208. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance if he will remove VAT and VRT from advanced driver assistance systems on new or older vehicles to incentivise the public to drive much safer vehicles and promote the Vision Zero policy of road safety; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15744/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 208 and 249 together.
I am advised by The Revenue Commissioners that the chargeable value for the calculation of Vehicle Registration Tax, the open market selling price (OMSP), is provided for in the Finance Act 1992, section 133. This section provides that the OMSP comprises the price, inclusive of all taxes, duties, enhancements or accessories, that a motor distributor might reasonably expect to fetch for a vehicl...

249. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance his plans to remove VAT and VRT from advanced driver assistance systems on new or older vehicles to incentivise the public to drive much safer vehicles and promote the Vision Zero policy of road safety; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15743/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 208 and 249 together.
I am advised by The Revenue Commissioners that the chargeable value for the calculation of Vehicle Registration Tax, the open market selling price (OMSP), is provided for in the Finance Act 1992, section 133. This section provides that the OMSP comprises the price, inclusive of all taxes, duties, enhancements or accessories, that a motor distributor might reasonably expect to fetch for a vehicl...

250. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance if he has raised with the insurance industry the practice of refusing car insurance cover to drivers; the number of drivers refused insurance in 2017 and to date in 2018; the reason for these refusals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15789/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Insurance Coverage)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As Minister for Finance, I am responsible for the development of the legal framework governing financial regulation.  Neither I nor the Central Bank of Ireland has the power to direct insurance companies on the pricing or provision of insurance products.  Indeed, the EU framework for insurance expressly prohibits Member States from adopting rules which require insurance companies to obtain prior approval of the pricing or terms and conditions of ins...

256. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance his views on the regulation of personal contract plans for car purchase finance; the level of this financial debt; the role of the Central Bank in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15946/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Financial Services Sector)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As the Deputy will be aware the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) undertook the first comprehensive study of the Personal Contract Plans (PCP) market in the State. As part of its study the CCPC issued detailed questionnaires to all the financial institutions that underwrite PCP finance in the State. This allowed the CCPC to compile, for the first time, primary data relating to the number and value of PCP finance contracts issue...

74. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance his strategy on the EU Commission’s proposals to tax digital revenues in each country of the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13626/18 asked on 27 Mar 2018 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 74 and 121 together.
On Wednesday 21 March last the European Commission published detailed proposal for two different Directives on taxation and digitalisation. 
The proposals have been prepared by the Commission with limited input from Member States and we will need to study them in detail.  The proposals will now be debated, discussed and amended by Member States working together in Council.  Unanimity between all ...

109. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance the impact he views Brexit will have on the banking and insurance sector; and if the German community bank, the Sparkasse, will shortly be commencing operations here. (Question 11011/18 asked on 27 Mar 2018 - Brexit Issues)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As the Deputy will understand, any negative impacts on the macro-economy of either or both the UK and Ireland would impact Irish banks and insurers. 
From the date of the UK exit (or, if agreed, the end of a transition period) Irish banks and insurers which rely on a “passport” to provide services into the UK and vice-versa will lose the right to provide such services. As a result impacted firms in both Ireland and the UK are extensively engaged in...

118. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance his views on the future level of Ireland’s contribution to the EU budget and multi-annual financial framework; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12894/18 asked on 27 Mar 2018 - EU Budget Contribution)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): My Department currently forecasts that Ireland’s contribution to the EU budget will be €2,650 million in 2018, €2,675 million in 2019 and €2,750 million in 2020. It is worth noting that these forecasts are contingent on a number of variables, including updated GNI forecasts, the size of the overall EU budget for the year and other EU budget operational developments which will only emerge as the year progresses. As a result, all forecasts will be mon...

124. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance the estimated impact of proposed EU tax changes on his Department’s estimates of Ireland’s corporation tax revenues in 2018, 2019 and 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13627/18 asked on 27 Mar 2018 - Corporation Tax)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am assuming that the Deputy is referring to the recently published proposals from the Commission on taxation of certain digital activities. I am advised that Revenue have been examining the potential impact of the proposed changes proposed by the Commission but which yet have to be discussed by Council. Information provided in Corporation Tax returns does not separate the digital and internet activities of companies from other activities within th...

184. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance his views on the OECD report entitled, Taxing Energy Use 2018, on the role of carbon taxes here and throughout the OECD. (Question 11010/18 asked on 27 Mar 2018 - Carbon Tax Implementation)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Climate change is a great global challenge and imposing carbon taxation on pollutant fossil fuels, as part of a broader strategy involving both taxation and non-taxation measures, incentivises the uptake of cleaner and more sustainable fuel sources.    
The OECD report, Taxing Energy Use 2018, brings together statistical data from 42 OECD and G20 countries and allows for comparison of effective energy tax rates on energy use.  The report recommends ...

185. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance the number of vacant properties which have been surrendered to mortgage lenders around the country; the average length of the vacancy; the number of vacant properties held by the Insolvency Service of Ireland; the average length of the vacancy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11136/18 asked on 27 Mar 2018 - Vacant Properties Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I have been advised by the Central Bank of Ireland that while it collects data on homes voluntarily surrendered to mortgage lenders, they do not distinguish between vacant or occupied.
The latest Mortgage Arrears and Repossession Statistics published by the Central Bank, indicate that there were 1,717 properties in mortgage lenders possession at the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2017. A total of 311 properties were taken into possession by l...

186. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance if the concerns expressed at EU level regarding the employee incentive and investment scheme have now been resolved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13633/18 asked on 27 Mar 2018 - Employment Investment Incentive Scheme)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): During the preparations for Finance Bill 2017 it came to light that the Employment and Investment Incentive (EII) was potentially not compliant with state aid rules (specifically Art. 21(3) of the General Block Exemption Regulations) and that it should be amended as a matter of urgency to bring it within state aid rules.  The relevant provisions of the Taxes consolidation Act 1997 were amended by the Finance Act 2017 to correct this error.
The EII s...

56. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance if the national economic dialogue will take place in 2018; if a date has been decided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13462/18 asked on 22 Mar 2018 - National Economic Dialogue)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As part of the budgetary process over the last three years, a National Economic Dialogue was held, jointly hosted by the Departments of Finance, and Public Expenditure and Reform. A Government decision on whether to hold a National Economic Dialogue this year has not yet been taken but will be considered as part of the on-going budgetary process for 2018.
 ...

57. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance the position regarding the revision of Directive 2008/118/EC on the rules for cross-border movements of excisable goods such as alcohol or tobacco in particular regarding Article 32 of the directive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13464/18 asked on 22 Mar 2018 - EU Directives)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised that the European Commission is currently developing proposals for a revision of Directive 2008/118/EC on the general arrangements for excise duty in the EU. The Commission is expected to publish these proposals during 2018. Ireland will participate fully in the legislative process once the proposals have been presented.
 ...

91. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance the changes he plans to make to the local property tax; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12512/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Property Tax Administration)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 64 and 91 together.
I recently announced a review of the Local Property Tax (LPT) which is looking in particular at the impact on LPT liabilities of property price developments. In that regard the review underway will be informed by the desirability of achieving relative stability, both over the short and longer terms, in LPT payments of those liable for the tax and provide clear direction on the likely payments fac...

92. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance his plans to utilise the credit union movement and its resources to develop new affordable housing financial products; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12513/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Social and Affordable Housing Provision)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Government’s Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness emphasised the need to look at new ways of funding social housing delivery, in particular the need to provide structural, funding and policy supports to increase delivery of social housing by Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs). 
My colleague Eoghan Murphy, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, committed to providing support to the AHB sector to develop innova...

58. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance his views on the reported sale of a €4 billion portfolio of home loans and mortgages by a bank (details supplied) to subprime lenders and vulture funds; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9136/18 asked on 22 Feb 2018 - Loan Books Purchasers)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Addressing high NPL ratios is one of the key priorities of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM). PTSB’s latest published NPL ratio of 28% is one of the highest in the Eurozone. It is over five times the European average. Therefore, PTSB must deliver a significant reduction in its NPL ratio, and within a timeframe, that meets the expectations of the SSM. 
Given the volume of borrowers who have refused to engage with the bank to date, and the numbe...

59. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance his views on deposit and withdrawal mechanisms if the Government proceeds to establish a rainy day fund. (Question 9137/18 asked on 22 Feb 2018 - Fiscal Policy)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As the Deputy will recall, on 31 January last I appeared before the Oireachtas Budgetary Oversight Committee to discuss the proposal to establish a Rainy Day Fund. 
That engagement was part of the consultation between my Department and the Oireachtas, following the publication of my Department’s Rainy Day Fund consultation paper along with Budget 2018 last October. At the hearing on 31 January, I outlined the rationale for establishing the Rainy ...

60. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance his views on the approach to the sale of State assets in the commercial banks; and the purposes for which disposal of State shares will be earmarked. (Question 9138/18 asked on 22 Feb 2018 - Sale of State Assets)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As the Deputy will be aware, the State currently owns c. 71% of the shares in AIB, 14% of the shares in Bank of Ireland, and c. 75% of the shares in Permanent TSB. Following the IPO of AIB last year all three of our bank investments are now listed on the main markets of the Irish and London stock exchanges, providing improved liquidity and marketability for the State’s shares.
Officials in my Department continue to monitor the performance of the ba...

61. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance the size and key breakdown elements of outstanding tax owed by commercial entities and the farming sector to the Revenue Commissioners at the end of each of the years 2013 to 2017. (Question 9139/18 asked on 22 Feb 2018 - Revenue Commissioners Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by Revenue that the data requested by the Deputy cannot be compiled in the time available. I will write to the Deputy directly in the matter when the available data is provided to me by Revenue. The table sets out the overall tax debt for each of the years 2013 – 2016, as published by Revenue, in its annual report for each of those years. 
 YEAR Total Debt € Debt available for collection € 2013 €1.84bn €1.01bn 2014 €1.695...

62. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance the reason no public competition was held to identify a person for nomination to a possible position on the executive board of the European Central Bank. (Question 9140/18 asked on 22 Feb 2018 - European Central Bank)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As Minister for Finance, I nominated the Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, Professor Philip Lane, earlier this month for the position of Vice-President of the European Central Bank.  This was on the basis that Professor Lane is an exceptionally well-qualified candidate who would make an ideal person to serve on the Executive Board of the European Central Bank.     
 ...

63. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance the way in which vacancies for the positions of governor, deputy governor and executive directors of the Central Bank are filled; and the reason public competitions are not held for all these positions in view of the crucial role of the bank in monetary policy. (Question 9141/18 asked on 22 Feb 2018 - Central Bank of Ireland Staff)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I wish to clarify for the Deputy that where vacancies in the positions of deputy governors and directors of the Central Bank of Ireland arise, open competitions are the usual method of filling the vacancies. The current Governor was also appointed by open competition. 
The legislative background for filling vacancies for the positions of governor, deputy governors and directors of the Central Bank of Ireland is set out below.
(i) Governor
Section 19...

64. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance if he will report on the remaining work of NAMA; the estimated likely net proceeds from the completion of NAMA; and the statutory task and future roles he envisages for the agency. (Question 9142/18 asked on 22 Feb 2018 - NAMA Operations)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I wish to advise the Deputy that it is expected that NAMA will substantially complete its work by 2020. The Agency announced in October 2017 that it had redeemed all of its €30.2bn in Senior Debt which was guaranteed by the State. However, notwithstanding the successful achievement of this primary and important objective, three years ahead of schedule, there is still a significant body of work yet to be completed by NAMA. 
Subject to current market ...

92. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance the measures he is introducing for returning emigrants to access competitive car insurance by having their driving history abroad considered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6238/18 asked on 07 Feb 2018 - Insurance Industry Regulation)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I wish to inform the Deputy that Recommendation 6 of the Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance aims to address the specific problems faced by returning emigrants in relation to motor insurance. Pursuant to this recommendation, a protocol has been agreed between the Department and Insurance Ireland under which insurance companies have committed to accepting the driving experience of returning emigrants gained while abroad, when the driver has previo...

80. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance his plans with regard to a proposed revaluation of the local property tax; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3945/18 asked on 30 Jan 2018 - Property Tax)

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: To paraphrase Marx, a spectre is haunting Fine Gael - the spectre of the unfair property tax.
 ...

81. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance his plans to put forward candidates for president and board members of the European Central Bank; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3996/18 asked on 30 Jan 2018 - European Central Bank)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): At the Eurogroup meeting of Eurozone Finance Ministers on 22 January, the Eurogroup President initiated the procedure for the appointment of a new Vice-President of the European Central Bank with a call for candidacies. The term of the incumbent, Vítor Constâncio, ends on 31 May 2018.  Other board member appointment do not arise until 2019. 
With regard to the position of Vice President, the Eurogroup will agree on a candidate on 19 February and ECO...