62. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Finance his plans to improve the criteria in respect of the primary medical certificate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53947/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Primary Medical Certificates Eligibility)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Scheme provides relief from VAT and VRT on the purchase of an adapted car for transport of a person with specific severe and permanent physical disabilities, payment of a fuel grant, and an exemption from Motor Tax. 
To qualify for the Scheme an applicant must be in possession of a Primary Medical Certificate. To qualify for a Primary Medical Certificate, an applicant must be permanentl...

63. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Finance the estimated cost of extending the VRT rebate for electric vehicle purchase until 2019 to 2023, respectively. (Question 54080/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Tax Reliefs Costs)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 63 and 64 together.
As I informed the Deputy in the reply to PQ 50963/17 on 29 November 2017 Revenue does not have information to enable it provide an accurate forecast of the future growth of electric and hybrid vehicles. As such it is not possible to determine the cost of extending the VRT rebate to electric and hybrid vehicles until 2019 or beyond that year.
Revenue have estimated the cost of the Vehicle Registrat...

64. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Finance the estimated cost of extending the VRT rebate for hybrid vehicle purchase until 2019 to 2023, respectively. (Question 54081/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Tax Reliefs Costs)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 63 and 64 together.
As I informed the Deputy in the reply to PQ 50963/17 on 29 November 2017 Revenue does not have information to enable it provide an accurate forecast of the future growth of electric and hybrid vehicles. As such it is not possible to determine the cost of extending the VRT rebate to electric and hybrid vehicles until 2019 or beyond that year.
Revenue have estimated the cost of the Vehicle Registrat...

65. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Finance if his Department has provided a report on the Sparkassen public banking model; and his views on whether there could be a role for such a public banking system to assist small and medium enterprises. (Question 53818/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Community Banking)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 65 and 67 together.
As the Deputy will be aware, my Department and the Department of Community and Rural Development, are responsible for fulfilling the Programme for a Partnership Government commitment to “thoroughly investigate the German Sparkassen model for the development of local public banks that operate within well-defined regions”. 
Local public banking is where a State, or other public body, has ownership o...

66. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Finance the way in which VAT is calculated on unredeemed gift vouchers; if a calculation has been done on VAT foregone; if so, the amount for 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53530/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - VAT Rate Application)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As a consumption tax, VAT is a tax that is paid by the final consumer on the purchase of a good or service. Where a gift voucher is used by a consumer as consideration in respect of or in relation to the purchase of a good or service, VAT becomes chargeable on that purchase at the rate applicable for the particular good or service supplied, which could be 0%, 9%, 23%, or no VAT if an exemption applies. No loss of VAT arises where gift vouchers are...

67. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Finance his views on the introduction of a public bank model, similar to the German Sparkassen model; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53550/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Community Banking)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 65 and 67 together.
As the Deputy will be aware, my Department and the Department of Community and Rural Development, are responsible for fulfilling the Programme for a Partnership Government commitment to “thoroughly investigate the German Sparkassen model for the development of local public banks that operate within well-defined regions”. 
Local public banking is where a State, or other public body, has ownership o...

68. Deputy Kevin O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Finance the number of applications that have been received to date under the help-to-buy incentive scheme; and the number of applications that have been successful. (Question 53559/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Help-To-Buy Scheme Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised that Revenue publishes a monthly update on the Help to Buy (HTB) scheme on the Revenue website.  The most recent update to 30 November 2017 in respect of applications, both approved and pending, and claims made can be found at: http://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/information-about-revenue/statistics/tax-expenditures/htb.aspx
Revenue’s published statistics at 30 November 2017 show the number of applications received at 11,985 and the numb...

69. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Finance the Acts, or parts of Acts, awaiting commencement within his area of statutory responsibility; the reason for the delay in the commencement of each; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53568/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Legislative Programme)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As the Deputy is aware the Oireachtas, when enacting legislation, in many instances provides a discretion to the relevant Minister in respect of the appropriate time to commence an Act, or certain provisions of an Act.
It was not possible to provide the details for all legislative provisions on the Statute Book. However I set out in the table details of legislative provisions passed by the Oireachtas since 1 January 2000 but which are not yet forma...

70. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 149 of 5 December 2017, if the help-to-buy scheme applies in this instance (details supplied). (Question 53577/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Help-To-Buy Scheme Eligibility)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by Revenue that while the details supplied indicate that the property in question was a new building which was not used as a dwelling prior to 19 July 2016, it is not clear if it was suitable for use as a dwelling prior to that date. If the property was suitable for use as a dwelling prior to the relevant date, it will not qualify under the Help to Buy (HTB) scheme.
I am further advised by Revenue that, whilst they can provide general ...

71. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the status of legal proceedings in which he and the Attorney General are cited as the defendants (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53581/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Legal Proceedings)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The proceedings to which you refer, are currently the subject of an appeal to the Court of Appeal by the Plaintiff and are listed before the President of the Court of Appeal on 14 December 2017 to fix a date for the hearing of the appeal. As these proceedings are before the Courts at present, I cannot comment on same.
 ...

72. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance his plans to compensate private pension holders that had a pension levy imposed on their pension funds for a number of years as part of the jobs initiative of 2011; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that this levy resulted in permanently reduced pensions for many current and future pensioners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53584/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Stamp Duty)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I take it the Deputy is referring to the stamp duty levies applying to the assets of funded pension arrangements introduced in 2011 to pay for the Jobs Initiative, the chargeable persons for which are the trustees of pension schemes and others responsible for the management of pension fund assets. 
The stamp duty levy on pension schemes was introduced in the wake of the financial crash and at a time when the economy was in very serious difficulties....

73. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 74 of 30 November 2017, if the figures given for net fiscal space for 2019, 2020 and 2021 include the changes announced in budget 2018; the amount by which they impacted on the net fiscal space from budget 2018 in the each of three years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53732/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Fiscal Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 73 to 80, inclusive, together.
As I stated in my reply to PQ number 74 of 30/11/17, the Summer Economic Statement (SES) 2016 set out estimates of gross and net fiscal space over the forecast horizon. SES 2016 also presented an indicative split between expenditure and taxation uses of these amounts as well as the provision for contributions to the Rainy Day Fund (RDF). This was subsequently updated in the SES 2017 t...

74. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 74 of 30 November 2017, if the figures given for net fiscal space for 2019, 2020 and 2021 include the public pay agreement; the amount by which they impacted on the net fiscal space from the public pay agreement in each of the three years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53733/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Fiscal Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 73 to 80, inclusive, together.
As I stated in my reply to PQ number 74 of 30/11/17, the Summer Economic Statement (SES) 2016 set out estimates of gross and net fiscal space over the forecast horizon. SES 2016 also presented an indicative split between expenditure and taxation uses of these amounts as well as the provision for contributions to the Rainy Day Fund (RDF). This was subsequently updated in the SES 2017 t...

75. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 74 of 30 November 2017, if the figures given for net fiscal space for 2019, 2020 and 2021 include the changes announced in mortgage interest relief; the amount by which they the impacted on the net fiscal space from the changes in the three years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53734/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Fiscal Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 73 to 80, inclusive, together.
As I stated in my reply to PQ number 74 of 30/11/17, the Summer Economic Statement (SES) 2016 set out estimates of gross and net fiscal space over the forecast horizon. SES 2016 also presented an indicative split between expenditure and taxation uses of these amounts as well as the provision for contributions to the Rainy Day Fund (RDF). This was subsequently updated in the SES 2017 t...

76. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 74 of 30 November 2017, if the figures given for net fiscal space for 2019, 2020 and 2021 include indexation measures; the amount by which they impacted on the net fiscal space from indexation measures in the three years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53735/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Fiscal Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 73 to 80, inclusive, together.
As I stated in my reply to PQ number 74 of 30/11/17, the Summer Economic Statement (SES) 2016 set out estimates of gross and net fiscal space over the forecast horizon. SES 2016 also presented an indicative split between expenditure and taxation uses of these amounts as well as the provision for contributions to the Rainy Day Fund (RDF). This was subsequently updated in the SES 2017 t...

77. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 74 of 30 November 2017, if the figures given for net fiscal space for 2019, 2020 and 2021 include the capital envelope of €4.3 billion outlined in exchequer capital envelopes 2018 to 2021; if these effects have been smoothed over the four years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53736/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Fiscal Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 73 to 80, inclusive, together.
As I stated in my reply to PQ number 74 of 30/11/17, the Summer Economic Statement (SES) 2016 set out estimates of gross and net fiscal space over the forecast horizon. SES 2016 also presented an indicative split between expenditure and taxation uses of these amounts as well as the provision for contributions to the Rainy Day Fund (RDF). This was subsequently updated in the SES 2017 t...

78. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 74 of 30 November 2017, if there are outstanding costs in relation to Irish Water that will affect the net fiscal space for 2019, 2020 and 2021; if changes made in 2017 in relation to Irish Water and water provision have been factored into the base for the net fiscal space; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53737/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Fiscal Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 73 to 80, inclusive, together.
As I stated in my reply to PQ number 74 of 30/11/17, the Summer Economic Statement (SES) 2016 set out estimates of gross and net fiscal space over the forecast horizon. SES 2016 also presented an indicative split between expenditure and taxation uses of these amounts as well as the provision for contributions to the Rainy Day Fund (RDF). This was subsequently updated in the SES 2017 t...

79. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 74 of 30 November 2017, if demographic effects have been factored into the base for the calculation of the net fiscal space for 2019, 2020 and 2021; the amount of these effects; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53738/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Fiscal Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 73 to 80, inclusive, together.
As I stated in my reply to PQ number 74 of 30/11/17, the Summer Economic Statement (SES) 2016 set out estimates of gross and net fiscal space over the forecast horizon. SES 2016 also presented an indicative split between expenditure and taxation uses of these amounts as well as the provision for contributions to the Rainy Day Fund (RDF). This was subsequently updated in the SES 2017 t...

80. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 74 of 30 November 2017, the way in which local property tax is accounted for in the base calculation of net fiscal space; the impact in each of the years 2019, 2020 and 2021 from local property tax; if the impact incorporates the expected revaluation of properties to take place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53739/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Fiscal Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 73 to 80, inclusive, together.
As I stated in my reply to PQ number 74 of 30/11/17, the Summer Economic Statement (SES) 2016 set out estimates of gross and net fiscal space over the forecast horizon. SES 2016 also presented an indicative split between expenditure and taxation uses of these amounts as well as the provision for contributions to the Rainy Day Fund (RDF). This was subsequently updated in the SES 2017 t...

81. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number and value of claims paid out by the State Claims Agency in each the past five years; the number and value of claims that were settled out of court; the number and value of claims settled as a result of a court decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53740/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - State Claims Agency Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As the Deputy will be aware, the NTMA is designated as the State Claims Agency (SCA) when performing the claims management and risk management functions designated to it under the National Treasury Management Agency Act 1990, as amended. 
In answer to the Deputy’s question, I refer to material provided by the SCA and which is outlined in the tables. The material provided by the SCA covers the claims during the relevant period, and the report is cor...

82. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance his strategies for returning each of the State supported banks fully to the private sector; the timeframe for the full privatisation of each of the banks; the individual value of the State’s shareholding in each of the banks; the specific parameters that have to be met before further share sales takes place; if he will be informing Dáil Éireann before proceeding with such sales; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53741/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - State Banking Sector)

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 earlier this 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.
The valuation of the State’s stake in each of the banks at the c...

83. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of entities availing of the EIIS; the number of which are private investors, SMEs and microenterprises; the average annual relief for each private investor, SME and microenterprise; the annual cost of the scheme; the number of persons employed as a direct result of the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53742/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Employment Investment Incentive Scheme Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 83 and 84 together.
The Employment and Investment Incentive (“EII”) applies to financing raised by micro, small and medium sized enterprises (being the company seeking to raise financing and all other associated companies). Where the enterprise and the investment meet certain conditions, it can raise financing from individual investors, who can claim tax relief in respect of the amount invested. Relief is granted in...

84. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number and value of EIIS claims made each month for the past 24 months; the number and value of claims left outstanding each month for the past 24 months; the average time taken to process each claim; the way in which the EU state aid rules have affected the number of claims under the EIIS; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53743/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Employment Investment Incentive Scheme Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 83 and 84 together.
The Employment and Investment Incentive (“EII”) applies to financing raised by micro, small and medium sized enterprises (being the company seeking to raise financing and all other associated companies). Where the enterprise and the investment meet certain conditions, it can raise financing from individual investors, who can claim tax relief in respect of the amount invested. Relief is granted in...

85. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of mortgage holders availing of mortgage interest relief, MIR; the number of mortgages availing of MIR; the cost in 2017 of MIR; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53744/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Mortgage Interest Relief Application)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 85 and 86 together.
In Budget 2018, in fulfilment of a Programme for Government commitment, I provided for the extension of Mortgage Interest Relief (MIR) into a further three-year phase-out period for the remaining recipients of the relief. 
The process of phasing out MIR for homeowners has been under way since 2009. Relief has expired for qualifying mortgages taken out prior to 2004 and, with some limited exception...

86. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of mortgage holders that will still avail of MIR on 1 January 2018 in view of the changes announced in budget 2018; the number of mortgages that will still avail of MIR; the projected cost of MIR in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53745/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Mortgage Interest Relief Application)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 85 and 86 together.
In Budget 2018, in fulfilment of a Programme for Government commitment, I provided for the extension of Mortgage Interest Relief (MIR) into a further three-year phase-out period for the remaining recipients of the relief. 
The process of phasing out MIR for homeowners has been under way since 2009. Relief has expired for qualifying mortgages taken out prior to 2004 and, with some limited exception...