Noonan, Michael

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 737 No. 3

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Ceisteanna — Questions - Programme for Government

Put down a question.More Button

Priority Questions - EU-IMF Programme

Was asked: if he will provide details of the elements in the EU-IMF programme with Ireland that he intends to put on the agenda for renegotiation as part of the forthcoming quarterly review by the troika, EU-EC...More Button

Quarterly reviews, such as the one which will start later this week, are a standard feature of financial support programmes. The purpose of these reviews is to assess the progress of the programme to...More Button

The Deputy has outlined the successful renegotiation of the deal we achieved when we met the troika a number of weeks ago. We agreed major changes, including the provision of scope for the jobs initi...More Button

An interest rate reduction is the subject matter of subsequent questions and I do want to take the ground from other Deputies by answering supplementary questions on the matter from Deputy McGrath. M...More Button

Priority Questions - Programme for Government

Was asked: in view of the 0.25 percentage point ECB interest rise of April last and in anticipation of the ECB interest rate increase due in the coming week, the way he intends to achieve the programme for Go...More Button

Implementation of the goals set out in the programme for Government to which the Deputy refers will be introduced in a measured way and in accordance with the Government’s priorities over the period o...More Button

The code of conduct on mortgage arrears has been substantially revised to implement the recommendations of the mortgage arrears and personal debt expert group which published its final report in Novem...More Button

The banks are being reconstructed. There will be two pillar banks. We will have much smaller banks, as the banks will be deleveraging most of what they have in terms of impaired debts abroad and wil...More Button

The restructuring of the banks has not yet been completed. The process is under way. We hope to have the banks fully recapitalised by the end of July, following which they will be in a position to p...More Button

Priority Questions - Bank Guarantee Scheme

Was asked: in relation to his stated view that senior bondholders in Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society should have substantial losses imposed on them, if he discussed this question with U...More Button

I reiterate the Government’s position on the bondholders of Anglo Irish Bank and the Irish Nationwide Building Society, INBS. As indicated in my statement of 31 March, the position on bondholders in ...More Button

I am glad the Deputy still has the same charitable view of other people’s motives that he has had since he was first elected to this House. My statement in Washington was very carefully thought out a...More Button

Ireland’s bailout agreement as negotiated by the previous Government is with the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank; it is not with the American Government. I intend discussin...More Button

I was seeking the assistance of the American Government on other issues and particularly the assistance of its Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Geithner. I certainly did not go to Washington to start m...More Button

It is an accusatory question.More Button

Of course it is an accusation, framed as a question.More Button

Priority Questions - EU-IMF Programme

Was asked: if he has received any indication that the Troika, EU/ECB/IMF, will require Ireland to achieve a fiscal correction of greater that €3.6 billion in 2012; and his views on whether this is still the a...More Button

As part of the memorandum of understanding on specific economic policy conditionality of the joint EU-IMF programme of financial support for Ireland, budget 2012 is to include an overall budgetary con...More Button

That is a very interesting question, but we are a long way from the budget which will be announced early in December. The Deputy will recall from the memorandum of understanding that while the target...More Button

I am not saying that as precisely as the Deputy is putting it. I am saying there are two targets: one is a monetary target of €3.6 billion and the other is a deficit target of 8.6% of GDP. To try to...More Button

No, it is not a must but, obviously, it is a matter for negotiation. The assumption is that an adjustment of €3.6 billion will get one to a deficit of 8.6%. As the year goes by, we will know, but mu...More Button

It is a minimum adjustment.More Button

Was asked: if, during any of his meetings at the European Council, he has raised the fact that the European Union will profit to the tune of €10 billion as a result of the 3% mark up on the interest rate char...More Button

The EU portion of the EU-IMF programme funding for Ireland is made up of the European financial stabilisation mechanism, EFSM, the European financial stability facility, EFSF, and the bilateral loans ...More Button

It is very fair to say that when we talk about a bailout for Ireland, or indeed Greece or Portugal, we are not talking about grant-in-aid. We are getting a facility to borrow money and we are paying ...More Button

Other Questions - Tax Code

Was asked: if he will detail the number of companies operating here who pay less than the 12.5% rate of corporation tax; if he will provide this number as a percentage of the total number of companies current...More Button

Was asked: the percentage of companies currently operating here who pay the 12.5% rate of corporation tax. More Button

Was asked: the number of persons currently employed in those companies that pay the full 12.5% rate of corporation tax. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 33, 55 and 78 together. I wish to advise the Deputies that companies operating in Ireland are chargeable to corporation tax at the 12.5% rate on their trading profits....More Button

I do not have the figures sought by the Deputy to hand but, in overall terms, there has been a debate on who pays what rate of corporation tax across the European Union. If one takes the effective ra...More Button

As corporation tax is a tax on company profits, obviously costs are taken out before one calculates the base on which the 12.5% rate is applied.More Button

If it is a cost, it is a cost. It is a tax on profits. That is straightforward. The source is a survey carried out by one of the international accountancy firms. I do not have further information ...More Button

More than 28,000 companies pay tax at the 12.5% rate but the Deputy wants to know how many pay smaller amounts. I do not have the precise figures to hand and I do not think anybody does. In general ...More Button

We have shared this information through our diplomatic system. The initial reaction of colleagues in Europe was surprise but they all accept it now. We got the information published in the leading F...More Button

Discussions are focused on the possibility of getting an interest rate reduction. An argument about the rates has moved on to the base for quite some time now. The base is described along with the C...More Button

Other Questions - Flood Relief

Was asked: the steps he will take to address the summer flooding in the Shannon Callows; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Other Questions - Commercial Leases

Was asked: if he will provide a list of the funds provided by him for all buildings currently rented or leased by the State that are subject to upward only rent reviews indicating which of those buildings hav...More Button

Other Questions - Moneylender Regulation

Was asked: if he will outline the progress made on the commitment in the programme for Government to tightly regulate moneylenders. More Button

There is already a comprehensive licensing system in place for moneylenders. Moneylenders have to apply to the Central Bank annually to have their licences renewed. Section 93 of the Consumer Credit...More Button

Operating as an unlicensed moneylender is illegal and it is a matter for the Garda Síochána in the first instance. In regard to the licensed moneylenders, we have ongoing discussions with the regulat...More Button

The APR is set down in regulation and it is always a matter of debate as to whether a particular interest rate is too high, but it is regulated. As Deputy Michael McGrath pointed out, the issue of mo...More Button

Leaders’ Questions

Deputy Dooley’s party gave the guarantee.More Button

Written Answers - Tax Reliefs

Was asked: if he will ensure that the stamp duty exemption for farm consolidation is renewed by the end of June this year. More Button

The relief from Stamp Duty for farm consolidation expired on 30 June. I understand the level of take up of the scheme was not particularly high: there were only 115 applications for the relief from ...More Button

Written Answers - Corporation Tax Policy

Was asked: his understanding of France’s position on Ireland’s corporation tax. More Button

Taxation in the European Treaties is a sovereign issue for Member States and taxation matters at a European level can only be decided on the basis of unanimity. For this reason, Ireland is aware of t...More Button

Written Answers - Public Service Remuneration

Was asked: the number of persons currently employed by the State who are earning more than €100,000 per year; and the total cost to the State of all earnings in excess of €100,000 per year. More Button

Was asked: the total savings to the Exchequer in a full financial year arising from a cap of €100,000 on public sector pay. More Button

Was asked: the legal obstacles that may exist to prevent placing a 45% levy on earnings of more than €100,000 per year for those working in the public service. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 39, 43 and 45 together. Data on earnings in the public sector is sourced from the Revenue Commissioners and similar data to that sought was supplied in response to Pa...More Button

Written Answers - Commercial Property Valuations

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 97 and 98 of 28 June 2011, the number of staff employed in the Valuation Office; the reason for the slow progress of the revaluation process; the specific opt...More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 97 and 98 of 28 June 2011, if his attention has been drawn to the impact of the delays in the revaluation programme on businesses across the country; and if h...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 40 and 41 together. There are currently 144 staff employed in the Valuation Office which is a statutory office headed by the Commissioner of Valuation. The Commission...More Button

Written Answers - Fiscal Policy

Was asked: if lowering personal income tax bands and credits will form part of the additional revenue raising measures currently being considered by him as part of the fifth quarter requirements of the EU-IMF ...More Button

The Programme for Government states that as part of the Government’s fiscal strategy we will maintain the current rates of income tax together with bands and credits. As the Deputy is aware, the Gove...More Button

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation

Was asked: his stated intention to impose losses on unsecured senior bondholders in Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society subject to the agreement of the European Central Bank, if he intends t...More Button

I have indicated to the House that, consistent with Government policy, I will raise the issue of burden sharing which will allow for the imposition of loses on unguaranteed and unsecured senior bondho...More Button

Written Answers - Eurozone Contingency Measures

Was asked: if there are contingency measures being put in place in the event of an Irish withdrawal from the euro or a break up of the eurozone; if such contingencies might include discussions with non-eurozone...More Button

The focus of Government is to work with our partners in the Euro Area and the broader EU to maintain and enhance the stability of the Euro. This is also the aim and intention of the wider internation...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code

Was asked: if he will provide a progress report on the proposed reform of capital gains tax and acquisitions tax as outlined in the EU-IMF programme. More Button

A number of possible changes to the Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) and Capital Gains Tax (CGT) provisions are under consideration. The Deputy may be aware that the CAT Group tax-free thresholds were ...More Button

Written Answers - Mortgage Arrears

Was asked: if he has received any communications from the banking or lending sectors with a view to achieving a basis for addressing the ever increasing issue of mortgage arrears which has been exasperated by u...More Button

The revised Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA) was issued to all mortgage lenders in December 2010 and has been effective since 1 January 2011. The CCMA sets out how mortgage lenders must tre...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code

Was asked: if he intends to increase the top rate of VAT as indicated in the programme for Government commitment to limit the top rate of VAT to 23%. More Button

The EU/IMF Programme provides for a 1% increase in the standard VAT rate to 22% with effect from January 2013, and a further 1% increase in the standard VAT rate to 23% with effect from January 2014. ...More Button

Written Answers - Banking Sector Remuneration

Was asked: the position regarding the appointment of a new chief executive officer at Allied Irish Bank; if he will confirm if the bank has requested him to give an exemption to the salary cap of €500,000; and ...More Button

As I stated in my reply to questions on the same subject on 29 June 2011 (Ref. Nos. 17942/11 and 17943/11) the search for a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Allied Irish Banks (AIB) is on-going. ...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code

Was asked: his plans for an increase in the carbon tax in Budget 2012 as required under the terms of the EU-IMF support programme. More Button

The level and timeframe of any tax changes in the excise area, including in the carbon tax rate, will be determined in the context of the annual Budget cycle.More Button

Written Answers - Mortgage Arrears

Was asked: his plans to assist families in mortgage difficulty; the discussions, he is planning with IFSRA on the issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I would like to inform the Deputy that there are a number of measures in place to assist mortgage holders who are in genuine difficulties with regard to the payment of their mortgages. The Deputy wil...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Yield

Was asked: the revenue, if any, that is collected on works of art, many of which appear to be selling for record prices; his plans for revenue raising measures on such assets at the point of transaction; and if...More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the information furnished on tax returns does not generally require the yield from a particular sector or sub-sector of economic activity to be identifi...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Compliance

Was asked: the position regarding his work with regard to the programme for Government commitment to ensure that tax exiles make a fair contribution to the Exchequer. More Button

The level and timeframe of any taxation changes in this area will be determined in the context of Budgets over the lifetime of the Government.More Button

Written Answers - National Asset Management Agency

Was asked: the National Assets Management Agency has a social good clause in its articles, the way citizens access information on which properties NAMA controls, via its loan portfolio as NAMA is not required u...More Button

NAMA has a commercial remit and a statutory objective to generate a return for the taxpayer. However, within the context of its commercial remit and consistent with section 2 of the National Asset Ma...More Button

Written Answers - Banks Restructuring

Was asked: the discussions he has had with the Irish Bank Officials Association regarding the ongoing job losses in the banking sector arising from the restructuring process and if he has given consideration to...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that it is an inevitable, but unfortunate, consequence of the necessary restructuring of the banking system that job losses will arise. Essentially the banks will be smalle...More Button

Written Answers - State Banking Sector

Was asked: if he has had any consultations with the European Commission and the European Central Bank on the proposed establishment of a strategic investment bank and if they have given their views on the matte...More Button

Was asked: if he is actively considering the creation of a strategic investment bank with a capital allocation of €2 billion for the purpose of creating jobs. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 58 and 158 together. As I said in a reply to a question from Deputy Flanagan on 21 June, ensuring that a strategic investment bank is operating in the domestic banking...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code

Was asked: the position regarding the development of a property tax to be included in Budget 2012 as required under the terms of the EU-IMF programme. More Button

The EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support for Ireland under its fiscal consolidation measures commits to the introduction of a property tax for 2012 and to an increase in the property tax for 2013. ...More Button

Written Answers - Debt Crises

Was asked: his recent comments on the matter, if he will explain his views on the main differences between Ireland and Greece in terms of their respective debt crises; and if he will make a statement on the mat...More Button

While the underlying economic and fiscal situations in Ireland and Greece are very different, both countries clearly have to restore their economy to health and their public finances to a sustainable ...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code

Was asked: if he will provide any evidence currently held by him to support the conclusion that reducing VAT in the tourism sector will create jobs and the mechanisms in place to measure the impact of this VAT ...More Button

As provided for in the Finance (No. 2) Act 2011, a second reduced VAT rate of 9% came into effect on a temporary basis in respect of certain services and goods mainly related to tourism on 1 July 2011...More Button

Written Answers - Mortgage Assistance

Was asked: his plans to introduce specific measures to assist mortgage holders in advance of budget 2012 and if the programme for Government commitment to increase the mortgage interest relief to those who boug...More Button

This Government is fully aware of the difficulties that many homeowners, through no fault of their own, are having in meeting their mortgage repayments in respect of their principal private residence....More Button

Written Answers - Fiscal Policy

Was asked: his views on whether the appointment of Christine Lagarde as head of the International Monetary Fund will be helpful to Ireland’s efforts to ensure debt sustainability and to impose losses on unsecur...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware we are seeking a reduction in the interest rate being charged on EU funds and have already explained our position in this regard to Christine Lagarde in her previous role a...More Button

Written Answers - Jobs Initiative

Was asked: the mechanisms in place to monitor and review the impact of the jobs initiative. More Button

The Jobs Initiative 2011 brought forward a number of sectoral measures and tax/PRSI changes. The purpose of these measures is to assist in employment generation, to provide opportunities for those who...More Button

Written Answers - State Visits

Was asked: if he will report on the total costs to the State of the visits of Queen Elizabeth II and the President of the USA. More Button

There were no costs to my Department arising from the visits of Queen Elizabeth and President Obama. I understand that the Office of Public Works and the Departments which incurred the major costs ar...More Button

Written Answers - Constitutional Amendments

Was asked: the progress made to date on a wording for the referendum to protect whistleblowers; and if he intends to pursue a sectoral based or a central approach. More Button

The Programme for Government contains a commitment to a referendum to protect the right of citizens to communicate in confidence with public representatives. In addition, there is a commitment that w...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code

Was asked: his views of the compatibility of the requirements on personal income tax bands and credits contained in the EU-IMF support programme with the commitments contained in the programme for Government to...More Button

The Programme for Government states that as part of the Government’s fiscal strategy we will maintain the current rates of income tax together with bands and credits. As the Deputy is aware, the Gove...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Funding

Was asked: if he will detail the funding provided by him to meet the programme for Government commitment to accelerate capital works that are shovel ready and labour intensive including schools and secondary ro...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, I recently announced this Government’s Jobs Initiative. The Initiative provided for a further €30 million for school works and associated works in 2011 over the existing alloca...More Button

Written Answers - Debt Crises

Was asked: his views on the impact on Ireland of the ongoing debt crisis in Greece and if he will provide details of any specific assurances he has received from our European partners that any contagion impact ...More Button

The main channel through which the Greek sovereign debt crisis is impacting on Ireland is through a widening of sovereign bond spreads. It must be remembered, however, that Ireland is not dependent up...More Button

Written Answers - State Properties

Was asked: if he will provide a list of the revenue gained by the State from buildings leased by the State to either private sector or public sector tenants which are currently subject to upward only rent revie...More Button

Written Answers - Fiscal Policy

Was asked: if he expects to meet the €1,500 million additional revenue raising target for 2012 as set out in the EU-IMF support programme. More Button

Was asked: if he will provide a report on the additional revenue raising measures currently being considered by him as part of the fifth quarter requirements of the EU-IMF programme. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 71 and 72 together. As part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Specific Economic Policy Conditionality of the Joint EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support for ...More Button

Was asked: if reducing private pension tax reliefs will form part of the additional revenue raising measures currently being considered by him as part of the fifth quarter requirements of the EU-IMF programme. More Button

The gradual reduction from marginal to standard rate tax relief on pension contributions commencing in 2012 forms part of the fiscal consolidation measures in the agreement with the EU, IMF and the EC...More Button

Written Answers - Judicial Remuneration

Was asked: the percentage of judges who have voluntarily agreed to a contribution equivalent to the pension levy in accordance with the provisions of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act ...More Button

This is a matter for the Revenue Commissioners. Section 161 of the Finance Act 2010 provides for a voluntary scheme that enables members of the Judiciary to make a gift to the State of an equivalent ...More Button

Written Answers - National Asset Management Agency

Was asked: if he will provide a progress report on the programme for Government commitment to provide the highest standards of transparency in the operation of the National Asset Management Agency, on reduction...More Button

As Minister for Finance I met with the NAMA Board on 13 April 2011 when I explained that I expect the agency to comply with the Government commitment to the highest standards of transparency to the ma...More Button

Written Answers - Fiscal Policy

Was asked: if he supports the statement by An Taoiseach that budget 2012 will contain no income tax increases. More Button

The Programme for Government states that as part of the Government’s fiscal strategy we will maintain the current rates of income tax together with bands and credits. As the Deputy is aware, the Gove...More Button

Written Answers - Office of the Ombudsman

Was asked: his plans to extend the powers of the Ombudsman; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Ombudsman (Amendment) Bill 2008 was published in July 2008. The Bill completed all stages in the Dáil in June 2010 and is awaiting second stage in the Seanad. The primary purpose of the Bill is t...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code

Was asked: if he will provide a progress report on proposals to reduce tax expenditures as required under the terms of the EU-IMF programme. More Button

Budget and Finance Act 2011 introduced a range of measures which reduced tax expenditures. Principal amongst these were: Reduction of Income Tax credits, bands and exemption limits; Removal of variou...More Button

Written Answers - Fiscal Policy

Was asked: if the explicit permission of the European Commission, the ECB and IMF has been received to allow the State to use any remaining balance of the €35 billion, originally earmarked for the banking syste...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, the EU — IMF support programme provides for a total of €85 billion in financial support from both internal and external sources — with €17.5 billion of this being provided...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code

Was asked: if, in view of the high fuel prices which have a knock on affect on the cost of living and the cost of getting to work, he will consider adjusting excise rates downwards to address same; and if he wi...More Button

Ireland, as with other countries, has experienced an increase in the cost of petrol and auto-diesel. The increase in fuel prices is an international phenomenon. Fuel prices are driven by a number of f...More Button

Written Answers - Illicit Trade in Fuel

Was asked: if he will consider establishing a multi agency task force involving Customs and Excise, Revenue Commissioners, Garda and local authorities to combat the illegal fuel laundering, sale and supply whic...More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners, who are responsible for the collection of mineral oil tax and for tackling the illicit trade in fuel products, that they are very conscious of the ongoing t...More Button

Written Answers - Moneylender Regulation

Was asked: if legislation will be required to implement the commitment in the programme for Government to regulate moneylenders. More Button

Persons operating as unlicensed moneylenders are in breach of the law. Any evidence of their activities should be brought to the attention of An Garda Siochana. If legislation is required to deal with...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code

Was asked: the context of developing our own domestic renewable energy sector, particularly wood biomass and wind-generated electricity, as well as reducing our over-dependence on imported fossil fuels, when th...More Button

The section in the Finance Act 2010 that provides for the application of the carbon tax to solid fuels (coal and commercial peat) is subject to a Ministerial Commencement Order. This approach was prim...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Reliefs

Was asked: the position regarding an application for revenue assist in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the person (details supplied) must make an application for Revenue Job Assist on form RJA1to his Revenue Office, Government Offices, Pearse St, Athlone, ...More Button

Written Answers - Constitutional Amendments

Was asked: when he plans to introduce the constitutional referendum to bring about changes to reverse the effects of the Abbeylara judgment to enable Oireachtas committees to carry out full investigations; and ...More Button

The Programme for Government contains a commitment to the holding of a referendum to amend the Constitution to reverse the effects of the Abbeylara judgement to enable Oireachtas committees to carry o...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies

Was asked: if he will investigate, reassess and alter the restrictively high turnover requirements for legal services for State and semi-State agencies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The position is that whilst public bodies may use a prospective contractor’s turnover to assess a company’s financial capacity, there are no centrally imposed requirements for a minimum turnover. Such...More Button

Written Answers - European Central Bank

Was asked: if he will provide details of any texts relating to reform of the European Central Bank which he has circulated to other EU leaders at any point; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he has tabled any measures at the European Council or eurogroup concerning the reform of the European Central Bank. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 123 and 154 together. As the Deputy is aware, the ECB is independent and this independence is set out in Article 282(3) of the Treaty, which states that the European...More Button

Was asked: the nature and duration of all discussions he held with Mr. Mario Draghi previous to agreeing to his appointment as president of the European Central Bank; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

Was asked: the connections he has had with Mr. Mario Draghi prior to agreeing to his nomination as president of the European Central Bank; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the steps he is proposing regarding the handling by EU Heads of state and government of appointments to the European Central Bank; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the contacts he has had with other European leaders regarding the appointment of the next president of the European Central Bank. More Button

Was asked: if he has tabled any proposals regarding the work of the European Central Bank as part of the discussions regarding the appointment of its next president. More Button

Was asked: the contacts he has had with persons who may be seeking the position of president of the European Central Bank. More Button

Was asked: if he will detail discussions which he held with nominees for the position of president of the European Central Bank prior to the European Council’s decision on this matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 124, 126, 128 and 150 to 153, inclusive, together. The ECB is independent and this independence is set out in Article 282(3) of the Treaty, which states that the Euro...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Representatives

Was asked: the instructions he has given to the officers of his Department who represent him on the groups dealing with Ireland’s position on the next EU budget; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I assume that the Deputy is referring to the recently published Commission proposals on the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework for the EU post 2013. The negotiation of the next Multi-annual Financi...More Button

Was asked: the representatives from the Department of the Taoiseach who sit on the tax strategy group. More Button

The Department of Finance has recently been advised that the Department of the Taoiseach will be represented on the Tax Strategy Group by Mr. John Shaw, Mr. Mark Kennelly, Mr. Andrew McDowell and Mr. ...More Button

Written Answers - State Agencies

Was asked: if he intends, in view of recent disclosures of salary and bonus information at the National Treasury Management Agency, to introduce greater transparency and ministerial control in relation to the r...More Button

Was asked: the National Treasury Management Agency, his plans to introduce greater transparency and ministerial control in relation to the remuneration, including bonus arrangements that apply at the NTMA; and ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 129 and 176 together. Performance-related pay has been an integral part of the NTMA approach to remuneration, reflecting the approach to remuneration in the private se...More Button

Written Answers - Bank Guarantee Scheme

Was asked: if he will provide a month-by-month breakdown of bonds due to mature in Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland, EBS and Permanent TSB broken down by bond type; their value; their date of maturity; and i...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that on 1 April 2011, the Central Bank published the total senior and subordinated debt issuances by those banks covered by the Guarantee as at March 2011. This information i...More Button

Written Answers - Financial Services Sector

Was asked: the avenue open to a person (details supplied) who was refused a mortgage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I would like to inform the Deputy that I, as Minister for Finance, have no responsibility with regard to the provision or refusal of a mortgage to a particular individual. The Central Bank’s Consumer...More Button

Written Answers - Flood Relief

Was asked: the position regarding the drainage of the Dunkellin River, County Galway; the cost of same; the phases or stages involved; when work will commence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Written Answers - Property Valuations

Was asked: if he will instruct the Valuation Office and local authorities not to apply commercial rates to sporting organisations that are not for profit such as GAA clubs and golf clubs; and if necessary, if h...More Button

The Commissioner of Valuation is independent in the exercise of his duties under the Valuation Act 2001 and the making of valuations for rating purposes is his sole prerogative. The statute does not a...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Contracts

Was asked: the reason the typing of documents and transcription of digital dictation has been outsourced to the Philippines by the Revenue Commissioners and other public bodies. More Button

I should point out that the question of awarding of individual contracts is a matter for each contracting authority. However, I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that they have not outsourced t...More Button

Written Answers - Financial Services Sector

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that Permanent TSB’s interest rate on variable rate mortgages is significantly above that of other banks covered by the blanket guarantee; the steps he wil...More Button

As Minister for Finance, I have no statutory role in the setting of interest rates charged or paid by regulated financial institutions, including the institution mentioned by the Deputy. The Central...More Button

Written Answers - State Bodies

Was asked: if the national economic advisory council has met; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am aware that last November, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance and the Public Service published a report entitled Macroeconomic Policy and Fiscal and Economic Governance. As part of a numbe...More Button

Written Answers - Semi-State Bodies

Was asked: the number of semi-State companies here that paid bonus payments to their chief executive officer in 2009 and 2010 separately; the amount of each bonus payment; the corresponding company name; the na...More Button

Was asked: the number of semi-State companies that paid bonuses to second-tier management staff in 2009, 2010 and 2011 separately; the amount of each bonus paid; the corresponding company; the name of bonus rec...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 137 and 138 together. My Department does not hold this information. Information on performance related payments for chief executives and second tier management in Co...More Button

Was asked: if the 15% voluntary cut in salary he is seeking from existing commercial semi-State chief executive officers includes previous pay cuts or is it 15% of current salaries. More Button

Was asked: if he will consider extending his review of the current performance schemes for chief executives of commercial State companies to all levels of management who are awarded bonuses; and if he will exte...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 139 and 185 together. It is my intention to seek a 15% voluntary pay adjustment from incumbent Chief Executive Officers in Commercial State Companies who are in recei...More Button

Written Answers - Financial Services Sector

Was asked: the number of home mortgages which were approved by the Irish banks in each of the past ten years; the average amount of money approved in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

According to statistics published by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government on 1 June 2011, approximately 790,000 mortgages were approved by banks and building societies in ...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the fact that Irish banks are not approving mortgages for applicants who are employed on contract; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Each mortgage provider is responsible for evaluating the capacity of the borrower to manage and repay the loan and it would be normal that the employment status of the applicant would be one factor ta...More Button

Was asked: his plans to introduce an independent appeals mechanism for applicants who have been refused home mortgages by Irish banks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I do not plan to introduce an independent appeals mechanism specifically for applicants who have been refused home mortgages by Irish banks. I believe that mortgage lending must be undertaken on a s...More Button

Written Answers - EU-IMF Programme

Was asked: the savings to the State arising from a 1% reduction, a 2% reduction and a 3% reduction in the interest rate on the EU portion of the EU and IMF support programme loan broken down by year and with a ...More Button

The assessment of the impact of changes in the interest margin on our EU loans is based on a number of assumptions about the level of the reduction, the date on which it applies and the amount of the ...More Button

Written Answers - Pension Provisions

Was asked: the reason correspondence from a person (details supplied) in County Kildare has not been dealt with. More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the case which he raises has been the subject of lengthy correspondence with my officials. The retiree concerned was informed in replies of 29th December 2010 and 4th January ...More Button

Written Answers - State Agencies

Was asked: if the chairman of the National Asset Management Agency shall be remunerated pursuant to the terms or conditions of his contract with NAMA; the sum of remuneration in the event of the chairman resign...More Button

The terms and conditions governing the appointment of the Chairperson of the National Asset Management Agency are as determined by the Minister in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Nation...More Button

Written Answers - Public Service Remuneration

Was asked: if the expenses paid to persons from the public purse should be known in addition to the pay rates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The pay rates and expense allowances in respect of civil service grades, for which my Department is responsible, are publicly available for consultation on the Department of Public Expenditure and Ref...More Button

Written Answers - Social Welfare Fraud

Was asked: if he will provide details in relation to the resources available to the Revenue Commissioners dedicated to the area of fraud detection with particular reference to social welfare fraud; and if he wi...More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that they have over 2,000 staff engaged in activities that are dedicated to target and confront non-compliance. These activities include audit assurance chec...More Button

Written Answers - EU-IMF Programme

Was asked: if he will provide details of projected future draw down of moneys from the EU/IMF programme for the remainder of 2011; the date on which such draw downs are expected to take place; the amount of the...More Button

Future disbursements are kept under constant review and are the subject of discussion in the quarterly reviews. Disbursements in each quarter can only take place after the IMF Executive Board, the Eu...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Staff

Was asked: the number of Secretaries General who sit on State agency boards; the Departments that the Secretaries General are representing; the corresponding agency boards they are appointed to by the Governmen...More Button

In response to the Deputy’s question, the Secretary General of the Department of Finance is a member of the Advisory Committee of the National Asset Management Agency but does not accept remuneration ...More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Responsibilities

Was asked: the arrangements he has made for fulfilling the role proposed for him in the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Bill 2011 in resolving issues of relative competencies between the him and Minister ...More Button

Section 24 of the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Bill 2011, as passed by the Houses of the Oireachtas, provides for a situation where any doubt, question or dispute arises as to the Minister of...More Button

Written Answers - EU-IMF Programme

Was asked: if he will meet with the EU-IMF delegation during its forthcoming visit to Ireland for the next quarterly review of the EU-IMF deal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the input he will have in the preparations for the forthcoming quarterly review of the EU-IMF deal and visit of the EU-IMF delegation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 156 and 157 together. The position is the third quarterly review of the EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support for Ireland will take place from the 6th to the 15th J...More Button

Written Answers - Banking Sector Regulation

Was asked: his plans to change lending practices within banks towards giving credit to businesses on the basis of their health and potential rather than on the assets that they have. More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the banking system restructuring plan creates capacity for the two Pillar Banks, Bank of Ireland and AIB, to provide lending in excess of €30 billion in the next three ye...More Button

Written Answers - Job Creation

Was asked: his estimate of both the rate and number of unemployed by the end of 2011; his estimate of the rate of emigration in the State by end of 2011; the number of additional jobs that the jobs initiative w...More Button

The latest Quarterly National Household Survey data revealed that in seasonally adjusted terms there were 296,000 people unemployed in the first quarter of 2011, resulting in an unemployment rate of 1...More Button

Was asked: if he will give an assurance that the proceeds from the sale of State assets will be used to fund job creation measures. More Button

The Programme for Government provides for the sale of non-strategic assets up to a value of €2 billion to fund investment in key networks of the economy. This will occur when market conditions are rig...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to proposals emanating from the EU that the duty conditions associated with agri-diesel are to be changed; and if he will veto any changes emanating therefrom. More Button

The taxation of energy products is to a certain extent harmonized at EU level. Directive 2003/96/EC known as the Energy Tax Directive (ETD) refers. The current ETD provides for minimum excise rates of...More Button

Written Answers - Legislative Programme

Was asked: if he will provide an update on his proposals for whistleblowers legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Government has decided to introduce overarching legislation providing for good faith reporting and protected disclosure on a uniform basis for all sectors of the economy. The Government has als...More Button

Written Answers - Mortgage Arrears

Was asked: his views on a matter (details supplied); if there is any mechanism available to the person to deal with the matter using the method the person proposed or is there any appeal mechanism or review mec...More Button

The Deputy will appreciate that I cannot comment on individual cases. The Deputy will be aware of the work of the Expert Group on Mortgage Arrears and Personal Debt which published its final Report la...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Programmes

Was asked: his plans for the introduction of cloud computing and other emerging information technology systems for use in Government services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is currently engaged in research and conducting trials with a number of major international ICT companies to determine Cloud Computing approaches approp...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Staff

Was asked: the current arrangement in place regarding established civil servants wishing to take career break in 2011; the periods of which these career breaks can be taken; his plans to amend this scheme or in...More Button

The current arrangements in place regarding established civil servants wishing to take a career break in 2011 are set out in civil service circular no. 18/98 — Special leave without pay for career bre...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Reliefs

Was asked: his consideration of extending tax breaks to the Eircom Employee Share Ownership Trust scheduled to end in 2014, if he has considered the contingent/potential cost to the tax payer for any shortfall ...More Button

I assume the Deputy is referring to my conditional undertaking to bring forward legislative changes to provide for an extension in the time period in which ex-employees can benefit from the tax treatm...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code

Was asked: the reason the laundry and dry cleaning industry as a main service provider to the tourism industry, has not been included in the reduced VAT rate of 9%; if there are plans to reverse same; and if he...More Button

VAT is charged on the supply of goods and services. The rate applying is subject to the requirements of EU VAT law, with which Irish VAT law must comply. While many tourist-related services were mad...More Button

Written Answers - Banking Sector Regulation

Was asked: if he will provide figures for the way AIB, BOI, EBS and IL&P are spending on advisers including lawyers, investment advisers and underwriters as part of their efforts to raise the €24 billion commit...More Button

The financial institutions referred to in the Deputy’s question have advised me of the following summary information: Bank of Ireland On 18 June 2011, Bank of Ireland published a Prospectus which outl...More Button

Written Answers - National Treasury Management Agency

Was asked: if he will provide figures for the amount the National Treasury Management Agency is spending on advisers including lawyers, investment advisers and underwriters as part of the oversight of AIB, BOI,...More Button

I am informed by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) that it expects to recoup the external advisory fees associated with the NTMA Banking Unit’s involvement in the oversight of the capital...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Reliefs

Was asked: the position regarding an application for a 2008-09 PAYE refund in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that they have no record of receiving an application for a PAYE refund for the tax years 2008 or 2009 in respect of the person in question. Furthermore, acc...More Button

Written Answers - Credit Availability

Was asked: the options available to a non-business or farming person to appeal a decision of an Irish guaranteed bank to approve facilities for them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Any decision on whether to grant credit facilities is a commercial decision for an individual lending institution. It is important that each lending institution is allowed to assess properly and inde...More Button

Written Answers - Pension Provisions

Was asked: if he will report on his recent discussions with the pensions industry regarding the industry’s ability to absorb the cost of the pension levy, and if he will report on the outcome. More Button

Was asked: his plans to mount a public awareness campaign in the media to advise pensioners of the levy and its implications; and if so, if he will give details of that campaign. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 173 and 174 together. In late May, I met a number of bodies representing the pension fund industry to discuss the 0.6% levy on pension scheme assets introduced to pay...More Button

Written Answers - Mortgage Assistance

Was asked: his plans, to address and control the issue of rising mortgage rates in lending institutions such as EBS which are effectively owned by the State; his plans to assist mortgage holders who are in arre...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that the Government is conscious of the difficulties many homeowners are having in meeting their mortgage repayments in respect of their principal private residence. There ar...More Button

Written Answers - Estate Administration

Was asked: the position regarding an application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I understand from the Chief State Solicitor that, following the issue of Letters of Administration, a claim has come forward on behalf of possible next of kin of the deceased as a result of advertisem...More Button

Written Answers - Irish Government Bonds

Was asked: his plans to issue sovereign bonds to the pension industry from the National Treasury Management Agency along the lines provided for in the social welfare legislation in December 2010; if not, the re...More Button

The NTMA has had detailed discussions with the pensions and insurance industries and with other stakeholders regarding the details of the bonds to be issued and the optimum timing for such issuance so...More Button

Written Answers - Consultancy Contracts

Was asked: if he will provide full details, including a breakdown by unit with the agency, of professional and consultancy fees incurred by the National Treasury Management Agency for each of the years 2008, 20...More Button

Professional, legal and consultancy fees incurred each year by the National Treasury Management Agency, the National Pensions Reserve Fund Commission and the National Asset Management Agency are publi...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Reliefs

Was asked: the amount of tax generated by the Exchequer from stallion fees for each of the years 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. More Button

Was asked: the way in which he can reconcile the intent of the Finance Act 2006 to close tax shelters and loopholes in order to ensure that the wealthy paid their fair share of tax with the measure in the 2007 ...More Button

Was asked: the amounts of tax revenue foregone to date due to the transition mechanism in the 2007 Finance Act in each of the years 2008, 2009 and 2010. More Button

Was asked: if he will confirm that stallion owners have the right to apply a market value on their stallions as of 1 August 2008 irrespective of the money they spent acquiring the stallion and that this market ...More Button

Was asked: in view of the fact that the transitional measure in the 2007 Finance Act has become a significant tax shelter for stallion owners in which large numbers of breeders will not have paid or not be payin...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 180 to 184, inclusive, together. I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that as statistics on income tax and corporation tax receipts do not generally distinguish...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code

Was asked: the commitment in the programme for Government to direct the Revenue Commissioners to examine the feasibility of introducing on a revenue neutral basis a single business tax for micro enterprises wit...More Button

The position is that I have not, as yet, directed the Revenue Commissioners to examine the feasibility of a single business tax as outlined in the Programme for Government. The Deputy will appreciate...More Button

Written Answers - State Banking Sector

Was asked: the progress that has been made to date on the commitment in the programme for Government to establish a strategic investment bank; the preliminary work, if any, that has commenced on this matter; th...More Button

As I said in a reply to a question from Deputy Flanagan on 21 June, ensuring that a strategic investment bank is operating in the domestic banking market, providing finance to large capital projects a...More Button

Written Answers - Ministerial Meetings

Was asked: the number and dates of formal meetings that he has had with the management advisory committee in his Department since his appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number and dates of formal meetings that he has had with the management advisory committee in his Department since his appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 188 and 206 together. Since my appointment as Minister for Finance, I have engaged fully with all members of the senior management of the Department, who comprise its ...More Button

Written Answers - Departmental Agencies

Was asked: with regard to agencies (details supplied) and their sub-agencies, the levels of office rent paid; the location of offices and their landlords for the years 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011; the length of th...More Button

Was asked: with regard to agencies (details supplied) and their sub-agencies, the levels of office rent paid; the location of offices and their landlords for the years 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011; the length of th...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 189 and 205 together. Details in respect of office rental paid by bodies under the aegis of my Department are contained in the following tables. Public Service Benchma...More Button

Written Answers - Commission on Credit Unions

Was asked: the commitment in the programme for Government to establish a commission to review the future of the credit union movement, if he will confirm the time frame for establishing the commission; the pers...More Button

Was asked: his plans to retain an independent credit union regulator; if the regulator will have an obligation to report to him; if he will enable such an independent regulator to restrict the value of loans wh...More Button

Was asked: the community based and focused philosophy and ethos of credit unions, if a different regulatory structure will apply to credit unions than will apply to banks; if the regulatory structure for credit...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 190 to 192, inclusive, together. The functions of the Registrar of Credit Unions under the Credit Union Act 1997 are to regulate credit unions with a view to the prote...More Button

Written Answers - Deposit Guarantee Scheme

Was asked: his plans to put in place a scheme of guarantees for credit union stakeholders. More Button

Credit union members are covered by the Deposit Guarantee Scheme for up to €100,000 per saver per credit union. I have no plans to introduce a further guarantee scheme.More Button

Written Answers - Mortgage Arrears

Was asked: the steps that can be taken to encourage the mortgage lending sector to address the issue of the multiplication of mortgage arrears through the medium of compound interest; if the lending sector woul...More Button

The revised Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears, (CCMA) was issued to all mortgage lenders and came into effect on 1 January 2011. The CCMA sets out how mortgage lenders must treat borrowers in or fa...More Button

Was asked: the estimate of the number of persons currently showing arrears in respect of mortgage repayments; the extent to which this is likely to fluctuate in the future; and if he will make a statement on th...More Button

I would like to inform the Deputy that figures published by the Central Bank on 19 May 2011 show that, at the end of March 2011, there were 782,429 private residential mortgage accounts held in the Re...More Button

Was asked: the lending institutions, if known, most amenable to accommodating those with arrears of mortgage; the nature of any such accommodation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Neither I, as Minister for Finance, nor the Central Bank comment on individual lending institutions in the manner referred to in the Deputy’s question. However, all mortgage lenders are obliged to adh...More Button

Written Answers - House Repossessions

Was asked: the number of private houses repossessed by the various lending institutions in each of the past five years to date in 2011; the future prospects given any trend emerging; and if he will make a state...More Button

I have been informed by the Central Bank of Ireland that this information has only been collated since September 2009. Since that date, the Central Bank has published quarterly data on arrears and r...More Button

Written Answers - Banks Restructuring

Was asked: the full position in regard to projected or anticipated mergers, takeovers or other restructuring measures in the banking sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Deputy will be aware from my Statement on Banking on 31 March 2011 that the future of Ireland’s banking landscape will be built around the two pillar banks, Bank of Ireland and AIB. Each of these...More Button

Written Answers - Banking Sector Regulation

Was asked: the extent to which, in his view, the stress test carried out in the banking sector here and throughout Europe has been sufficiently robust to safeguard the durability of the sector in the future; an...More Button

As I said in my Statement on Banking in March, the PCAR bank stress tests carried out by the Central Bank are certainly among the most thorough and demanding such tests ever performed in Ireland and o...More Button

Written Answers - Price Inflation

Was asked: the degree or extent to which it has been possible to identify any inflationary factors in the economy in each of the past three years to date in 2011; the issues now emerging as acquiring attention ...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that through 2009 and 2010, there were few inflationary pressures. Indeed, price levels fell, with the CPI declining by 4.5% in 2009 and 1% in 2010, and HICP falling by 1.7% a...More Button

Written Answers - Tax Code

Was asked: the extent to which he has become aware of taxation incentives in other eurozone states which might be deemed to influence investment in such jurisdictions; and if he will make a statement on the mat...More Button

It is customary for jurisdictions to continually update and amend their tax regimes to reflect changes and developments in both the structure of companies and current practices in domestic and interna...More Button

Written Answers - Foreign Direct Investment

Was asked: the extent to which his European Union colleagues are conscious of issues most likely to affect foreign direct investment and economic progress with particular reference to direct access to major mar...More Button

My fellow European Finance Ministers and I regularly discuss at our meetings the economic situation in the EU, eurozone and in individual Member States. This includes matters of common interest with ...More Button

Written Answers - Croke Park Agreement

Was asked: the savings of €289 million in the sustainable pay bill under the Public Service Agreement 2010 to 2014, if he will provide an estimate of the costs of the severance payments and additional annual pe...More Button

The Implementation Body for the Public Service Agreement 2010 — 2014 published its first progress report on 15th June last. The body found that, over the 12 months to end March 2011, sustainable Exch...More Button

Written Answers - Industrial Relations

Was asked: if he has received documentation regarding a sports complex (details supplied) in County Limerick with regard to being awarded payment by the Labour Court on 19 May, 2011; if he will sanction this pa...More Button

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has recently received documentation from the Department of Education and Skills regarding the Labour Court recommendation in relation to the sports comp...More Button


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