Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Department of Finance
Social Welfare Code
Dara Calleary (Mayo, Fianna Fail)
Question 188: To ask the Minister for Finance if he will clarify the anomaly that exists in the way the universal social charge is deducted from pensions (details supplied) depending on who is paying the pension; and his views that the universal social charge deduction (details supplied) is fair and justifiable. [9808/12]
Michael Noonan (Minister, Department of Finance; Limerick City, Fine Gael)
The position is that the Universal Social Charge, which came into effect on 1 January 2011, is a tax payable on all gross income. However, there are a number of exemptions and reliefs from the USC. There is a lower exemption limit, which from 1 January 2012 is €10,036 per annum, €193 per week. In addition, individuals aged 70 years and over are not liable to the top rates of USC. Furthermore, payments from the Department of Social Protection including the contributory and non-contributory social welfare pensions are exempt from the USC. Accordingly, payments from the Department of Social Protection are not reckonable in computing liability to the USC. As the Deputy may be aware, the USC was reviewed by my Department in the lead up to Budget 2012 and the report can be obtained at www.finance.gov.ie.