Lenihan, Brian Joseph

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 721 No. 3

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Priority Questions - Budgetary Outlook

Was asked: when he became aware that a budgetary adjustment of €7.5 billion in the next four budgets was insufficient to restore confidence in the bond markets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. ...More Button

Our expenditure is well in excess of our revenues and this gap, currently being filled by borrowing, needs to be reduced to a sustainable level. This is not just to ensure we retain market confidence...More Button

The reason behind the increase in the consolidation required is outlined in the information note on the economic and budgetary outlook Deputy Noonan received last week. It was published last week. T...More Button

Yesterday?More Button

Every time the Deputy refers to body language on the part of officials or Commissioners, I become suspicious. Body language is used here as a cover for the substitution of the Deputy’s opinion. He d...More Button

These are sensitive matters.More Button

My officials outlined to the Deputy three different scenarios.More Button

When it was put to him that they preferred one, he referred to body language as the basis for his conviction.More Button

The Deputy did.More Button

That is the position. There was no political pressure exerted.More Button

If the Deputy speaks to my officials, he will find no such direction.More Button

He will find no such direction.More Button

The Deputy has moved his ground to a core allegation that I interfered with my officials and gave them a direction.More Button

I did not give them a direction.More Button

We can return to the press statement at a later stage by way of supplementary questions if the Deputy wishesMore Button

Priority Questions - Banks Recapitalisation

Was asked: the reason the promissory notes issued in respect of Anglo Irish Bank, Irish Nationwide and EBS carry coupon rates ranging from 4% to over 6%; if consideration was given in structuring these notes ...More Button

The purpose of the promissory notes issued to the institutions referred to in the Deputy’s question is to enable the State to provide them with the necessary capital to meet regulatory capital require...More Button

The Deputy asked a number of questions. In respect of my level of awareness, at all stages prior to the execution of the promissory notes this year, my Department advised me that there were difficult...More Button

With regard to the interest, they were not in a position to advise me.More Button

If I might conclude without interruption, the position in this regard turns on the treatment which EUROSTAT adopts in respect of interest payments. My officials were not in a position to immediately ...More Button

May I please conclude?More Button

The gap between Exchequer expenses and receipts for this year is €19 billion. The €1.5 billion to which the Deputy refers is not even included in that figure. Let us place this matter in perspective...More Button

No, I am answering the Deputy’s question. This is the one item of information she never wishes to hear. The gap to which I refer is real and the Deputy is of the view that we should try to reduce it...More Button

Priority Questions - Fiscal Policy

Was asked: the discussions he has had with representatives of the European Central Bank with a view to an agreement that the bank will buy Irish bonds when the country re-enters the market in the new year; an...More Button

In order to give the markets time to digest the end of September statement on banking and the four year budgetary plan, the National Treasury Management Agency decided not to proceed with the planned ...More Button

That has been a matter of public record since September. The strategy is two-pronged. The first element of it was contained in the September announcement to bring finality and clarity to the exposur...More Button

It is important to bear in mind that the NTMA advised me we should not hold auctions in October and November, and I agreed with that advice. It was open to us to hold these auctions. We were not shu...More Button

Was asked: if he has examined the terms and conditions of the European Financial Stability Facility; the rate of interest he would expect to be charged to a eurozone member state participating in the EFSF, at...More Button

Ireland has not sought assistance from the European Financial Stability Facility, EFSF, and as the NTMA has repeatedly stated, Ireland is fully funded well into next year. In terms of contacts betwee...More Button

First, I have had no contact whatsoever with Mr. Klaus Regling since he was appointed to head up the facility. I of course met him when he visited Dublin earlier in the year——More Button

Can I deal with that? Can I answer the questions? I of course met Mr. Regling when he wrote with Mr. Max Watson a report on the history and causation of the current economic difficulties in Ireland ...More Button

The old land bond lottery machine might still be in the basement but I am not aware of the presence of any European officials there.More Button

Of course,——More Button

——just to finalise my answer and to assist the Deputy, officials from——More Button

All right, I will not try to assist further.More Button

Deputy Burton went on the national broadcaster yesterday and suggested that there is a Hungarian employed in the Department of Finance.More Button

He happens to be a Hungarian.More Button

He happens to be a Hungarian. He is an EU national and he is part of Commissioner Rehn’s staff. He is not part of the complement of the Department of Finance.More Button

Let me put that on the record of the House first. Commissioner Rehn must deal with 27 member states. It is natural and understandable that he has a particular official who helps him liaise with the ...More Button

Out of courtesy, he advises Deputy Burton who that official is and I hear on the national broadcaster later in the day, or in some broadcast, that this gentleman is a Hungarian who works in the Depart...More Button

I have put the facts on the record of the House. This is the gentleman, who is an EU national, who assists the Commissioner, who his also an EU national, on Irish matters. There are officials who ad...More Button

Out of courtesy, the Commissioner pointed that out to Deputy Burton.More Button

Priority Questions - Tax Free Betting

Was asked: his views on the possible introduction of an online betting tax; if he has considered in depth the implications of such a tax for employment within this industry here; and if he will make a stateme...More Button

I have stated previously that it is my intention to widen, if possible, the tax base on which betting duty would be applied. We have a situation where bets placed through one platform, namely, betting...More Button

My answer makes clear that I agree with Deputy Brian Hayes that there are two very difficult issues here. One matter is the complex legal and operational matters associated with the introduction of s...More Button

Yes. We have managed to advance beyond that position and we are exploring various options that would ensure that those who are resident in Ireland and place bets can be subject to the same rate of du...More Button

Just to answer Deputy Brian Hayes’s other question, that is a matter for the Government to consider in the context of its exploits.More Button

Any proposal on the licensing regime would be brought by way of separate legislation and I understand heads of Bill must be brought to the Government in the first instance.More Button

Other Questions - National Archives

Was asked: his plans to create a data centre for cloud computing to exploit the potential of cultural archives; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

At the outset, I should point out that a great deal of cultural material is already available on-line and accessible by any person through the Internet. Examples of this include the 1901 and 1911 cen...More Button

We are developing such a strategy. It is important to emphasise that it is not necessary to use cloud computing to make cultural material available online. A great deal of cultural material is avail...More Button

Examples of this already in operation include the e-Cabinet and the e-Estimates systems, the centralised HR management system for the Civil Service, the Financial Shared Services Centre operated by th...More Button

Is oth liom é sin.More Button

Other Questions - Fiscal Policy

Was asked: when he will set out the total fiscal adjustment necessary in each of the years 2011 to 2014, inclusive, in order to achieve the 3% of GDP deficit target by 2014; and if he will make a statement on...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, in recent weeks the Government has restated its commitment to achieving a general Government deficit of 3% of GDP by 2014. More recently, it has concluded that a total consoli...More Button

In brief, the four-year plan will be published later this month. The precise date is a matter for the Government. With regard to a template for the four-year plan, I presume Deputy Burton is referri...More Button

In the course of every Estimates process every Government does a very detailed economic assessment of the impact of particular measures. There are political choices to be made. For example, were we ...More Button

——of what is appropriate in connection with particular reductions in expenditure, of course in the Estimates process the Government has regard to the relevant economic impacts. I noted that Commissio...More Button

No, Commissioner Rehn did not suggest that at all. He suggested that his assessment was that the €15 million overall target was appropriate and that the most important issue of all was the front-load...More Button

There was no discussion about the date because the figure of 2014 was in fact agreed in 2009 when Ireland was given a long period — the longest period of any member state — to correct its deficit, in ...More Button

The figures on the fiscal deficit were not all that different in 2009.More Button

The Government has great faith in this country and its capacities and in the future of this country. I certainly have faith that we can overcome our difficulties and resolve them. Our underlying eco...More Button

If I may finish, it has been delayed until later November. The Deputy is incorrect; it is not contingent on the date for the Donegal by-election. It will be later this month. It has never been sugg...More Button

Other Questions - Departmental Staff

Was asked: if he will provide a breakdown of the staffing levels in his Department; if he considers them to be adequate and fit for purpose; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have circulated with the reply a table outlining the breakdown of full-time equivalent staffing levels in my Department at the end of October 2010. I will recite the numbers. The Department staff c...More Button

I am satisfied that my Department has augmented the expertise available to it in this area, first, through my decision made earlier this year to delegate certain functions to the NTMA, which has a rec...More Button

Again, I will undertake to furnish the Deputy with that information. There are some individuals involved. While I am briefed with detailed matters in that regard, it would be better if I communicate...More Button

As I understand the matter, the bulk of that was arranged through the NTMA. In regard to Deputy Burton’s other questions, I will give her the precise information she wants in regard to the profession...More Button

There are many individuals in my Department, the Deputy will be glad to hear, who have a knowledge in regard to the preparation and publication of public accounts which is far more detailed than the a...More Button

It is not. I said I would furnish the Deputy with the details.More Button

That is a very big question.More Button

The Minister is responsible for the Department. In our constitutional system, the Minister is always responsible for the conduct of the business of a Department, and responsible and accountable to th...More Button

That said, the Minister is responsible for fundamental issues of policy in a Department — no one contests that.More Button

There was extensive experience and expertise in banking matters in the Department at all stages. Of course, the officers with that expertise and experience within the Department could also draw on th...More Button

Other Questions - Banks Recapitalisation

Was asked: the reason the promissory notes issued in respect of Anglo Irish bank, Irish Nationwide and EBS carry coupon rates ranging from 4% to over 6%; if consideration was given in structuring these notes ...More Button

I refer the Deputy to my earlier answer to Priority Question No. 47. The purpose of the promissory notes issued to the institutions referred to in the Deputy’s question is to enable the State to prov...More Button

I am not in a position to deal with the issue of encryption codes.More Button

The Government is committed to meeting the capital requirements of the relevant institutions through the issue of a promissory note and plainly such a note will require to be issued before the end of ...More Button

I do not have the information before me but as I understand it, the figure for 2011 is 0.8%.More Button

In Stability and Growth Pact terms the impact on the general Government balance as a proportion of GDP will be between 0.8% and 0.9%.More Button

I do not accept the Deputy’s analysis of our current market difficulties in the context of the promissory note arrangement. It has been made clear to the markets that the promissory note arrangement ...More Button

Reform of Structures of Government: Motion (Resumed)

Amendment put.
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Question put: “That the motion, as amended, be agreed to.”
Yes IndicatorVoted Yes More Button

Written Answers - Economic Forecasts

Was asked: when he will set out his forecast GDP growth for 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if it is possible to achieve economic growth over the next three years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 55 and 156 together. As the Deputy will be aware, I have set out the Department of Finance’s latest GDP growth forecasts in the Information Note on the Economic and Bu...More Button

Written Answers - Insurance Industry

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the pressure by insurance companies to raise premiums; if he has undertaken any analysis of the impact and of the justification of such increases; and if he will ma...More Button

At the outset it should be noted that neither I nor the Central Bank can prohibit or restrict an insurance company from increasing its annual premium rates, as this is a commercial decision for the co...More Button

Written Answers - Banking Sector

Was asked: the extent to which the Irish banking system is dependent on the European Central Bank for funding; if the ECB have communicated to him a proposed timescale or mechanism for scaling down its commitme...More Button

I have no function in regard to the level of ECB lending as this is a matter for the ECB and the associated national central banks. Given the independence of the Eurosystem it would not be appropriate...More Button

Written Answers - Croke Park Agreement

Was asked: the savings across Departments achieved by the implementation of the Croke Park agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, over the last two years, the Government has taken a series of difficult but critical steps which have generated significant reductions in the potential public service pay ...More Button

Written Answers - National Asset Management Agency

Was asked: the action he is taking to ensure that National Asset Management Agency is accountable to the taxpayer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The issue of oversight and NAMA accountability was debated extensively during the NAMA Bill and there are substantial provisions on accountability in the NAMA legislation. Section 59 of the NAMA Act ...More Button

Written Answers - Banking Charges

Was asked: his specific proposals to incentivise bank customers to more frequently use plastic cards and to reduce their use of ATM machines to access their own cash from their own bank accounts; to detail the ...More Button

I have no plans for banks to impose additional charges on bank customers accessing cash. The promotion of the use of electronic payments is a key Government policy and a number of initiatives have al...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Collection

Was asked: his views on the decline in receipts from DIRT tax in the Exchequer returns published on 2 November 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Receipts from Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) were c. €150 million below profile in October. The DIRT yield has displayed volatility in the past, with considerable increases in recent years, fr...More Button

Written Answers - Central Bank Reports

Was asked: when he expects the publication of the next Financial Stability Report by the Central Bank; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Central Bank that, although the exact publication date has yet to be finalised, as outlined in its paper ‘Banking supervision: our new approach’ published in June 2010, the Centra...More Button

Written Answers - Forbairt na Gaeilge

Was asked: an bhfuil Gaeleagras — an eagraíocht oiliúna don státseirbhís faoi choimirce na Roinne Airgeadais — fós ag feidhmiú ina hiomláine; an bhfuil ranganna Gaeilge fós á soláthar ag Gaeleagras do státseirb...More Button

Is féidir liom deimhniú don Teachta go bhfuil Gaeleagras, a fheidhmíonn lastigh de Lárionad Oiliúna agus Forbartha na Státseirbhíse i mo Roinnse, fós ag feidhmiú. B’éigin méid áirithe cúrsaí a bhí f...More Button

Written Answers - Fiscal Policy

Was asked: his views on the introduction of a new fiscal framework for Ireland; if he plans to make an announcement regarding same, on budget day; his plans to propose legislation regarding same; and if he will...More Button

The Government will be bringing forward a range of structural reforms, including in respect of the overall fiscal process, in the context of the forthcoming Four Year Plan. In this overall context, t...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Property

Was asked: the capital value of the property portfolio of the Office of Public Works for the year 2009 with comparative figures for the previous three years More Button

Written Answers - Tax Collection

Was asked: if, in view of the 4.1% shortfall in income tax returns for October and the 6.3% drop in the year on year performance of these returns, he will make specific provisions in Budget 2011 to stimulate th...More Button

Income tax receipts amounted to €8.6 billion for the first ten months of the year. This represented a decline of €579 million or 6.3% on the level collected in the same period of 2009. Budget 2010 for...More Button

Written Answers - National Pensions Reserve Fund

Was asked: the loss he expects the National Pensions Reserve Fund to sustain as a result of the State’s underwriting of the €5.4 billion Allied Irish Banks plans to raise through the sale of new shares; and if ...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that it is customary when a company engages in a rights issue that the price of the shares issued thereunder be set at a significant discount to the prevai...More Button

Was asked: the reason the Government intends purchasing Allied Irish Banks shares at 50 cents when they are available on the market at less than 35 cents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Question Nos. 67, 74 and 77 together. The Financial Regulator determined on 30 September 2010 that AIB must raise a revised €10.4bn by the end of 2010 in order to meet its capital r...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: the estimate the 2010 year end capital and current balances for voted Departmental spending; his plans to roll these funds over at the discretion of the line Departments, or will these balances be re...More Button

Departmental balances are those amounts issued from the Exchequer Account of the Central Fund to the Supply Account of the Pay Master General for Departmental spending from one year which remain undra...More Button

Written Answers - Public Sector Staff

Was asked: the Health Service Executive voluntary redundancy and early retirement schemes, the detail of the way this is proposed to be funded; if the up-front cost will impact only on the 2010 general Governme...More Button

The actual cost and savings under the Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) and Voluntary Redundancy Schemes (VRS) for the health sector will depend on the overall take up of the schemes and the mix of tak...More Button

Written Answers - Fiscal Policy

Was asked: if, in view of the fact that savings amounting to €15 billion will be needed which is twice the sum that was under discussion at the time Ireland and the Commission agreed to bring our deficit below ...More Button

Over the course of the last two years, the Irish Government has taken a number of significant steps to begin the process of restoring stability and sustainability to the public finances. These adjustm...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code

Was asked: his plans for lifting the burden of carbon tax on road hauliers; if he will consider a scrappage scheme to assist road hauliers in replacing older vehicles; and if he will make a statement on the mat...More Button

I have no plans to exempt any sector from the carbon tax. The only reliefs from the carbon tax are for those companies that participate in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). Unlike the scrappage ...More Button

Was asked: his views on proposals to impose a tax or levy on text messages; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, it is not customary for the Minister for Finance to comment on possible tax and expenditure changes in advance of the Budget.More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Properties

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 84 of 7 October 2010, the further progress that has been made by the Office of Public Works in relation to the future of the former site at Haulbowline (details ...More Button

Written Answers - Credit Availability

Was asked: his view on the current lending environment for small and medium enterprise and for persons seeking mortgages; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

With regard to the provision of business credit, both AIB and Bank of Ireland have committed to providing not less than €3 billion each for new or increased credit facilities to SMEs in both 2010 and ...More Button

Written Answers - National Asset Management Agency

Was asked: his views on the €64 million loss incurred by the National Asset Management Agency in the three months to end June 2010 on the mark-to-market negative movement on hedging derivatives and foreign exch...More Button

NAMA advise that in terms of the €64m valuation movement reported in the second quarterly report of NAMA, it is most important to note that this is a mark-to-market movement on the derivative valuatio...More Button

Written Answers - Fiscal Policy

Was asked: the reason income tax receipts were below profile in the Exchequer returns published on 2 November 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: his views on the continued weakness in income tax receipts; the extent to which he attributes this ongoing weakness to emigration, job losses, declining hourly pay, declining hours worked, declining ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 78 and 91 together. Income tax receipts amounted to €8.6 billion for the first ten months of the year. This represented a decline of €579 million or 6.3% on the level ...More Button

Written Answers - Economic Competitiveness

Was asked: the extent to which his Department continues to monitor the competitiveness of the economy; the way this now compares with other EU member states those within the eurozone and without; the number of ...More Button

Was asked: the degree to which this economy is competitive in comparison to the most competitive within the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 79 and 155 together. My officials continuously monitor and analyse how cost developments are impacting on our economic performance and I am briefed accordingly. The st...More Button

Written Answers - Government Deficit

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the Economic and Social Research Institute quarterly economic commentary for the third quarter of 2010 that had grave doubts about the ability of Government to brin...More Button

With regards to the 3% target by 2014 — this benchmark was agreed by all EU Member States and the EU Commission. Ireland is not alone in the need to reduce its deficit — some 24 of 27 Member States a...More Button

Written Answers - Financial Services Sector

Was asked: if he has received a report conducted by Ernst and Young into policies and practices at Irish Nationwide Building Society; if he will publish the report; and if he will make a statement on the matter...More Button

The Board of Irish Nationwide Building Society has commenced a process to investigate certain “legacy” issues in the Society. As a first step in this, the Board engaged a firm of investigating accou...More Button

Written Answers - European Financial Stability Facility

Was asked: his views on proposals to set up a permanent successor fund to the European Financial Stability Facility; if he expects that conditionalities attached to any such fund would necessitate amendments to...More Button

The Report of the Van Rompuy Task Force, on which I represented Ireland, was endorsed by the European Council meeting of 28-29 October 2010. The Report concluded that in the light of the Greek crisi...More Button

Written Answers - Debt Interest Payments

Was asked: if he will set out a schedule of interest payments, both imputed and actual, for the promissory notes issued to Anglo Irish Bank, Irish Nationwide and EBS and for the debt raised on the bond market t...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the table as published on the Department of Finance website on 4th November last: Impact of Promissory Notes and Special Investment Shares on Publ...More Button

Written Answers - Flood Relief

Was asked: the reason Ireland did not join the European floods alert system until this year; the plans that are in place to avoid a recurrence of the devastation caused by last years floods now that Ireland is ...More Button

Written Answers - Fiscal Policy

Was asked: the reason receipts for corporation tax as published on 2 November 2010 were below the receipts for the equivalent period in 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Corporation tax receipts in the first ten months of the year, at €2.6 billion, were €206 million or 7.3% below the level collected in the same period of 2009. The Budget 2010 forecast anticipated a...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code

Was asked: the purpose of the €10 air travel tax; the amount of money collected since the tax was initiated; if he has considered a cost benefit analysis of the tax; his plans to discontinue the tax; and if he ...More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the yield from the air travel tax for the nine months it was in place in 2009 was €84.4 million and that the yield to date in 2010 is €88.2 million — to...More Button

Written Answers - Public Service Staff

Was asked: the direction given by his Department to public sector workers who were left stranded abroad as a result of the volcanic ash disruption; the specific direction that was given to these workers in term...More Button

In the matter raised by the Deputy my Department has direct responsibility in respect of the civil service only. Accordingly, the Department of Finance wrote to Personnel Officers of Government Depart...More Button

Written Answers - Consumer Sentiment Index

Was asked: the reason the KBC Ireland-ESRI consumer sentiment index slipped last month to 48.1 from 52.4 in September, bringing the index to its lowest level for 17 months; and if he will make a statement on th...More Button

The KBC Ireland/ ESRI consumer sentiment index for October was disappointing. This reflects uncertainty about the short term economic prospects among consumers which is also reflected in the present h...More Button

Written Answers - Financial Services Regulation

Was asked: the efforts that have been undertaken to introduce a mechanism whereby credit unions with surplus, uninvested funds can channel these funds into secure, productive investments in the Irish small and ...More Button

The Government has brought in a series of measures to ensure that viable businesses, especially SMEs, get the credit they need. As part of the Government’s strategy, announced last March, both AIB a...More Button

Written Answers - Bank Guarantee Scheme

Was asked: his plans to extend the issuance period for liabilities covered under the eligible liabilities guarantee scheme beyond end 2010; if he has sought, or intends to seek, EU state aid approval for such a...More Button

The Eligible Liabilities Guarantee Scheme has been an important support to the Irish banking system, facilitating its access to both short and longer term funding to help maintain the overall stabilit...More Button

Written Answers - Budget Statement

Was asked: if and when his Department will publish an impact assessment analysis of budget 2011; if his Department will poverty proof budget 2011 and the four-year budgetary plan that it will release; when the ...More Button

My Department will publish an assessment of 2011 income tax measures using poverty impact assessment criteria. Other Departments may publish further examinations at that time.More Button

Written Answers - Banking Sector Regulation

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the progress with the restructuring and consolidation of the Irish banking system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The State’s primary consideration in its involvement in the banking system is to protect, in the public interest, the financial and economic system of the State. Therefore, all of the Government’s ac...More Button

Written Answers - Budget Statement

Was asked: if he will set out a template of the four year stability plan which is under preparation for the European Commission detailing exactly the information the Commission is looking for, the format of sam...More Button

The Government will publish a Four-Year Budgetary Plan in the coming weeks which will set out the expenditure and revenue measures required to meet the deficit target of 3% of GDP by end-2014. The Pla...More Button

Written Answers - Financial Services Regulation

Was asked: when a decision will be made on the sale of EBS; the strategic considerations that will be taken into account in making the decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

To secure EBS’s immediate capital position, the State on 27 May 2010 provided EBS with €100 million of capital through the issuance of Special Investment Shares in a manner consistent with the EU Stat...More Button

Written Answers - Sovereign Borrowing Costs

Was asked: his views on the recent escalation of Irish sovereign borrowing costs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The extreme volatility on euro sovereign bond markets in recent days has seen yields on Irish Government bonds rise significantly, along with those of other so-called peripheral countries. While yiel...More Button

Written Answers - Exchequer Savings

Was asked: the reason expenditure on capital projects was €1 billion below profile on 2 November 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The actual roll-out of capital expenditure is a matter for other Departments, operating within a delegated sanction that covers not only capital investment this year but contractual commitments for th...More Button

Written Answers - Company Administration

Was asked: the progress of the restructuring of Quinn Group; the level of losses incurred by Anglo Irish Bank to date on loans to Quinn Group; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

On 3 June the High Court granted the Joint Administrators permission to appoint advisors on any prospective sale of Quinn Insurance Ltd (QIL). The advisors, on behalf of the Joint Administrators, issu...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Properties

Was asked: the number of properties under control of the Office of Public Works currently in use by the Department of Defence or Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Tax Collection

Was asked: the expiry of the relevant 31 October deadline for self-declaration, if he will provide an update on the implementation of further measures announced in budget 2010 with respect to the treatment of n...More Button

I am assuming that the reference by the Deputy to “further measures announced in Budget 2010 with respect to the treatment of non-residents for tax purposes” is a reference to the Domicile Levy introd...More Button

Written Answers - Banking Sector

Was asked: his views on the liquidity position of the Irish banking system; if this liquidity has come under significant threat in recent weeks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that as Minister for Finance it is not appropriate for me to discuss the liquidity positions of Irish banks. The Deputy will be aware that procedures have been in place si...More Button

Written Answers - Credit Availability

Was asked: if he has audited the delivery of lending commitments by banks made as part of the €7 billion recapitalisation agreement in 2009; the progress that has been made to date by Allied Irish Banks and Ban...More Button

In the subscription agreement, AIB and Bank of Ireland were tasked with making available 10% additional capacity for SME lending in 2009. While the figures are not audited as such, both banks report ...More Button

Written Answers - Legislative Programme

Was asked: the number of legislative measures already taken to safeguard the economy, the taxpayer and the country’s international creditability in the wake of the banking and economic downturn; the number of f...More Button

As far as my Department is concerned, a number of measures have been taken over recent years to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to address the economic and budgetary challenges which we are...More Button

Written Answers - Banking Sector Regulation

Was asked: the progress that has been made with preparations for the introduction of a special resolution regime for Irish banks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have indicated previously that I am examining options for the introduction of a legislative regime to deal in a systematic way with distressed financial institutions. This is to ensure the State has...More Button

Written Answers - Bank Guarantee Scheme

Was asked: if it is his intention to further extend the eligible liabilities guarantee scheme beyond December 2010; when will he be reviewing this guarantee to make this decision; if this consideration is being...More Button

The Eligible Liabilities Guarantee Scheme has been an important support to the Irish banking system, facilitating its access to both short and longer term funding to help maintain the overall stabilit...More Button

Written Answers - Credit Availability

Was asked: the number of refusals of credit that have been overturned by the Credit Review Office or as part of its internal review process within the two main banks; if any of the banks declined to follow the ...More Button

The Credit Review Office has completed reviews of a total of seventeen cases, it upheld the banks’ decisions in eleven cases, in two cases it considered that more work was required by the bank and the...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Yield

Was asked: if an estimation has been provided for the loss of revenue to the State due to cross-Border shopping in 2009 and to date in 2010; his views that retail businesses along the Border have suffered sever...More Button

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) published on 4 December 2009 the results of a survey of cross-border shopping as part of their Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) Q2 2009. The results show...More Button

Written Answers - Bank Guarantee Scheme

Was asked: the amount of demand deposits, interbank lending, senior debt, subordinated debt, total wholesale funding, retail deposits, total funding, deposit protection and total liabilities covered by the bank...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the Credit Institutions (Financial Support) Scheme (CIFS) expired on 29 September 2010. Subordinated debt and secured debt are not covered under the ELG Scheme. At the end of S...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Yield

Was asked: if he will list all taxes and VAT that the State imposes on air travel; the amount of revenue collected by each of these taxes in 2009 and to date in 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

There are no levies or charges imposed by the State on air travel apart from the air travel tax, which is the subject of the Deputy’s related question to the Minister for Finance (Question No. 525) Ai...More Button

Written Answers - National Debt

Was asked: the amount of money spent servicing the national debt and the average interest rate paid each year from 2000 to 2009; the projected cost of servicing the national debt and the projected average inter...More Button

The table sets out the cost of servicing the interest on the national debt and the average interest paid on outstanding debt for the period 2000-2010 as advised by the National Treasury Management Age...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Yield

Was asked: the amount the Exchequer has received from overseas tourism each year since 2000 and to date in 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Department of Tourism, Culture & Sport that over the eight year period from 2000 to 2007 the contribution to the exchequer was estimated at €16.2 billion. Based on Fáilte Ireland’...More Button

Was asked: the yield from the 13.5% VAT rate to date in 2010; the yield from the 21% VAT rate to date in 2010; the equivalent figures for the same period in 2009; the figures for each of these yields for the fu...More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the estimated breakdown of the net yield of VAT at the reduced and standard rate to date in 2010, for the same period in 2009 and for the full year in 2...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code

Was asked: his views on a proposal (details supplied) as part of dealing with the current economic situation. More Button

As the Deputy is aware, a windfall tax rate of 80% was introduced under the National Asset Management Agency Act and applies to the portion of any profit or gain made on the disposal of land which is ...More Button

Written Answers - Senior Debt Obligations

Was asked: if he will specify where under Irish law it is mandated that senior bondholders have the same status as depositors or holders of Irish sovereign debt; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As the Deputy is aware I set out in my statement of 30th September 2010 that the position is that senior debt obligations of financial institutions rank equally with deposits and other creditors under...More Button

Written Answers - Pension Provisions

Was asked: the arrangements in place to allow certain persons within the public service to obtain additional years towards their pension rights; if these arrangements are available equally to all public servant...More Button

There are various arrangements in operation throughout the Civil and Public Services which can provide added years for superannuation purposes. Professional Added Years Schemes — these schemes apply t...More Button

Written Answers - Budget Submissions

Was asked: if he has received a pre-budget submission from the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I have not received a pre-Budget submission from the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament. However, I did meet with their representative last week at a Pre-Budget meeting with the Community and Voluntary...More Button

Written Answers - Flood Relief

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 511 of the 29 September 2010 the position regarding a project (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

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

Written Answers - Tax Collection

Was asked: his views in relation to a matter (details supplied); if the matter can be dealt with given the concerns expressed by the person as stated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

This is a matter for the Revenue Commissioners. I am advised by Revenue that a significant tax debt was paid over six months late in this instance and Revenue sought to collect an interest debt arisi...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Yield

Was asked: the saving and yield for the Exchequer if an annual absolute cap of tax relievable pension contributions were introduced using the following caps: €10,000, €20,000, €30,000, €40,000, €50,000, €60,000...More Button

As explained in my responses to previous questions in this area, the Revenue Commissioners inform me that breakdowns of the individual contributions to pension savings on which tax relief are sought a...More Button

Was asked: the estimated yield for the Exchequer if the minimum effective tax rate for higher earners factored in tax relief on all pension related tax reliefs. More Button

The existing restriction of reliefs or horizontal measure is activated where individuals have an adjusted income of €125,000 and claim specified reliefs of €80,000 or more. Those subject to the full r...More Button

Written Answers - Pension Provisions

Was asked: the estimated saving for the Exchequer in each of the scenarios where public service pensions were capped at €100,000 and at values higher than this at intervals of €10,000.More Button

It is estimated that the imposition of caps on pensions in the civil service would give rise to the following savings: A cap of €100,000 would yield a saving of €1.34 million. A cap of €110,000 would ...More Button

Was asked: if, in respect of Appendix D of the Green Paper on Pensions, he will provide the same information in respect of PRSAs and RACs for the past year for which figures are available. More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the latest relevant information available is in respect of income tax relief allowed for contributions to Retirement Annuity Contracts (RACs) and Person...More Button

Written Answers - Garda Stations

Was asked: the position regarding plans for the now vacant Garda station (details supplied); if still allocated to the gardaí, its future plans for same and if the Office of Public Works has considered other us...More Button

Written Answers - Fiscal Policy

Was asked: the reason the National Assets Management Agency has been lending money to developers whose assets were non-performing (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I do not propose to comment on the circumstances of individual debtors. NAMA is currently engaging with the largest debtors whose loans have been acquired from the participating institutions. The draf...More Button

Written Answers - Art Collection

Was asked: if he will give an assurance that the art collection located in Allied Irish Banks will not be sold; his views that since the State is a major shareholder in Allied Irish Banks, it is only appropriat...More Button

I understand that the Deputy also put down a similar question to my colleague, the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture who will respond regarding matters relevant to her functional area. The Stat...More Button

Written Answers - Banking Sector

Was asked: if he is satisfied that he has been given all the information regarding the full extent of indebtedness in the banking sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the reason the full extent of indebtedness in the banking system was not made known to him or his Department in 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 153 and Question 154 together. Information on the banking system is collected by the Central Bank and aggregate figures are routinely published. Since the introductio...More Button

Written Answers - Banking Sector Regulation

Was asked: if he is satisfied that all the undesirable banking practices that led to the economic downturn have been corrected and provision made to ensure no recurrence; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that the primary responsibility for managing a bank and for preventing undesirable practices in that bank lies with the board of directors and management of each institution...More Button

Was asked: the action he has taken to ensure that banks lend to productive sectors in an effort to assist the economy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

In the subscription agreement, AIB and Bank of Ireland were tasked with making available 10% additional capacity for SME lending in 2009. The recapitalised banks stated that there were no constraints...More Button

Was asked: when he expects the banking sector to return to traditional banking and lending practices; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

In many ways, the banking sector has returned to traditional banking practices with credit only being advanced when the bank is satisfied that the customer has the capacity to repay the loan and the i...More Button

Written Answers - Flood Relief

Was asked: the total cost of flood prevention and flood alleviation in each of the past two years; the extent to which such sums have been included in application through the EU for flood relief moneys; and if ...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Yield

Was asked: the total revenue accruing to the Exchequer through the various forms of motor vehicle registration, taxation, excise on an annual basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners the revenue accruing to the Exchequer through various motor taxes i.e. excise and carbon tax on petrol and auto-diesel, vehicle registration tax and VAT, fro...More Button

Written Answers - Financial Services Sector

Was asked: if Irish investors are investing offshore to any greater extent than normal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, Ireland is a very open economy and as such there are no major impediments to Irish corporates or individuals investing across the European Union or to other jurisdictions ...More Button

Written Answers - National Asset Management Agency

Was asked: the extent to which his original projections in respect of the value and liability of assets taken by the National Assets Management Agency; the implications for the Exchequer of any changes with par...More Button

Was asked: if the eventual value of the National Assets Management Agency properties is likely to be better or worse than originally estimated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 163 and 164 together. It was originally envisaged that NAMA would transfer loans with a nominal value of almost €81 billion from the five participating credit institut...More Button

Written Answers - Flood Relief

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

Was asked: the funding allocated by the Office of Public Works for flood prevention projects in County Clare in the past three years; the schemes and locations covered by the funding; the present position of ea...More Button

Was asked: the progress to date on flood mitigation works (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Staff

Was asked: the number of persons in his Department who availed of the incentivised career break arrangements and the net savings to the Exchequer of the initiative.More Button

The following table sets out the number of persons (six) in my Department who have availed of the incentivised career break arrangements and the net savings to the Exchequer.More Button


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