123. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the number of claims made by companies for correlative adjustments in each of the years 2008 to 2016 and to date in 2017; the number of claims for correlative adjustments conceded by the Revenue Commissioners; the value of the tax involved in those claims; the amount of tax involved in each of the three largest cases in respect of the number of claims made in these years by industry and the other country involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43427/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Tax Reliefs Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 123 to 125, inclusive, together.
Regarding open claims for correlative adjustments, I am informed by Revenue that approximately €242 million in tax is the subject of open correlative relief claims. Correlative relief claims may be more appropriately described as potential tax refunds which Revenue may be required to make in accordance with our tax treaty obligations, as opposed to tax at risk.  
Regarding 2017 and 2...

124. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the estimated cost of refunds arising from correlative adjustments made in 2017 and likely to be made in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43428/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Tax Reliefs Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 123 to 125, inclusive, together.
Regarding open claims for correlative adjustments, I am informed by Revenue that approximately €242 million in tax is the subject of open correlative relief claims. Correlative relief claims may be more appropriately described as potential tax refunds which Revenue may be required to make in accordance with our tax treaty obligations, as opposed to tax at risk.  
Regarding 2017 and 2...

125. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the tax at risk in respect of all open claims for correlative adjustments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43429/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Tax Reliefs Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 123 to 125, inclusive, together.
Regarding open claims for correlative adjustments, I am informed by Revenue that approximately €242 million in tax is the subject of open correlative relief claims. Correlative relief claims may be more appropriately described as potential tax refunds which Revenue may be required to make in accordance with our tax treaty obligations, as opposed to tax at risk.  
Regarding 2017 and 2...

80. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Education and Skills when tenders will be invited for a project (details supplied) in view of the fact that planning permission was granted on 27 July 2017 for the new Educate Together school in the area and the final grant of approval issued on 12 September 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43299/17 asked on 12 Oct 2017 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): A new Design and Build Contractor Framework is currently being established and is expected to be in place in the next 2 months. In tandem with this tender documents for the school project referred to by the Deputy are being prepared, in order to be in a position to invite tenders when the Framework is in place.
 ...

81. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his Department has received the tender documents for a school (details supplied); when approval will issue to invite tenders for the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43300/17 asked on 12 Oct 2017 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The Design Team for the major building project at St. Joseph’s National School, Kilcock have recently submitted the Stage 2b Report through the Board of Management to my Department for review.
On completion of the review of this report my Department will revert to the Board of Management with regard to the further progression of the project at that time.
 ...

82. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the stage 2B cost check for a community college (details supplied) has been submitted to his Department for approval; if tender documents have been submitted for approval; when sanction to seek tenders will be approved; when he expects construction to commence on the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43302/17 asked on 12 Oct 2017 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The project for the school in question has been devolved for delivery to Kildare & Wicklow Education and Training Board (ETB).
The ETB has confirmed that the Stage 2B documents are complete except for those in relation to the diversion of overhead power lines traversing the site. The ETB and the Design Team are actively pursuing this issue.  When this matter is resolved, this will enable the submission of the Stage 2B report to my Depart...

83. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he has received the tender documents and stage 2b documentation for a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43303/17 asked on 12 Oct 2017 - Schools Building Projects Status)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The Design Team for the major building project for the school in question have earlier this month submitted the Stage 2b Report through the Board of Management to my Department for review. 
On completion of the review of this report my Department will revert to the Board of Management with regard to the further progression of the project at that time.
 ...

89. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if tenders have now been invited from contractors for the construction of the new State forensics laboratory in Celbridge, County Kildare; if so, the date on which they must be returned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43301/17 asked on 12 Oct 2017 - Forensic Science Ireland Laboratory)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The construction of the new Forensic Science Laboratory is being managed by the Office of Public Works (OPW) on behalf of my Department. 
I am informed by the OPW that, in accordance with normal procurement rules, expressions of interest from suitably qualified contractors were sought via eTenders and the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) on 4th April 2017. Following consideration by the assessment panel of the responses re...

133. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health if he has included the cost of refurbishment of the Maynooth community care unit, Maynooth, County Kildare in projects to be considered under the mid term capital review; if the refurbishment costs estimated at €1 million will be met from the existing capital funding; when is a decision on funding likely; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43306/17 asked on 12 Oct 2017 - Community Care)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Many public units are housed in buildings that are less than ideal in the modern context, but notwithstanding this, the care delivered to residents is generally of a very high standard. It is important therefore that we upgrade our public bed stock and this is the aim of the 5 year Capital Investment Programme for Community Nursing Units which was announced last year. This provides the framework to allow for an enhanced programme t...

161. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount of funding provided to Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) in 2017 for resurfacing of the national road network; the priority list for resurfacing of the national road network as determined by TII by area and year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43304/17 asked on 12 Oct 2017 - Transport Infrastructure Ireland Funding)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and operation of individual roads is a matter for the Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned. 
Within its capital budget, the assessment and prioritisation of individual projects is a matter...

172. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated annual cost of increasing the living alone allowance from €9 per week to €15 per week; her views on whether persons living alone have higher costs than those of couples; if the living alone allowance will be increased following budget 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43305/17 asked on 12 Oct 2017 - Living Alone Allowance)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The living alone increase is an additional payment of €9 per week made to people aged 66 years or over who are in receipt of certain social welfare payments, including State pensions, and who are living alone. It is also available to people who are less than 66 years of age, living alone and in receipt of disability allowance, invalidity pension, incapacity supplement or blind pension. The objective of the payment is...

68. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the steps he has taken to secure financing of the electrification of the two commuter railway lines from Dublin to north Kildare; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that it would significantly enhance the capacity of this area to provide housing on residentially zoned land that can access Dublin city centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40355/17 asked on 11 Oct 2017 - Rail Network Expansion)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): As the Deputy is aware, funding has been provided under the Government’s present Capital Plan for some elements of the DART Expansion Programme including for design and planning of DART services to Maynooth on the Sligo line and Hazelhatch on the Kildare line.
As I have previously informed the Deputy, I have sought additional funding for public transport in the context of the ongoing mid-term review of the Capital Plan.  This include...

80. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the number and value of tax appeals in each tax district and division. (Question 43149/17 asked on 11 Oct 2017 - Tax Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 80 to 84, inclusive, and 86 together.
I am advised by Revenue that it is important to make some general comments in relation to the information collated by it on tax appeals and the sources and limitations of this information. Revenue obtains the information relating to the amount of tax that is ‘held under appeal’ from its IT systems. Outstanding tax liabilities are automatically identified by the presence of an app...

81. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the detail of the €1.534 million currently under appeal between tax paid and which would fall due to be repaid if the Revenue Commissioners lost the appeals and tax not yet paid; and the estimated interest payable on refunds arising if the Revenue Commissioners lost those appeals. (Question 43150/17 asked on 11 Oct 2017 - Tax Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 80 to 84, inclusive, and 86 together.
I am advised by Revenue that it is important to make some general comments in relation to the information collated by it on tax appeals and the sources and limitations of this information. Revenue obtains the information relating to the amount of tax that is ‘held under appeal’ from its IT systems. Outstanding tax liabilities are automatically identified by the presence of an app...

82. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the amount currently held under appeal by tax head. (Question 43151/17 asked on 11 Oct 2017 - Tax Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 80 to 84, inclusive, and 86 together.
I am advised by Revenue that it is important to make some general comments in relation to the information collated by it on tax appeals and the sources and limitations of this information. Revenue obtains the information relating to the amount of tax that is ‘held under appeal’ from its IT systems. Outstanding tax liabilities are automatically identified by the presence of an app...

83. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide an analysis of open tax appeals by tax head, the tax years involved and the date the appeal was made. (Question 43152/17 asked on 11 Oct 2017 - Tax Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 80 to 84, inclusive, and 86 together.
I am advised by Revenue that it is important to make some general comments in relation to the information collated by it on tax appeals and the sources and limitations of this information. Revenue obtains the information relating to the amount of tax that is ‘held under appeal’ from its IT systems. Outstanding tax liabilities are automatically identified by the presence of an app...

84. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the number of appeals settled by the Revenue Commissioners in each of the years 2014 to 2016 and to date in 2017 by negotiation. (Question 43153/17 asked on 11 Oct 2017 - Tax Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 80 to 84, inclusive, and 86 together.
I am advised by Revenue that it is important to make some general comments in relation to the information collated by it on tax appeals and the sources and limitations of this information. Revenue obtains the information relating to the amount of tax that is ‘held under appeal’ from its IT systems. Outstanding tax liabilities are automatically identified by the presence of an app...

85. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the number of appeals heard by the Tax Appeals Commission in each month to date in 2017. (Question 43154/17 asked on 11 Oct 2017 - Tax Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): In response to the Deputy’s request for information on the number of appeals heard by the Tax Appeals Commission (“the TAC”) in each month to date, in 2017, I am advised by the TAC that the position is as follows:
 MONTH SCHEDULED HEARING HEARING Further Details January 7 6 1 case settled prior to hearing February 12 9 2 cases adjourned; 1 was vacated by consent March 6 6 April 1 0 1 case adjourned by request May 9 8 1 case ...

86. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the number of appeals received by the Revenue Commissioners to date in 2017, by tax head, district and division. (Question 43155/17 asked on 11 Oct 2017 - Tax Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 80 to 84, inclusive, and 86 together.
I am advised by Revenue that it is important to make some general comments in relation to the information collated by it on tax appeals and the sources and limitations of this information. Revenue obtains the information relating to the amount of tax that is ‘held under appeal’ from its IT systems. Outstanding tax liabilities are automatically identified by the presence of an app...

509. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his Department has commissioned continuous surveys of air pollution levels in Dublin and other cities to monitor the health effects of diesel fuel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42666/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Air Quality)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Ambient air quality monitoring in Ireland is carried out in accordance with the requirements of the 2008 Clean Air for Europe (CAFE) Directive (Directive 2008/50/EC) and the Fourth Daughter Directive (Directive 2004/107/EC of 15 December 2004). These Directives also include rules on how Member States should monitor, assess and manage ambient air quality. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is tasked with...

4. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his meeting with Mr. Guy Verhofstadt, MEP, on 21 September 2017. (Question 40730/17 asked on 04 Oct 2017 - Taoiseach’s Meetings and Engagements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 7, inclusive, together.
 Ongoing political engagement with our EU and international partners is crucial, especially as negotiations on Brexit proceed. I will continue to use every opportunity to ensure that other member states and EU institutions fully understand our particular concerns arising from Brexit in order to enable the best possible outcome for this country. Other Ministers, in particular the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade,...

1. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Taoiseach when Cabinet Committee C, European Union, including Brexit, last met. (Question 40344/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Cabinet Committee Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 5 together.
As outlined to the House in July, the Government agreed a new streamlined Cabinet committee structure and approved the establishment of six new committees, one of which is Cabinet Committee C. This Cabinet committee will cover issues relating to the European Union and will assist the Government in its ongoing consideration of Brexit. Cabinet Committee C will also support the Taoiseach’s participation as a member of the European C...

9. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his meeting with the Canadian Prime Minister, Mr Justin Trudeau. (Question 40346/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Overseas Visits)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 9 to 13, inclusive, together. At the invitation of the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, I visited Canada between 19 and 23 August. The visit was an excellent opportunity to further deepen the very important economic and cultural links that exist between our two countries. My visit commenced in Montréal with an official welcoming ceremony and a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister, during which we discussed the provisional implementa...

132. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the projected additional fiscal space for budget 2018 from savings on the live register; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41580/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Budget 2018)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Unemployment has reduced from over 15% in early 2012 to 6.3% in August 2017. On the basis of the improving labour market, there have been reductions in expenditure on providing income supports for people who are unemployed. 
In arriving at estimates of fiscal space, an assumption is made about the level of Live Register related savings each year. The Expenditure Report 2017 set out costs of €0.3 billion for 2018 in relation ...

133. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the projected savings he has identified for budget 2018 from hidden fiscal space; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41581/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Budget 2018)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Mid-Year Expenditure Report published last July stated that Gross Current Expenditure would reach an estimated €54.8 billion in 2018. I have consistently highlighted the requirement to focus on the totality of this expenditure in assessing how best to deliver quality public services rather than the planned annual increment reflected in estimates of fiscal space. 
In this context in my speech accompanying the publication o...