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Written Answers — Department of Finance: Mortgage Repayments (7 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: I have been advised by the Central Bank of Ireland (the Central Bank) that when a consumer takes out a loan from a regulated lender (“the original lender”) it is subject to all the relevant Irish and EU consumer protections. Most loan agreements include a clause that allows the original lender to sell the loan on to another firm. When a loan is sold, the relevant Irish and EU...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Central Bank of Ireland (7 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: The Central Bank of Ireland informs me that it ceased the inhouse printing of euro banknotes in April and is now sourcing euro banknotes from third parties in the euro area. The Central Bank has agreed to join the joint tendering group of euro Central Banks for the provision of its annual allocation of euro banknotes. I am informed that these matters have no impact on the supply of cash in...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Brexit Staff (7 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: In September 2018, the Government granted approval in principle for the phased recruitment of an additional 600 Revenue staff to meet the challenges posed by Brexit. Following a Government decision in December 2018, Revenue’s recruitment programme was accelerated in preparation for a potential no-deal Brexit. I am advised by Revenue that by 31 October 2019 recruitment had been...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Brexit Data (7 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: I am advised by Revenue that currently 63,071businesses have an EORI number. 23,026of these businesses obtained an EORI number in 2019. I am further advised that Revenue’s analysis of the 2018 VAT Information Exchange System (VIES) returns, showed that some 94,000 businesses traded with the UK in 2018. Of these 94,000 businesses, approx. 55,500 do not currently have an EORI number....

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Brexit Data (7 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: It has always been clear from the published studies, including those by my Department, that Brexit, in whatever form it takes, will have a negative impact on our economy and our living standards, and that this impact is significantly greater in the ‘No-Deal’ Brexit scenario. Budget 2020, including the macroeconomic and fiscal outlook which underpins it, was based on the prudent...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: VAT Rate Application (7 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the VAT rating of goods and services is subject to EU VAT law, with which Irish VAT law must comply. Under the Directive it is not permissible to differentiate the supply of new residential property for different buyers, such as first-time buyers, for the purpose of applying VAT rates.

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Insurance Industry Regulation (7 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: I understand that the Deputy is referring to the regulation of motor insurers in Ireland, in particular regarding the way that they conduct business and make decisions regarding consumers. At the outset, it is important to note that as Minister for Finance, I am responsible for the development of the legal framework governing financial regulation in Ireland, including the regulatory...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Tax Code (7 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: I propose to take Questions Nos. 56 and 57 together. The FRE allowance regime is an administratively based practice operated by Revenue, where both specific commonality of expenditure exists across an employment category and the statutory requirement for a tax deduction for expenses as set out in section 114 of the Taxes Consolidation Act (TCA) 1997 is satisfied, namely, the expense must be...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Central Bank of Ireland Data (7 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: The Central Bank has advised that it does not comment on details of inspections. It carries out its supervision of regulated entities in a number of ways, which includes both desk based and on-site reviews of various activities in regulated entities and is currently undertaking such supervisory work at a sample of non-banks, including Credit Servicing Firms. The Consumer Protection...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Banking Sector Regulation (7 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: The revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) regulates new market players, enhances consumer protection, ensures competition and harmonises payments regulations across Europe. In order to enhance consumer protection and to reduce the risk of fraud, PSD2 requires the use of identification methods known as strong customer authentication (SCA). Strong customer authentication, as provided...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Banking Sector Data (7 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: I am advised that the Central Bank does not specifically collect data on online banking usage, such as the requested. Many of the main banks offer online services as standard for current accounts. The Central Bank publishes data in respect of current accounts held by personal consumers and the latest publication, from June 2019, highlights that at the end of 2018 there were 5,345,752...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Insurance Data (7 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: Increasing the availability of data in relation to Employer and Public Liability Insurance is a matter which was discussed by the Cost of Insurance Working Group in its Report on the Cost of Employer and Public Liability Insurance (2018). It recommended a number of actions to improve transparency in this area. Amongst these, Recommendation 1 requires the Central Statistics Office (CSO) to...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Pharmaceutical Sector (7 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: In 2013, due to the weight of the pharmaceutical sector in Irish GDP at the time, my Department produced a report seeking to assess the impact of a ‘patent cliff’ in the pharmaceutical sector on the Irish economy, arising from a clustering of patented drugs going off patent in quick succession. The report, titled “The Impact of the Patent Cliff on Pharma-Chem Output in...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Pharmaceutical Sector (7 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: Ireland has a well-established specialisation in the pharma-chem sector, which makes up a large proportion of total exports and contributes significantly to GDP. As a result of the ‘patent cliff’ in 2013, my Department carried out research to assess its impact on pharma-chem output in Ireland. The research concluded that the ‘patent cliff’ caused a drop in...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Apple Escrow Account (7 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: As the Deputy will be aware, the State has recovered the alleged State aid from Apple. The total amount recovered is c €14.3 billion (which is the principal amount and relevant EU interest). The final payment was made in early September 2018. These sums have been placed into an Escrow Fund with the proceeds being released only when there has been a final determination in the European...

Written Answers — Department of Public Expenditure and Reform: Public Sector Pensions (7 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: It is assumed that the Deputy is not referring to the abatement of a public service pension, which, in accordance with the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and other Provisions) Act 2012, only applies where a retired public servant, in receipt of a public service pension, takes up employment in the public service. Where a public servant in receipt of a public service pension takes up...

Written Answers — Department of Public Expenditure and Reform: Public Procurement Regulations (7 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) has developed a suite of policy measures aimed at assisting SMEs to access public procurement opportunities (implemented through Circular 10/14). These include: - Proportionate financial capacity criterion (turnover requirements limited to twice the contract value) - Contracting authorities are encouraged to divide public contracts into...

Written Answers — Department of Public Expenditure and Reform: Public Sector Staff Remuneration (7 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: The individual referred to was not, before appointment, a serving civil or public servant. In general, public service pay policy requires that new entrants are appointed at the minimum of the scale. Where different arrangements apply, these are set out in the terms and conditions of appointment and should be clarified by the relevant employer.

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Tax Credits (6 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: In situations where a couple is cohabiting, rather than married or in a civil partnership, each partner is treated for the purposes of income tax as a separate and unconnected individual. Because they are treated separately for tax purposes, credits, tax bands and reliefs cannot be transferred from one partner to the other. The basis for the current tax treatment of married couples...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Pension Levy (6 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: The pension fund levy was introduced in 2011 in the wake of the financial crisis and at a time when the economy was in serious difficulties. The levy was designed to claw back a small amount of the very generous tax reliefs that those contributing to pension arrangements had benefitted from over many years. The levy went to fund the tax reductions and expenditure measures introduced in the...

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