161. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if a policy position has now been agreed in respect of the status of the loco parentis policy in relation to the current HSE review of care services and supports for children with life limiting conditions and complex healthcare needs; if service users and their families have been updated accordingly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51328/17 asked on 30 Nov 2017 - Child Care Services)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply.
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162. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if the operational appraisal into the Ballyshannon campus site in County Donegal to examine respite service provision options within CHO1 and as requested by HSE corporate management is now complete; if he will provide the details of the report’s findings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51330/17 asked on 30 Nov 2017 - Respite Care Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.
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390. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he has received correspondence from an organisation (details supplied) in relation to the designation of rivers as catch-and-release salmon fisheries for 2018; if a response has yet been issued; the reason for the reclassification of these fisheries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50729/17 asked on 29 Nov 2017 - Fisheries Protection)

Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Seán Kyne) (Deputy Seán Kyne): Management of salmon stocks is carried out by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) and is supported by scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) and Ireland’s independent Standing Scientific Committee (SSC).
I gave statutory notice on 15 November 2017 of the draft Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme Regulations, 2017 to provide ...

417. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if consideration has been given by his Department to establish a mechanism by which emigrants may renew their driving licences whilst remaining resident abroad in view of the ongoing plight of the undocumented Irish; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50817/17 asked on 29 Nov 2017 - Driver Licence Renewals)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Irish driver licensing operates within a framework of EU law.  Under EU law, Member States may issue driving licences only to those normally resident in their jurisdiction.
A person may remain ‘normally resident’ if they are out of the country for fixed-term contract of work or for a fixed period of study. 
However, we cannot issue driving licences to people who have taken up residence abroad.
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107. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the estimated cost of applying a 1% stamp duty for first time buyers, maintaining the 2% for those who are purchasing a home having sold their home and applying a 5% stamp duty rate for investors including all persons and structures purchasing property as an investment. (Question 49989/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Stamp Duty)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As the Deputy’s Question refers to a home, it is assumed that the Question is in relation to residential property.  
The current rate of Stamp Duty on residential property is 1% on the first €1 million of the consideration and 2% on any excess. 
First time buyers are liable to the current Stamp Duty rates on residential property. The majority of such properties would attract a rate of 1% so no cost would arise from proposed change. It is not clear...

117. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the tax advantages in place for a person or business which engages in philanthropy, including income tax, estate taxes and so on; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50097/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Philanthropy Initiatives)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by Revenue that there are a number of provisions in the Taxes Consolidation Act (TCA) 1997 and the Capital Acquisitions Consolidation Act 2003 that provide for tax relief in respect of philanthropy. 
Section 848A and Schedule 26A of the TCA provide for a scheme of tax relief for donations to approved bodies, including eligible charities. As the Deputy may be aware, changes were made to that scheme in Finance Act 2013. Individual donor...

131. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if he has given consideration to introducing legislation which would prohibit the use of legacy losses against profits beyond 31 December 2017 in view of the fact that banks have accumulated losses from the financial crisis of some €34 billion. (Question 50668/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Corporation Tax Regime)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Corporation Tax Loss Relief is provided for by Section 396 of the Taxes Consolidation Act (TCA) 1997.  Loss relief for corporation tax is a long standing feature of the Irish Corporate Tax system. It allows for losses incurred in the course of business to be accounted for when calculating a business’ tax liabilities. This mechanism is a standard feature of Corporation Tax systems in all OECD countries.  
There would be a material negative impact o...

322. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health the details of the latest proposals being recommended in respect of the redevelopment of a facility (details supplied) in County Donegal; the changes being considered for long-term residential care and dementia services at the aforementioned facility as part of these plans; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49905/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Community Care)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): While the care delivered to residents in our community hospitals is generally of a very high standard, many of theses services are delivered in buildings that are less than ideal in the modern context. 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 en...

387. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if an application for a medical card can be expedited for a person (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50182/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Medical Card Applications)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply.
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421. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will receive an appointment at the ENT clinic at Letterkenny University Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50356/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Hospital Appointments Status)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.
The National Waiting List Management Policy, A standardised approach to managing...

445. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will receive a decision in respect of an application for a home care package; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50509/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Home Care Packages)

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality o...

513. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the progress that has been made to establish a commission on the future of the media; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50036/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Media Mergers)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The Media Mergers process was created as a result of amendments made to the Competition Act 2002 by the Competition & Consumer Protection Act 2014. All media mergers must be notified to me as Minister and I must make a determination whether or not the proposed media merger may proceed based on an assessment of its impact on the plurality of media in the State.
The examinations of all previous proposed media mer...

540. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if an earlier date can be offered for a driving test for a person (details supplied) in order to allow them to take up an offer of employment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50007/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Driver Test Waiting Lists)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): This is a matter for the Road Safety Authority. I have referred the question to the Authority for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response is not received within 10 days.
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542. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the progress being made to carry out upgrade works on the N14 route; the road class which is being proposed for this route; if costings are available for the various options being considered for this upgrade including the comparative costs of constructing a dual carriageway versus a 2 plus 1 class roadway for this route; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50035/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Transport Infrastructure Ireland Projects)

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 implementation of individual road projects  is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland 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 ma...

73. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance his plans to repay bilateral and other sovereign loans at an earlier date than scheduled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49651/17 asked on 23 Nov 2017 - Sovereign Debt)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Deputy will be aware that we have already repaid early some 81 per cent of our IMF loan. This early repayment, which was completed in 2015, generates significant interest savings. It also reduces the refinancing requirement in the coming years as debt that was originally to mature over the period July 2015 – January 2021 has been replaced with longer-term debt.
The Deputy will also be aware that on 7 September this year, I announced Ireland’s ...

147. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive a decision on their medical card; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49510/17 asked on 22 Nov 2017 - Medical Card Applications)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply.
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173. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will receive an appointment from the HSE speech and language service and the psychology service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49617/17 asked on 22 Nov 2017 - Health Services Provision)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply.
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239. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the parents of foster children whose attention was not drawn to the fact that they could declare foster children as child dependants on the jobseeker’s allowance payment can have this payment backdated to when they first started caring for the foster children; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49582/17 asked on 22 Nov 2017 - Jobseeker’s Allowance Payments)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The jobseeker’s benefit and jobseeker’s allowance schemes provide income support for people who have lost work and who are available for and genuinely seeking full-time employment. Jobseeker’s allowance is a means tested social assistance payment whereas jobseeker’s benefit is a contribution based insurance scheme. The 2017 Estimates for the Department provide for expenditure this year on the jobseekers’ schemes of ...

132. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance his plans to commission a report on the way in which the State’s tax policies and treaties affect developing countries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48708/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Tax Treaties)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Ireland, in accordance with our International Tax Strategy, is committed to engaging constructively and respectfully with developing countries in relation to tax matters, and to supporting such countries in raising domestic tax revenues in ways that are more efficient, that promote good governance and equitable development, and that can allow them to eventually exit from a dependence on official development assistance. 
As part of this commitment th...

133. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance his views and those of the Central Bank on whether the policy of a bank (details supplied) of charging an extra 1 percentage point interest rate on all restructured tracker mortgages is within the spirit and letter of the code of conduct on mortgage arrears; if this issue has been raised with him or the Central Bank; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48709/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I can confirm for the Deputy that the matter referred to has not been raised with me. 
I would remind the Deputy, however, that although the State has a 14% minority shareholding in BOI, I in my role as the Minister for Finance, have no direct function in the relationship between the bank and its customers. Decisions taken by the bank in this regard are matters for the board and management of the institution. The Minister for Finance must ensure t...

141. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance his views on the fact that the section 110 tax status availed of by qualifying companies operating as non-bank loan originators in the State could be breaking state aid rules in view of the fact that new banks or lenders which could set up non-retail lending operations here and do not meet the current qualifying criteria for section 110 status would not be afforded the same tax neutral treatment. (Question 48849/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Banking Sector Regulation)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Loan originations involve a company fronting for a foreign bank and either lending directly to larger more sophisticated borrowers, or immediately issuing newly made loans to smaller borrowers from the foreign bank. Provided the foreign bank is established in one of the countries with which we have signed a double tax agreement, then no Irish tax would have arisen on its interest income had it lent directly to the Irish borrowers.  
Section 110 of ...

142. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the implications of the European Commission’s recent ruling that a company (details supplied) has to pay €250 million to Luxembourg having received illegal tax benefits from Luxembourg, in terms of state aid from Ireland to a company in view of its taxation arrangements with the State and the parallels between Luxembourg and Ireland regarding companies. (Question 48850/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - State Aid Investigations)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The European Commission recently concluded that a tax ruling given by Luxembourg to Amazon constituted an illegal State aid amounting to approximately €250 million. This announcement is part of a wider investigation by the European Commission encompassing tax rulings in all 28 Member States which has been ongoing since 2014.   
As the final Commission Decision has not yet been published, it is not possible to provide any further comment in this reg...

143. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if the EU Commission has informally or formally requested information on Irish tax schemes for the purposes of state aid rules or specific tax relationships with companies; the details of such requests; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48851/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - State Aid Investigations)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The European Commission has been gathering information from all 28 EU Member States on tax rulings since 2014 and it has examined over 1,000 rulings across EU Member States.
I understand that the European Commission issues information requests to Member States on an ongoing basis. 
Ireland has always cooperated with such requests and will continue to do so. It is not appropriate for me to comment on the nature of any such requests, as such enquirie...

144. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number of letters issued in each of the years 2014 to 2016 and to date in 2017 by banks (details supplied) to political representatives, their families or associates requesting additional information concerning identification, evidence of sources of funds, evidence of residential address and certified statement of assets as per section 37 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48855/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Money Laundering)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Deputy will understand that the information requested is not held within my Department. I have therefore requested a response to the Deputy’s question from each of the banks identified by the Deputy.
AIB Response:
“AIB has comprehensive policies and procedures in place to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Criminal Justice Act, 2010 (CJA 2010). This includes with regard to its obligations to determine whether it has relationships wit...

166. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the details of his planned anti-avoidance measures to deal with the avoidance of stamp duty on the purchase of commercial property through buying shares in a company or investment fund which holds the commercial property and other measures which may be used to avoid or reduce the 6% stamp duty charge on commercial property; if these anti-avoidance measures will be back dated to budget day; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49378/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Tax Avoidance)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Deputy will appreciate that this is a complex area which I will be seeking to address during the forthcoming stages of Finance Bill 2017.
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