78. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Finance the reason a family (details supplied) that has been discharged from bankruptcy is unable to get mortgage approval two years later; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18588/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Mortgage Applications Approvals)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Deputy may be aware that, as Minister for Finance, I have no direct function in the relationship between banks and their customers. Decisions taken by banks in this regard, and the manner in which they conduct their day-to-day operations, are matters for the board and management of the respective banks. Notwithstanding the fact that the State has shareholdings in some of the banks, I must ensure that these institutions are run on a commercial,...

88. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Finance the way in which a bond owned by a person (details supplied) can be cashed. (Question 12448/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Government Bonds)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) that Bank of Ireland historically acted as registrars for certain bonds and Savings Schemes on behalf of the State. Bank of Ireland ceased to fulfil this function some years ago. 
The Central Bank of Ireland is now responsible for the maintenance of the register of Irish Government Bonds. As part of its responsibilities the Central Bank of Ireland also maintains in respect of Irish Gover...

83. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Finance if a matter (details supplied) will be addressed regarding claiming back VAT; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8931/18 asked on 21 Feb 2018 - VAT Rebates)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Irish VAT law does not provide for VAT input deductibility by VAT registered persons in respect of petrol.
VAT registered persons that make supplies are entitled to claim the cost of VAT on the purchase of diesel used in the course of their business, as is the case with most business costs. However, section 60 of the VAT Consolidation Act 2010 prohibits VAT deductibility by businesses on certain goods and services for anti-avoidance reasons. Expendi...

104. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Finance the steps being taken by his Department and the Revenue Commissioners, including consultations with the EU Commission and UK government, to ensure that there is no disruption to cross-Border movements of excisable goods under duty suspension between here and Northern Ireland post-Brexit once the UK leaves the excise movement control system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7720/18 asked on 14 Feb 2018 - Brexit Issues)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The future arrangements that will apply to cross border movements of excisable goods will depend on the outcome of discussion on the future relationship between the EU and the UK. In accordance with EU rules, it will technically be the case that if such an agreement does not provide for UK participation in the EU excise movement control system, importers of excisable goods will still have the facility to import such goods from the UK with payment o...

88. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Finance if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding VAT and excise. (Question 47168/17 asked on 08 Nov 2017 - Alcohol Pricing)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I believe the issue the Deputy is referring to is that of below cost selling of alcohol products. 
The remit of my Department extends to the taxation placed on alcohol products. The issue of below cost selling is a matter in the first instance for my colleague the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation. 
The prohibition on below cost selling was removed when the Groceries Order was abolished in 2006 by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and...

71. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Finance his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding the local property tax; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40011/17 asked on 21 Sep 2017 - Property Tax Exemptions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Revenue has advised me that the Local Property Tax (LPT) ‘unfinished housing estate’ exemption is only available for properties that are located within a housing estate, or part of an estate,  that was prescribed as ‘unfinished’, by the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government in Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 91 of 2013.
Before claiming the ‘unfinished housing estate’ exemption it is very important that property owners ensure t...

110. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Finance if business owners will be able to claim VAT back on car petrol usage in budget 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37056/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Budget 2018)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As the Deputy will be aware, it is a longstanding practice of the Minister for Finance not to comment, in advance of the Budget, on any tax matters that might be the subject of Budget decisions.
 ...

90. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Finance if there will be changes implemented to the primary medical certificate decision process and criteria; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35190/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Disabled Drivers and Passengers Scheme)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Scheme provides relief from VAT and Vehicle Registration Tax (up to a certain limit), an exemption from motor tax and a grant in respect of fuel, on the purchase of an adapted car for transport of a person with specific severe and permanent physical disabilities. 
To qualify for the Scheme an applicant must be in possession of a Primary Medical Certificate. To qualify for a Primary Medi...

91. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Finance if he will report on the appointment-only service being brought into the Revenue Commissioners office in Dundalk, County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35206/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Revenue Commissioners)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by Revenue that the provision of enhanced online and telephone services has resulted in a reduced demand for the traditional ‘walk-in’ services to public offices. The number of personal callers has fallen by 64% since 2008. Taxpayers are choosing different channels to the traditional ‘walk-in’ services and are getting the information and assistance they require in a way that better meets their needs.
Revenue is responding to the chang...

160. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Finance if he will consider delaying the proposed new treatment of dwelling house relief from capital acquisitions tax, CAT, to 1 November 2019 to allow those persons that have already put arrangements in place under the old system not be penalised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39545/16 asked on 13 Dec 2016 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The Finance Bill 2016 has been passed by Dáil Éireann and is currently being considered by the Seanad. In Section 52 of the Bill, I have provided for an amendment to section 86 of the Capital Acquisitions Tax Consolidation Act 2003, the section that provides an exemption from capital acquisitions tax on the inheritance or gift of a dwelling house in certain circumstances. I consider that this particular relief has lost focus since its introduction ...

174. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Finance to explain the reason a pension fund (details supplied) continues to deduct the pension levy in respect of pensions paid to members; if the said levy deductions are being paid to the Revenue Commissioners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 31694/16 asked on 25 Oct 2016 - Pension Levy)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am advised by Revenue that the Pension Scheme Levy was introduced in 2011. For the years 2011, 2012 and 2013 the rate was 0.60% of the scheme assets. For the year 2014 the rate was 0.75% of the assets and for the year 2015, the final year of the levy, the rate was 0.15%. Under the legislation, the payment of the levy is treated as a necessary expense of a pension scheme and the trustees or insurer, as appropriate, are entitled where needed to adjus...

79. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Finance if he will reconsider his decision not to include Dundalk in the city living initiative in budget 2017, in view of Brexit and that the Border areas, including Dundalk, require assistance to negate the effects of Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 31236/16 asked on 20 Oct 2016 - Living City Initiative)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): As the Deputy will be aware, the Living City Initiative was enacted in the Finance Act 2013 and commenced on 5th May 2015. The Initiative was extended beyond the original planned pilot cities of Limerick and Waterford, to include the cities of Dublin, Cork, Galway and Kilkenny. In line with my Department’s commitment to evidence based policy-making, the inclusion of these additional four cities followed the completion of a comprehensive, independen...

84. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Finance the reason the exit tax has not been reduced in line with the reduction of 2% on DIRT as announced in budget 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 31267/16 asked on 20 Oct 2016 - Deposit Interest Rates)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) is deducted by Irish financial institutions from deposit interest paid to the accounts of Irish residents. The basic rate at present is 41%.
DIRT is a “final liability tax” that is, it satisfies the individual’s full liability to Income Tax in respect of deposit interest.  The individual may still be liable to PRSI on the interest.  Deposit interest subject to DIRT is not subject to the Universal Social Charge...

199. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Finance if the circumstances of a person (details supplied) in respect of possible changes in budget 2017 for first-time buyers will be considered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 24980/16 asked on 16 Sep 2016 - Budget 2017)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 198 to 201, inclusive, and 211 together.
The Government is conscious that there is a supply shortage of housing and of the challenges faced by first-time buyers in meeting the macro prudential rules for home loans. As a complement to the structural actions in the Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness published on 19th July 2016, a new ‘Help to Buy’ incentive was announced. I will outline the full details of the inc...

101. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Finance if he is considering new applications from towns for entry to the living city initiative scheme; if he will consider Dundalk, County Louth, as a suitable applicant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22997/16 asked on 20 Jul 2016 - Living City Initiative)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The Living City Initiative has been in operation for just over a year. To date, take-up of the scheme has been lower than anticipated, considering up to 100% of relevant expenditure may be tax relieved. As a result, the Government is committed to introducing changes to the Initiative to make it more effective. The recently published Programme for Partnership in Government states: 
“We will review the Living City Initiative and the conditions that ...

218. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Finance further to the commitment in the summer economic statement to increase taxation on measures that promote healthier lifestyles, the measures that are under consideration in this regard; the timeline for their introduction; the data that is being used to support these new taxation measures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22688/16 asked on 19 Jul 2016 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 218 and 219 together.
The Programme for Partnership Government commits to a number of taxation measures which promote healthier lifestyles.
The PfPG commits to making Ireland tobacco free (less than 5% of population smoking) by 2025. The Government is committed to increasing excise duty on tobacco in successive budgets as one policy measure amongst multiple other public health interventions in order to achieve this g...

219. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Finance further to the commitment in the summer economic statement and previous statements from Government regarding the proposed introduction of a sugar tax or levy, his plans to organise this, in parallel with the proposed introduction of same in the UK; if there will be a formal consultation process with the appropriate industry representatives as in the UK; the timeline for its introduction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22689/16 asked on 19 Jul 2016 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 218 and 219 together.
The Programme for Partnership Government commits to a number of taxation measures which promote healthier lifestyles.
The PfPG commits to making Ireland tobacco free (less than 5% of population smoking) by 2025. The Government is committed to increasing excise duty on tobacco in successive budgets as one policy measure amongst multiple other public health interventions in order to achieve this g...

115. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Finance the number of homes that the National Asset Management Agency owns in County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11660/16 asked on 24 May 2016 - NAMA Portfolio)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I would advise the Deputy that NAMA does not own property.  NAMA acquired loans and its relationship to property is that of a secured lender; the same, for example, as AIB or Bank of Ireland. In that capacity, NAMA holds security over properties that are owned by its debtors or, in the case of enforcement, which are managed on behalf of those debtors by duly appointed insolvency practitioners.
NAMA advise that there are approximately 6,000 completed...

56. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Finance if he will confirm an increase from €500 to €650 for the small business exemption in respect of the shop local gift voucher scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11060/16 asked on 19 May 2016 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): As set out in “A Programme for a Partnership Government” it is our intention, working with the Oireachtas, to increase the Small Benefits Exemption (voucher) from €500 to €650. The Deputy will be aware that taxation changes of this nature are normally progressed via the annual Budget and Finance Bill cycle.
 ...

25. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Finance if he is monitoring the potential economic fallout from the possible exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, in particular the consequences for the Border counties, including County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8780/16 asked on 28 Apr 2016 - UK Referendum on EU Membership)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The Government’s position on developments in relation to British membership of the EU has been clearly articulated, in particular by the Taoiseach and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade: we very much want the UK to remain an integral member of the Union.
This is important for our economy, for the ongoing development of the excellent bilateral relations between Ireland and the UK and of course for stability and prosperity in Northern Ireland; i...

26. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Finance the number of vacant houses in the possession of banks that receive State assistance; if he will provide this list to local authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8783/16 asked on 28 Apr 2016 - Housing Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am advised that the banks disclose information on their residential mortgage portfolios in various sections in their Annual Reports.
All relevant disclosures in relation to AIB’s Republic of Ireland residential mortgages properties in possession and repossessions disposed of - are contained on page 109 of AIB’s 2015 Annual Financial Report.  AIB state that “AIB seeks to avoid repossession through working with customers, but where agreement cannot b...