Lenihan, Brian Joseph

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 678 No. 2

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Written Answers - Telecommunications Services.

Was asked: when the tetra communications roll-out is expected to be finalised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The provision of modern, secure digital radio communications services is regarded as critical to the effective operations of the emergency and security services of the State. Following a comprehensive...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Stations.

Was asked: the annual allocation to the Garda station building programme since 2002; the annual number of Garda stations built since 2002; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Small Business Sector.

Was asked: the amount of funding that was made available by the European Investment Bank to the 27 Member States of the EU, in October 2008, for small and medium-sized enterprises; the amount that has been draw...More Button

The European Investment Bank (EIB) announced on 3 October 2008 that it was increasing its support for Europe’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to help mitigate the effects of the current cr...More Button

Written Answers - Pension Provisions.

Was asked: the proposals he has to discontinue the deduction of the pension levy from retained firemen; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have no proposals to discontinue the pension-related deduction in the case of retained firefighters. I did, however, undertake during the Dáil debate on the pension-related deduction to have the ca...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code.

Was asked: if he has held meetings with representatives from a group (details supplied) in recent months; the commitments he entered into with the group; when he expects these commitments to be put into effect;...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the concerns expressed by an association (details supplied) regarding the regulation of their profession; if he is in a position to deal with those concerns; and if...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 169 and 193 together. I met with representatives of the association referred to in the Deputies’ questions on 17 February 2009. They raised a number of issues with me ...More Button

Written Answers - Financial Institutions Support Scheme.

Was asked: his views on requesting the six covered banking institutions to adopt a lenient approach to mortgage customers who signed up to fixed rate mortgages and who are not in a position to avail of the redu...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that Financial Regulator published its Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears on 13th February in keeping with the Government’s announcement on recapitalisation arrangements. Th...More Button

Was asked: his views on the need for the banks covered by the State guarantee scheme to quickly pass on ECB interest rate reductions in full to mortgage customers; and his views on other institutions passing on...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that Financial Regulator published its Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears on 13th February in keeping with the Government’s announcement on recapitalisation arrangements. Th...More Button

Written Answers - Earth Hour Initiative.

Was asked: if, in view of the successful participation by the Office of Public Works in global initiative Earth Hour in 2008 along with many cities throughout the world, the Office of Public Works will particip...More Button

Written Answers - Financial Institution Support Scheme.

Was asked: the actions he is taking to pressurise the covered financial institutions to pass on reductions in the Euribor rate to business; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The decision on whether a bank operating in Ireland passes on interest rate cuts to customers is a commercial decision for the individual bank concerned. While my Department monitors the impact of ch...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code.

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 97 of 12 February 2009 the amount that would be raised by an income levy applied at 20% on all income to €50,000, 30% on income from €50,000 to €100,000 and 40% ...More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the full year yield to the Exchequer, estimated by reference to 2009, from the changes mentioned by the Deputy is estimated to be of the order of €19 bi...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Collection.

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 151 of 24 February 2009, when the assessment form will be issued in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on ...More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that a notice of assessment issued to the taxpayer on the 20th February 2009.More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code.

Was asked: the consideration given by him to date on introducing a new scrappage scheme to stimulate business in the motor industry; his view on the proposal of a group (details supplied) that such a scheme be ...More Button

Was asked: if he has assessed the case made by the motor industry for a car scrappage scheme to promote movement of the stock of cars. More Button

Was asked: the proposals he has to assist the motor vehicle industry to deal with the large stock of second-hand cars; if he has consulted with an organisation (details supplied) on this matter; and if he will ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 176, 192 and 204 together. I am conscious of the decline in new car sales both in Ireland and internationally, due to the contraction in economic activity. I and offic...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that 4000 jobs have been lost in the motor industry in the course of the past 12 months; his views on whether a failure to take emergency measures could re...More Button

Was asked: if he will respond to correspondence from a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: his views on proposals from a group (details supplied) in respect of VAT changes to a margins system with compensation for future inability to claim back VAT; and if he will make a statement on the m...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to an anomaly in the way VAT on second hand cars is structured, such that VAT is based on the price at which the car is acquired even it has to be sold at a considerab...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that under a VAT claw-back scheme, car dealers are forced to pay VAT on the value at which second-hand cars were brought into stock even if they are forced...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 177, 178, 180, 191 and 198 together. I am conscious of the decline in the car industry in Ireland and internationally due to the contraction in economic activity. In t...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Yield.

Was asked: the revenue the Exchequer received from excise duties on beer, wines and spirits in each year from 1997 to 2008; his views on whether higher duties and VAT on these items in the State are having a ne...More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the revenue the Exchequer received from excise duties on beer, wine, spirits and cider in each year from 1997 to 2008 is set out in the following table....More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the motor industry in Germany is reporting a 21% year on year increase in new car sales in February, despite Germany being in recession and having an ...More Button

I am conscious of the decline in new car sales in Ireland and internationally due to the contraction in economic activity. As the Deputy is aware, I and officials in my Department have met with repre...More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Staff.

Was asked: the number of drivers for each individual Minister of State in his Department and their remuneration; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number of drivers he has working for him and their remuneration; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 182 and 183 together. There are no drivers employed directly by me. Under a long-standing arrangement, all Government Ministers and certain other State officials are ...More Button

Written Answers - Pension Provisions.

Was asked: if he will review the pension levy which applies to retained firemen on the grounds that they only qualify for gratuity on retirement and when the gratuity is calculated on their retainer; the reason...More Button

I undertook during the Dáil debate on the pension-related deduction to have the case of the retained firefighters examined to see if there are exceptional circumstances with regard to this group of pu...More Button

Written Answers - Consumer Debt.

Was asked: if he will provide detailed statistics on consumer debt here; the way it has evolved over the past five years; the way it is broken down by mortgage debt, credit card debt, hire purchase loans, car l...More Button

Private sector credit growth and debt levels are, in the first instance, a matter for the Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland and details are published by the Bank in their Quarte...More Button

Written Answers - Credit Institutions.

Was asked: his views on a matter (details supplied). More Button

It is not appropriate for me to comment on the affairs of a particular company who may or may not be the customer of an Irish or UK credit institution.More Button

Written Answers - Decentralisation Programme.

Was asked: the position regarding the decentralisation of Government offices to Claremorris, County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Garda Stations.

Was asked: when work will begin on the new Garda divisional head quarters in Wexford; when the head quarters will be ready for occupation; the price paid for the site at Rocklands in respect of this station; an...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code.

Was asked: his views on an alternative to the collection and refund of the 1% levy in cases in which it is obvious from the outset that the individual or the couple concerned have no prospect of reaching or bre...More Button

The income levy is deducted on any payments of income made on or after 1 January 2009. The income levy legislation provides for a refund after the end of the year where there has been an over-deducti...More Button

Was asked: if all household income is taken into account in determining the rate and amount of tax payable by a public service pensioner who qualifies for a subsequent contributory old age pension; if the depen...More Button

Where a public service pensioner qualifies for a contributory old age pension and where appropriate, a qualified adult or qualified child allowance is applicable, all of this income would form part of...More Button

Written Answers - Tourism Investment Schemes.

Was asked: the number of projects which have been received for inclusion under the mid-Shannon tourism investment scheme; if he will extend the 1 June 2009 deadline for this scheme; and if he will make a statem...More Button

The approval and certification of projects under the Mid-Shannon Tourism Infrastructure Investment Scheme is a matter for the Mid-Shannon Tourism Infrastructure Board in accordance with guidelines iss...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Yield.

Was asked: the tax take in respect of alcohol excise duty, tobacco excise duty and vehicle registration tax for each month since January 2004 to February 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the tax take in respect of alcohol excise duty, tobacco excise duty and vehicle registration tax for each month since January 2004 to February 2009 is s...More Button

Written Answers - Pension Provisions.

Was asked: if the maximum pension a person can receive in respect of employment in the public service was capped at €60,000, €75,000 and €100,000 per annum, the amount which would be saved on an annual basis if...More Button

The Minister for Finance has statutory responsibility for civil service pensions and for pensions paid from the Central Fund. Statutory responsibility for other public service pension schemes is a ma...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Properties.

Was asked: the cost to the Exchequer on a full year basis, and for the nine months to end 2009, of property rental; if he will provide a breakdown of these costs by county and by category; and if he will make a...More Button

Written Answers - Financial Institutions Support Scheme.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a number of financial institutions (details supplied) recently increased mortgage interest rates for all first time buyers by 0.4% in the immediate af...More Button

I have been informed by the Financial Regulator that all of the covered institutions have fully passed on each ECB interest rate cut to owner occupiers since the bank guarantee scheme was introduced a...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Allowances.

Was asked: the number of individuals who are in receipt of fixed car allowances within any semi-State body reporting into his Department; the cost of same for 2008 and the anticipated figures for 2009; and if h...More Button

It has not been the practice of successive Ministers for Finance to involve themselves in the day to day operational details of any semi-State body reporting to the Department of Finance.More Button

Written Answers - Tax Yield.

Was asked: the excise increases that would arise from a carbon tax set at €20 per tonne of CO2 equivalent emitted and €25 per tonne of CO2 equivalent emitted on quantities of fuels (details supplied); and if he...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware the issue of a carbon tax is being considered by the Commission on Taxation. The Commission is due to report by September 2009 at the latest. The precise design of the carb...More Button

Written Answers - Members’ Remuneration.

Was asked: the position regarding a matter (details supplied). More Button

A decision to make a gift from salary to the Minister for Finance is a voluntary and personal matter. I have already given information on the total number of members of the Oireachtas who have made s...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code.

Was asked: if he will provide an estimate of the amount reclaimed in tax relief for medical expenses incurred in another EU state in the past three years for which figures are available; and if available, if he...More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that details of the tax relief for medical expenses are not captured in such a way as to provide a basis for compiling the estimates of cost sought by the De...More Button

Was asked: the position relating to the application of the increased rate of DIRT (details supplied) from 1 January 2009. More Button

DIRT is deducted at source by deposit takers — for example, banks, building societies, credit unions, the Post Office Savings Bank — from interest paid or credited on deposits of Irish residents. The...More Button

Written Answers - Disabled Drivers.

Was asked: the reason a person (details supplied) in County Galway is not eligible for the disabled drivers and passengers tax concession and vehicle fuel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Scheme provides relief from VAT and Vehicle Registration Tax (up to a certain limit), and exemption from motor tax, on the purchase of an...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code.

Was asked: the position regarding EU Commission approval for proposed tax reliefs (details supplied). More Button

In my Budget speech on 14th October, I announced the introduction of a new tax incentive scheme to facilitate the relocation of Seveso-listed industrial facilities which hinder the residential and com...More Button

Written Answers - Pension Provisions.

Was asked: the reason part-time firemen, who are not in receipt of a State pension, are subject to the pension levy. More Button

I am taking the reference to a State pension as being to a public service pension. Retained firefighters are subject to the pension-related deduction as they are entitled to join the Local Government...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Yield.

Was asked: the shortfall of the health levy to date; the estimated shortfall for the health levy in 2009; the way that this figure is calculated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Health Levy estimate is based on collection trends for previous years, the applicable rates and thresholds, as well as anticipated changes in employment levels and wage rates. The 2009 Budget prov...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code.

Was asked: his views on permitting citizens carrying out small refurbishments or extensions on their homes to claim back VAT, or to enable them to register temporarily for VAT in order that they could discharge...More Button

Irish VAT law must comply with the EU VAT Directive, which provides that individuals are in general outside the scope of VAT. Essentially only VAT registered persons who charge VAT are able to recove...More Button

Written Answers - Pension Provisions.

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that employees of Trinity College Dublin pre-1995 have been informed that the State will not guarantee their pension (details supplied); and if he will mak...More Button

There is no connection between the application of the pension-related deduction in any particular case and any guarantee sought by members in respect of their pension. As the Deputy is aware, discussi...More Button

Written Answers - Financial Institutions Support Scheme.

Was asked: the extent to which the credit institutions covered by the bank guarantee scheme are exposed to loans in eastern Europe, particularly in Romania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Czech...More Button

I am informed by the Financial Regulator that AIB is the covered institution with the most significant exposure, at 6.2% of total loans, to central and eastern Europe. This is because it is the only ...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code.

Was asked: if there are proposals to tax a gratuity lump sum earned by people who worked on the ambulance service on their retirement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Under statutory pension schemes and pension schemes approved by the Revenue Commissioners there is no liability to income tax in respect of retirement gratuities or lump sums paid to members of such s...More Button

Was asked: if he has estimated the impact of the proposed increase in betting tax from 1% to 2% on employment in this sector; and if he has identified options to introduce more broad based tax measures on the g...More Button

I announced in Budget 2009 that the betting duty would be increased from 1 to 2%. Subsequently, I met a wide range of representatives from the betting industry where the problems faced by the sector, ...More Button

Written Answers - Freedom of Information.

Was asked: the number of statutory instruments enacted which affect the scope of the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Act, 2003; the purpose of each of the statutory instruments enacted; and if he will make a...More Button

Four statutory instruments have been enacted which affect the scope of the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Act, 2003 as follows: S.I. No. 265 of 2003 extends the right to have personal information ...More Button

Written Answers - Social Insurance.

Was asked: if the impending shortfall in the social insurance fund has been factored into his calculation for the shortfall between Exchequer revenue and spending in 2009; and his estimate of the amount that th...More Button

Projections for the position of the Fund in 2009 will be finalised in the preparation of the forthcoming Supplementary Budget. I would however point out that as the Deputy will be aware, the Social In...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code.

Was asked: the number of people claiming one-parent family payment tax credit in each of the past three years; the number of those in which a child habitually resided with the parent; the number in which the ch...More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the numbers of income earners availing of the one parent family tax credit for the years 2006, 2007 and 2008 are estimated at 131,400, 136,700 and 136,6...More Button

Written Answers - Public Procurement Policy.

Was asked: the average percentage weighting given to the recruitment of local labour and of unemployed people in respect of the criteria for the selection of successful bids under public procurement processes i...More Button

Under the terms of the EU treaties and relevant directives, public procurement policy prohibits the use of discriminatory criteria in the award of public works contracts. The inclusion of local labour...More Button

Was asked: the steps he is taking to alter public procurement rules in order that a greater weighting is given to price. More Button

Under public procurement rules contracts are awarded on the basis of the lowest priced or the most economically advantageous tender. Economic advantage is assessed on the basis of a number of criteria...More Button

Written Answers - Job Creation.

Was asked: if a list is available of the number of direct and indirect jobs that would be created as a result of each capital project under the national development plan from the construction of the project its...More Button

Information is not collated centrally on a routine basis on the number of direct and indirect jobs that would be created as a result of each capital project under the National Development Plan. Howeve...More Button


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