121. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the sale of legal hemp products such as clothing, bags and cannabidiol, CBD, oil is being hampered by banks’ refusal to extend credit and debit card payment facilities to businesses selling these products in view of the fact they inaccurately deem the sales illegal; the legal position in terms of this practice by banks; if he will provide direction to banks on this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52643/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Credit Availability)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Deputy will be aware that in my role as Minister for Finance I have no direct function in the relationship between the banks and their customers. I have no statutory function in relation to the banking decisions made by individual lending institutions at any particular time and these are taken by the board and management of the relevant institution. This includes decisions in relation to what services are provided by the banks. 
The Deputy als...

48. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Finance the conditionality there will be regarding affordability of houses that will result from the new, Home Building Finance Ireland, HBFI, initiative; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45304/17 asked on 24 Oct 2017 - Housing Loans)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): In my Budget speech on 10 October 2017 I announced a proposal to establish a new dedicated fund, Home Building Finance Ireland (‘HBFI’) to provide funding on market terms to viable residential development projects whose owners are experiencing difficulty in obtaining debt funding. Up to €750 million of ISIF funds will be allocated to HBFI to provide funding on market terms and the fund is estimated to have capacity to finance about 6,000 homes in ...

106. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Finance the amount of VAT collected from the sale of women’s sanitary products (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36988/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - VAT Yield)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): VAT is guided by the EU VAT Directive, with which Irish VAT law must comply. In Ireland sanitary towels and tampons are charged to VAT at the zero rate.  As such, no VAT is collected on the sale of these sanitary products.
 ...

106. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Finance his views on and his plans to implement the ruling of the European Court of Justice (details supplied) which appears to indicate that Irish citizens have a right under EU law to drive a car they own which is registered in another member state in Ireland if it is intended essentially for use in another member state; the timeframe for the legislation to implement the EU ruling; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35112/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Vehicle Registration)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Ruling C-420/15 of the Court of Justice of the European Union concerns the circumstances in which an obligation to register a motor vehicle in a Member State would constitute an obstacle to freedom of movement for workers. 
National legislation provides that Irish citizens have the right to drive a car in Ireland that is registered in another Member State for a period of thirty days before it must be registered in Ireland. This provision ensures th...

85. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Finance if the proceeds of moneys captured in criminal drug hauls are included in GDP figures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23822/17 asked on 18 May 2017 - Exchequer Returns)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): In general, certain illegal activities such as drug smuggling and prostitution are recorded as part of GDP. A requirement to include such activities in the National Accounts has existed since the European System of Accounts (ESA) 1995 version of the standards were introduced. However, lack of data sources for the relevant illegal activities caused measurement issues for all EU Member States. As a result, a transversal (EU-wide) GNI reservation was...

80. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Finance his plans to make changes to the tax regime, in view of a recent report (details supplied) on the tax rates paid by international banks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16470/17 asked on 04 Apr 2017 - Tax Avoidance)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 62, 68 and 80 together.
I am aware of the report which was published by Oxfam on 27 March. The report makes a number of comments about the level of tax paid by certain banks in respect of their operations in each country in which they operate, including Ireland. The report also asserts that thirty one different jurisdictions, including Ireland, should be considered tax havens.
I understand that the report relies on ...

87. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Finance his views on the recent report by a person (details supplied) into NAMA’s remit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16471/17 asked on 04 Apr 2017 - NAMA Operations)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 69, 70, 79 and 87 together.
I would refer the Deputies to my comments made at the opening of the debate last week on the report of the Committee on Public Accounts regarding the sale of NAMA’s Project Eagle portfolio, where I expressed my views on the recent criticism of NAMA following publication of a report commissioned by an ex-debtor of NAMA.
Deputies will be aware that during my opening comments I advised members...

41. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Finance his views on the closure by a bank (details supplied) of the accounts of the Ireland Palestine Support Campaign, IPSC, and in particular the potential risk claimed by the bank despite the ISPC’s exemplary banking record; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 31556/16 asked on 10 Nov 2016 - Banking Operations)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): As the Deputy may be aware, in my role as Minister for Finance I have no direct function in the relationship between banks and their customers. Decisions taken by Bank of Ireland in this regard, and the manner in which it conducts its day-to-day operations, are a matter for the board and management of the bank. Notwithstanding the fact that the State is a minority shareholder in Bank of Ireland, I must ensure that the bank is run on a commercial, cos...

44. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Finance the total level of capital allowances claimed by aircraft leasing firms for each of the years 2011 to 2015; the total tax paid by leasing companies that have benefitted from a 12.5% tax rate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 34044/16 asked on 10 Nov 2016 - Tax Reliefs Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am informed by Revenue that the number of companies and the total Corporation Tax, Value Added Tax (VAT) and Income Tax payments by the aircraft leasing industry for the years requested are as shown in the first table. 
The second table shows the total trading capital allowances claimed, but not necessarily all used in the year, on the Corporation Tax returns filed for each tax year. The capital allowances claimed by these companies for 2015 are no...

90. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Finance the number of aircraft leasing companies that have obtained a trading treatment for leasing activities; the number that have obtained trading treatment for a single leasing activity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 34043/16 asked on 09 Nov 2016 - Tax Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that as of September 2016, 2,660 companies were assigned to the primary industry description (NACE code) of renting and leasing of air transport equipment.    
As information on the number of leases entered into by air transport equipment leasing companies is not required to be entered on corporation tax returns, it is not possible to provide information on the number of such companies that have entered into ...

181. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Finance the arrangements for taxpayers receiving tax relief at source on mortgage interest payments from 2017 onwards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9477/16 asked on 17 May 2016 - Mortgage Interest Relief Extension)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 181 and 209 together.
Section 244 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 provides for tax relief in respect of interest paid on qualifying home loans taken out on or after 1 January 2004 and on or before 31 December 2012, with relief being available until 31 December 2017.  The mechanism by which relief is given is set out in Section 244A of the Act, which provides for the granting of relief at source by the mortgage pro...