair, although I should point out that high-earning non-payers are in a very small minority. Accordingly, I propose now to place an annual overall cap on the extent to which specifi...More Button

It will operate by reducing by half the amount of income that can be relieved from tax by certain specified tax reliefs. This measure will help eliminate the phenomenon of tax free millionaires and in...More Button

Further details of how this will work are set out in the Summary of Budget Measures. This will require some complex new legislative provisions and I propose accordingly that the new system will apply ...More Button

This annual cap system will also apply to artist’s relief from the same date. There is no change in the tax treatment of income now exempt under the artist’s relief scheme where that income is less th...More Button

A new regime appropriate to the industry will be discussed with the European Commission. I also propose to disallow interest on personal loans taken out to acquire shares in, or provide loans to, rent...More Button

I am beginning by halving the excise rate on kerosene and LPG used for home heating from midnight tonight. This measure will cost €46 million in a full year. Betting tax Earlier this year I initiated ...More Button

To meet this challenge further, I am announcing today the establishment of a carbon fund to enable the State to purchase carbon credits. This fund will be financed on a multi-annual basis and I am pro...More Button

More details on this initiative will be provided by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. Biofuels I have agreed with my colleague, the Minister for Communications, Marine a...More Button

There are clear benefits to all from this initiative. The environment will benefit in terms of a reduction in CO2 emissions. It will enhance security of supply of fuels, and create jobs and outlets fo...More Button

I intend to keep the door open for other sectors and private individuals to participate. The banks have indicated they are willing to discuss with me how this initiative can be successfully advanced. ...More Button

What about tax changes?More Button

Have a guess.More Button

Written Answers - State Property.

Was asked: if he will consider waiving the rights and interest of his Department in a property which was vested in the Minister for Finance on behalf of the State in 1986 (details supplied).More Button

Written Answers - Pension Provisions.

Was asked: the cost to the Exchequer of the retirement lump sums, in view of the fact that these are tax free; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that it is not possible to provide a precise estimate of the cost sought by the Deputy in regard to the payment of tax free lump sums because the relevant da...More Button

Written Answers - Disabled Drivers.

Was asked: his plans to amend the criteria laid down for disabled drivers and disabled passengers; if, in view of the fact that this section of legislation has not been updated since 1994, he will review same; i...More Button

A special interdepartmental review group reviewed the operation of the disabled drivers scheme. The terms of reference of the group were to examine the operation of the existing scheme, including the ...More Button

Written Answers - Public Service Contracts.

Was asked: his response to concerns expressed by the Construction Industry Federation regarding the nature of the fixed price lump sum contracts proposed by Government for major construction projects; and if he ...More Button

Was asked: his proposals to meet the concerns of a person (details supplied) in County Waterford in regard to Government contract reform; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 149 and 150 together. The Government decided to reform construction procurement to achieve greater cost certainty, better value for money and more cost effective deliv...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Staff.

Was asked: the position with regard to a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary who has applied for a transfer with the Civil Service.More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code.

Was asked: the cost to date in 2005 of tax reliefs for the development of private hospitals.More Button

I announced in my Budget Statement in December 2004 that my Department and the Office of the Revenue Commissioners would undertake a detailed review of certain tax incentive schemes and tax exemptions...More Button

Was asked: the qualification criteria, including public health and assessment of need on a local and regional basis, which are applied in relation to the tax reliefs for the developers of private hospitals.More Button

A private hospital has to meet certain conditions before it can be regarded as a qualifying building and these conditions are set out in section 268(2A) TCA 1997. Conditions include that, the hospital...More Button

Was asked: the number and locations of hospitals constructed, under construction and at the planning stage which have qualified for the tax relief for developers of private hospitals.More Button

Claims for tax relief on private hospitals are generally aggregated in tax returns with other claims and do not distinguish at present between the reliefs claimed in respect of different schemes. Prov...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that VAT at 13.5% on an ESB bill of €108.58 adds an extra €14.66 levy on to the bill for an old age pensioner; his plans to exempt VAT charged on ESB bills ...More Button

The position is that the rate of VAT that applies to a particular good or service is determined by the nature of the good or service, and not by the status of the customer. The VAT rating of goods and...More Button


Last Updated: 04/11/2010 02:26:11 First Page Previous Page Page of 177 Next Page Last Page