62. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Finance if individual taxpayers foregoing tax cuts and cuts to the USC in order that this money can be ring-fenced for specific purposes such as homelessness will be facilitated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44346/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Office of the Revenue Commissioners is obliged to comply with its statutory tax and duty obligations. In so doing, it is required to apply any changes to tax or USC rates as passed by the Oireachtas. The question of Revenue applying rates other than those set out in statute does not therefore arise.
On the topic of ring-fencing tax receipts, from a budgetary perspective any move to hypothecate revenue from a particular source should in general b...

63. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Finance the local property tax revenue that is expected to accrue to local authorities on the basis of the phasing out of the exemptions in 2019 for properties purchased in 2013 and for new and previously unused properties purchased from a builder or developer between 1 January 2013 and 31 October 2019. (Question 44372/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Property Tax Yield)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 63 and 64 together.
I am advised by Revenue that the cost of all claimed exemptions to Local Property Tax (LPT) is estimated to be €12.5m for 2017. The estimated cost associated with the exemptions that are due to expire in 2019 is €3.5m.
These estimates include exemptions claimed in respect of properties purchased from a builder or developer since 1 January 2013 (in order to qualify for the exemption the property mu...

64. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Finance the estimated amount of revenues lost due to all exemptions to the local property tax. (Question 44373/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Property Tax Yield)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 63 and 64 together.
I am advised by Revenue that the cost of all claimed exemptions to Local Property Tax (LPT) is estimated to be €12.5m for 2017. The estimated cost associated with the exemptions that are due to expire in 2019 is €3.5m.
These estimates include exemptions claimed in respect of properties purchased from a builder or developer since 1 January 2013 (in order to qualify for the exemption the property mu...

65. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Finance if his Department, ISIF or another body under its aegis has received an ex-ante position from EUROSTAT on its plans to invest in the home building finance Ireland SPV. (Question 44375/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Budget Measures)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by my officials that no ex-ante position has been requested from Eurostat from any of the entities referred. It is important to note that Home Building Finance Ireland (‘HBFI’) has been designed to provide funding to commercially viable developments at competitive market rates and as such both the entity and its activities are expected to satisfy the requirements of an off-balance sheet investment model.
Officials in the Department of F...

66. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Finance if NAMA will charge a service fee to home building finance Ireland for use of its expertise in residential development funding. (Question 44376/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - NAMA Operations)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As announced in my Budget speech on 10 October 2017, it is my intention to establish Home Building Finance Ireland (HBFI) to provide funding on market terms to viable residential development projects whose owners are experiencing difficulty in obtaining debt funding. 
HBFI will be a standalone entity which will provide funding directly into the market. 
HBFI will be designed to leverage off the extensive experience already available to the State to ...

67. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding the rise in stamp duty; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44406/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Stamp Duty)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): In my Budget 2018 statement I announced an increase in the stamp duty rate for all non-residential property transactions, including agricultural land, from 2% to 6%. On the recommendation of the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine I also extended consanguinity relief for another 3 years and provided that the stamp duty rate applying under that scheme will be fixed at 1%. Consanguinity relief is availed of in transferring farms to younger f...

68. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the projects to sell loans currently in operation in each of the State supported banks; the name of each project; if the loans are performing or non-performing; the type of loan in each project; the face value of the loans in each project; the progress of these projects in terms of selling them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44445/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Bank Debt Restructuring)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As the Deputy is aware, the relationship between the Minister for Finance and banks in which the State is a shareholder is governed by Relationship Frameworks, which can be found on my Department’s website. In accordance with these Relationship Frameworks, I as Minister for Finance have no direct function in commercial decisions made by the banks, these decisions are the responsibility of the Board and management of the relevant institution. Notwith...

69. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 111 of 3 October 2017, the average interest rate on the loans advanced by NAMA to developers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44446/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - NAMA Loan Offers)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by NAMA that its lending terms are in line with those available on the open market. The interest rates charged on loans advanced by the Agency typically comprise a margin over Euribor. Some facilities are by reference to the margin NAMA inherited from the participating institution. Typically however, the margin is determined by reference to the risk characteristics of each individual project, including the funding term, the equity contr...

86. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Finance if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding the 6% stamp duty rate on farmland sales; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44197/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Stamp Duty)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 86 and 89 together.
In my Budget 2018 statement I announced an increase in the stamp duty rate for all non-residential property transactions, including agricultural land, from 2% to 6%. On the recommendation of the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine I also extended consanguinity relief for another 3 years and provided that the stamp duty rate applying under that scheme will be fixed at 1%. Consanguinity ...

87. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Finance the detail of the dwelling house exemption in respect of capital acquisitions tax; if he will review the provisions of this relief in order that family members inheriting two houses as opposed to one house are not disadvantaged; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44106/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by Revenue that section 86 of the Capital Acquisitions Tax Consolidation Act 2003 provides an exemption from capital acquisitions tax on the inheritance or gift of a dwelling house in certain circumstances. 
One of the qualifying conditions for the dwelling house exemption is that the beneficiary does not have an interest in another dwelling house when he or she claims the exemption.  This restriction applies whether a beneficiary alrea...

88. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the fact that due to the failure to alter PRSI bands in line with the minimum wage increase in budget 2018, a person on the minimum wage earning €18,000 per annum will pay over 45% of their expected rise back in tax; his plans to introduce changes to remedy same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44112/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Budget Measures)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Following the recommendation of the Low Pay Commission, the national minimum wage will increase from €9.25 per hour to €9.55 per hour in 2018. For an individual working full-time on the minimum wage (i.e. 39 hours per week), this should result in an increase to gross income of €608 per annum. A single person on the current minimum wage, i.e. with annual employment income of €18,759, pays income tax, PRSI and USC of €883 per annum. At the increase...

89. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Finance his views on a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44144/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Stamp Duty)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 86 and 89 together.
In my Budget 2018 statement I announced an increase in the stamp duty rate for all non-residential property transactions, including agricultural land, from 2% to 6%. On the recommendation of the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine I also extended consanguinity relief for another 3 years and provided that the stamp duty rate applying under that scheme will be fixed at 1%. Consanguinity ...

90. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Finance the way in which the liabilities entered into by local authorities in respect of long-term leasing for houses with approved housing bodies is calculated; if these are included on the State balance sheet; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44148/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - National Debt)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As I have already explained in my written answer to parliamentary question 42703/17, the Social Housing Current Expenditure Programme provides a means whereby properties can be built or bought by Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) with the combined use of State and private funding, and leased by AHBs and Local Authorities from private providers, for the provision of social housing. This scheme is underpinned by a lease and other legal agreements. Thes...

91. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Finance his views on whether land which has been purchased for commercial agricultural use and which was never used to live in should affect families’ eligibility to qualify for first time buyers relief on a primary principal residence they now wish to buy as their home; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44187/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Help-To-Buy Scheme Eligibility)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Help to Buy initiative is available to persons who have not previously owned, or part-owned, a dwelling. I am advised by Revenue that the ownership of purely agricultural land that does not include a dwelling would not preclude a person, who otherwise meets the qualifying criteria, from availing of the scheme.
Comprehensive details of the operation of the Help to Buy are available on Revenue’s website at www.revenue.ie/en/tax-professionals/td...

92. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Finance if the guaranteed income of €12,700 associated with drawing down a private pension early is remaining at the current rate or if it will be reverting to over €18,000; and if there will be changes to this matter as a result of the recent budget or as part of the Finance Bill. (Question 44234/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by Revenue that an individual in a defined contribution pension savings arrangement has the option, on retirement, of putting the funds accumulated under the arrangement into an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF), subject to conditions.
Where such an individual is under the age of 75 at the time of exercising the option and does not meet the requirement of having a minimum guaranteed pension income for life of €12,700 per annum, he or she i...

112. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Finance his plans to extend the section 481 film relief beyond 2020 in the near future in view of the long lead time required in the production sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43370/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Film Industry Tax Reliefs)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As a tax expenditure of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997, Section 481 is subject to the requirements of the Department of Finance tax expenditure guidelines. The Tax Expenditure Guidelines can be found at: http://budget.gov.ie/Budgets/2015/Documents/Tax_Expenditures_Oct14.pdf.
As a requirement under the guidelines, reliefs such as section 481 are required to be reviewed periodically. A full ex post analysis and review of section 481 will be undert...

113. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Finance his plans to ring-fence moneys raised from carbon taxes to establish a grant scheme for small scale energy sustainability projects, urban horticulture and other schemes that can reduce CO2 emissions on a more local level. (Question 43377/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Tax Code)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Hypothecation of revenue receipts is not a feature of the Irish tax system in general as it reduces the flexibility of the Government to prioritise and allocate funds as necessary at a particular time.
The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment receive an annual budget as part of the estimates process which they allocate according to the priorities within that Department. 
 ...

114. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Finance the number of cars that have been imported from the United Kingdom in 2015, 2016 and to date in 2017; if there has been a noticeable increase in imports since Brexit and the devaluation of sterling; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43514/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Vehicle Registration Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by Revenue that the used cars registered for Vehicle Registration Tax that were imported from the United Kingdom in 2015, 2016 and for the period January to September 2017 are as follows. 
 Year Imports 2015 45,454 2016 69,571 2017 (9 Months) 69,439 

There has been a noticeable increase in these imports since the devaluation of sterling with a 53% increase in 2016 over the previous year. This trend has continued in ...

115. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Finance his plans to examine the criteria set out in the disabled passengers tax concession regulations 1994 which determine the qualifying conditions for the primary medical certificate; if the criteria will be changed to include primary progressive MS in order that a person (details supplied) can qualify for the concession when purchasing an adapted vehicle; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43627/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Disabled Drivers and Passengers Scheme)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers Scheme provides relief from VAT and Vehicle Registration Tax, an exemption from motor tax and a grant in respect of fuel expenditure, on the purchase of an adapted car for transport of a permanently and severely disabled person within the terms of the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Regulations 1994.
The scheme and qualifying criteria were designed specifically for those with se...

116. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Finance his plans to retain the 1% rate of stamp duty on family transfers. (Question 43673/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Stamp Duty)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 116, 135 and 142 together.
In my Budget 2018 statement I announced an increase in the stamp duty rate for all non-residential property transactions, including agricultural land, from 2% to 6%. On the recommendation of the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine I also extended consanguinity relief for another 3 years and provided that the stamp duty rate applying under that scheme will be fixed at 1%. Consang...

117. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Finance if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding the transfer of agricultural land; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43778/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Land Transfers)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by Revenue that section 89 of the Capital Acquisitions Tax Consolidation Act (CATCA) 2003 provides for agricultural relief. The relief takes the form of a 90% reduction in the taxable value of gifted or inherited agricultural property. 
To qualify for the relief, the person taking the gift or inheritance (the ‘beneficiary’) of the agricultural property must first qualify as a ‘farmer’ for the purpose of section 89 CATCA 2003. This mea...

118. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Finance the mechanisms available to NAMA and the proposed home building finance Ireland to ensure the provision of affordable homes on public or private lands. (Question 43837/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - NAMA Social Housing Provision)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 118 and 119 together.
In my Budget speech on 10 October 2017 I announced a proposal to establish a new dedicated fund, Home Building Finance Ireland (‘HBFI’) which will be designed to increase the availability of debt funding to developers willing to build viable residential development projects. Up to €750 million of ISIF funds will be allocated to HBFI to provide funding on market terms. This fund could have capa...

119. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Finance the targets he has for commencements and completions of new housing units for 2018 funded via home building finance Ireland; and the mechanisms which will be put in place for recipients of this funding to ensure that houses are sold at affordable prices. (Question 43841/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - NAMA Social Housing Provision)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 118 and 119 together.
In my Budget speech on 10 October 2017 I announced a proposal to establish a new dedicated fund, Home Building Finance Ireland (‘HBFI’) which will be designed to increase the availability of debt funding to developers willing to build viable residential development projects. Up to €750 million of ISIF funds will be allocated to HBFI to provide funding on market terms. This fund could have capa...

120. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Finance the reason it is not possible to register an electric van for vehicle registration tax, particularly with regard to the Government’s objectives to decarbonise the transport sector as per chapter five of the national mitigation plan. (Question 43846/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Electric Vehicles)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The registration of electric vehicles is provided for in the Finance Act 1992, section 135C(3)(b). This section provides for a VRT relief of up to €5,000 on passenger cars, vans and other light commercials.
The VRT relief does not apply to other vans and heavier commercials that are taxed at the flat VRT rate of €200 per vehicle.
Further information is available on the Revenue website at: http://www.revenue.ie/en/importing-vehicles-duty-free-allowa...

121. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Finance the amount of moneys raised from carbon taxes on an annual basis. (Question 43385/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Tax Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by Revenue that the carbon tax collected on an annual basis in the years 2010 to 2016 is available on the Revenue’s statistics website at: http://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/documents/statistics/excise/net-receipts-by-commodity.pdf.
 ...