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Committee on Budgetary Oversight: Summer Economic Statement: Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (15 Jul 2021)

Paschal Donohoe: There are two advantages that I think are very important. First, the massively changed levels of skill, productivity and education in our economy and society in recent decades have had a gigantic influence on our ability to attract and retain foreign direct investment and to grow good businesses at home. Second, Ireland's place in the European Union post Brexit, our position as full members...

Committee on Budgetary Oversight: Summer Economic Statement: Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (15 Jul 2021)

Paschal Donohoe: I thank the Deputy for his question. I am well aware of the responsibility that is on my shoulders as I deal with this critical issue on behalf of our country. The Deputy cannot have it both ways. He cannot question my commitment to where I will be on the rate in the future and then infer that the commitment is not there when I am willing to step outside of the current consensus. My...

Committee on Budgetary Oversight: Summer Economic Statement: Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (15 Jul 2021)

Paschal Donohoe: That is a fair point. I would offer two points in response. Regarding energy and homes, as the Deputy will be aware, there is an extensive array of grants available through the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland to help with the affordability of the things needed to retrofit homes. The Deputy makes a fair point that in order to gain tax relief, people have to be in a position to pay...

Committee on Budgetary Oversight: Summer Economic Statement: Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (15 Jul 2021)

Paschal Donohoe: As regards the Deputy's first question about the revenue forecasts, the forecast we had began with a €500 million loss in 2022, building up by €500 million per year out to 2025. What has changed in these forecasts is that we are moving that to 2023, with €500 million lost at that point and not before. We are not in a position to revise our revenue forecasts as to what...

Committee on Budgetary Oversight: Summer Economic Statement: Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (15 Jul 2021)

Paschal Donohoe: Before we hand over to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to answer the question on the allocation of expenditure, I again remind the Deputy that I am engaged in a negotiation. My commitment to securing our rate and protecting it under our tax code is attested to by my unwillingness to sign up to the consensus that is there at the moment. That is proof of my commitment to where...

Committee on Budgetary Oversight: Summer Economic Statement: Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (15 Jul 2021)

Paschal Donohoe: I thank Deputy Durkan for his question. There is an appreciation within the European Union regarding the competitive challenges Ireland faces given our location and size. That feeds into the recognition and protection we have been able to deliver for our rate within the European Union. Therefore, that is there, but it is also the case there are other countries that have higher rates that...

Committee on Budgetary Oversight: Summer Economic Statement: Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (15 Jul 2021)

Paschal Donohoe: I thank the Deputy for his question. Ireland has a low nominal rate of corporation tax. Critically, however, that rate is applied across a very wide base of economic activity in our country and there is very little difference between our nominal rate and the rate at which companies actually pay. As the Deputy knows, the information released by the Revenue Commissioners shows we have an...

Committee on Budgetary Oversight: Summer Economic Statement: Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (15 Jul 2021)

Paschal Donohoe: With regard to the Deputy's point about gross profits, companies pay tax on what they earn after expenses are deducted. To use the issue of gross taxes, the Deputy knows well is wrong. You pay tax on your total level of profitability minus your expenses and you then pay tax on that, as the Deputy well knows. The information I am referring to-----

Committee on Budgetary Oversight: Summer Economic Statement: Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (15 Jul 2021)

Paschal Donohoe: -----is information that is available through the Revenue Commissioners. We have discussed this in different finance Bills. I do not have it to hand at present but it is publicly available and it shows that the effective rate of tax varies between 10% and 11%. With regard to the Deputy's point regarding certainty or uncertainty, the agreement currently on the table does not offer...

Committee on Budgetary Oversight: Summer Economic Statement: Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (15 Jul 2021)

Paschal Donohoe: In the plans we have, the significant majority of resources are going into the increasing of expenditure. As the Minister, Deputy McGrath, outlined in his presentation, both current and capital expenditure, but especially capital expenditure, are due to increase significantly across the coming period. With regard to taxation, the Deputy is the biggest tax cutter in the house. He wants to...

Committee on Budgetary Oversight: Summer Economic Statement: Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (15 Jul 2021)

Paschal Donohoe: I thank the Deputy very much. When I published the stability programme update, I made very clear it was published on a no policy change basis. Nothing has changed from a process point of view. On a number of occasions, in Oireachtas appearances and in the media, I made it clear I expected our borrowing requirement to increase. In conjunction with the Minister, Deputy McGrath, we have...

Committee on Budgetary Oversight: Summer Economic Statement: Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (15 Jul 2021)

Paschal Donohoe: I thank Deputy Nash. After the summer, the Commission will be launching a public consultation with regard to the future of the fiscal rules. As the Deputy will be aware, the fiscal rules are suspended until 2023 through the activation of the general escape clause. I differ somewhat from Professor Thygesen and the assessment of the fiscal advisory board. I believe some changes and reforms...

Committee on Budgetary Oversight: Summer Economic Statement: Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (15 Jul 2021)

Paschal Donohoe: I thank the Deputy for his questions. We have not done any further analysis. The reason for this is that the outcome of the OECD process is not clear at the moment. That is why I cannot sign up to it. What I mean by that is, if the Deputy looks at the figures he has used at the moment, very respectfully, it is not saying an agreement of 15% is on offer It is not saying, for example, that...

Committee on Budgetary Oversight: Summer Economic Statement: Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (15 Jul 2021)

Paschal Donohoe: I will do that briefly. The Minister, Deputy McGrath, has thoroughly covered everything else. I believe the fiscal rules will be reapplied in 2023. To have the general escape clause activated all the way up to the end of next year is helpful for our planning. It is also important that we plan for the reactivation the year after that. Deputy Moynihan will be familiar with the different...

Committee on Budgetary Oversight: Summer Economic Statement: Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (15 Jul 2021)

Paschal Donohoe: The revenue forecasting that we have done so far has mainly focused on the reallocation of taxing rights. Regarding the analysis of how it could change again, I re-emphasise the point that I made to Deputy Nash, if I may. We are not looking at an agreement that is clear about the issues of base, taxing rights or even rates. All of the figures in the document are conditioned on the basis of...

Committee on Budgetary Oversight: Summer Economic Statement: Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (15 Jul 2021)

Paschal Donohoe: I thank the Deputy for reminding me of that. The agreement contains review clauses and there are review clauses for some aspects of the agreements. However, if a country is in that agreement then it is reasonable to expect that it will be at whatever rate is agreed until well into the medium term and for many years. As the agreement is drafted, there is no exit clause that allows a country...

Committee on Budgetary Oversight: Summer Economic Statement: Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (15 Jul 2021)

Paschal Donohoe: It is difficult to put any years on it because that has not been finalised or nailed down but we would be talking about many years. I do not want to create the expectation that a country can sign up to this agreement and then leave. The Deputy is not suggesting this but we should both be clear that a country cannot go into the agreement, see how it goes and decide to leave after a couple of...

Committee on Budgetary Oversight: Summer Economic Statement: Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (15 Jul 2021)

Paschal Donohoe: Yes. I do.

Committee on Budgetary Oversight: Summer Economic Statement: Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (15 Jul 2021)

Paschal Donohoe: An assumption within the summer economic statement is that we expect wages will grow. “Cost competitiveness” refers to two elements. The first is how we can change overall levels of productivity within our economy. Some parts for our economy are really productive. We want to increase the productivity of others. That is why the educational programmes to which the Minister,...

Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2021: Committee and Remaining Stages (14 Jul 2021)

Rose Conway-Walsh: These amendments are crucially important. Does the Minister think that anybody would profess to have pyrite or mica were they not almost certain they had it in their homes? People do not make up these stories. They do not want to have pyrite or mica. We have asked for years for them to be exempt from property tax because the properties - I will speak for those in County Mayo - were worth...

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