Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Department of Finance
Question 102: To ask the Minister for Finance when the ministerial order applying carbon tax to solid fuel will be commenced, in view of the fact that the Marketing, Sale and Distribution of Fuels (Amendment) Regulations 2011 limits all bituminous coal for residential use placed on the market since 7 June 2011 to a sulfur content of no more than 0.7%, and in the context of the development of our own domestic renewable energy sector, particularly wood biomass and wind-generated electricity, and the need to reduce our over-dependence on imported fossil fuels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20965/11]
The section in the Finance Act 2010 that provides for the application of the carbon tax to solid fuels (coal and commercial peat) is subject to a Ministerial Commencement Order. This approach was primarily adopted by the previous Government in order to allow time for a robust mechanism to be put in place to improve the control of high-sulfur coal being sourced from Northern Ireland suppliers.
As the Deputy may be aware, in that context the Department of the Environment, in conjunction with the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI), proposed new regulations for coal which would effectively extend the existing voluntary agreement for low sulfur coal to the entire State on a regulatory basis. A stakeholder committee was established to provide an input into the proposed regulations. Under EU law dealing with technical barriers to trade, Member States are required to notify the European Commission of all draft technical regulations concerning products before they are adopted in national law. Formal notification of the proposed new standard for coal issued from NSAI to the EU Commission in November 2010.
Following acceptance of the proposal by the EU Commission, the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government has recently introduced a new specification for the sulfur content of coal placed on the market for residential use in Ireland. This has been given legal effect through the Air Pollution Act, 1987 (Marketing, Sale and Distribution of Fuels) (Amendment) Regulations 2011.
In light of these developments, the issue of coal with a high sulfur content potentially being sourced from Northern Ireland has been addressed. In those circumstances the timing of the application of the carbon tax to solid fuels, as had been planned, will be considered.
Question 103: To ask the Minister for Finance if he will consider introducing a 10% levy on National Lottery or other winnings to individuals of more than €500,000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20985/11]
The receipt by a person of any bona fide sum by way of winnings from betting or from any licensed lottery is exempt from Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Capital Acquisitions Tax.
I have no plans to introduce a levy on lottery winnings at this time.