Written answers

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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40. To ask the Minister for Finance in respect of the single parent tax credit, if he has considered rewording the current credit so that only the parent or guardian of a child may claim it; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47276/13]

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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41. To ask the Minister for Finance in respect of the single parent tax credit, if he has considered that, by retaining the extended standard rate band and removing one of the tax credits, he is adversely impacting the lowest earning single parents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47277/13]

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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43. To ask the Minister for Finance in respect of the single parent tax credit, before the credit can be split, it must first be designated, to whom he proposes it be designated (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47282/13]

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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44. To ask the Minister for Finance in respect of the single parent tax credit, if he is proposing to simply halve the tax credit, this will amount to a straightforward undisguisable income tax increase for at least 76,800 citizens of the State (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47283/13]

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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45. To ask the Minister for Finance in respect of the single parent tax credit, if it is his intention to split the tax credit at source, the way the Revenue Commissioners will be able to identify the father of the child-children in question (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47284/13]

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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46. To ask the Minister for Finance in respect of the single parent tax credit, his views on whether the proposal to allow separated parents share a tax credit among themselves would run directly contrary to the stated aim above; the way he proposes to square this with the programme for Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47285/13]

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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47. To ask the Minister for Finance in respect of the single parent tax credit, the way he intends to legislate for the cases where there is no co-operation between former partners or in cases where one party's situation changes necessitating a reallocation of the credit further down the line; in many cases, this will result in couples having to revisit the separation agreement either via the courts system or the Family Mediation Services; if he has costed this and, if not, given that, in 2011, the Family Mediation Service ran a budget of €2.984 billion, would further increasing its workload justify a measure which will, by his own figures, yield a saving of just €25 million; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47286/13]

Photo of Michael NoonanMichael Noonan (Minister, Department of Finance; Limerick City, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 40, 41 and 43 to 47, inclusive, together.

No, I do not consider this measure to be a breach of the Programme for Government. Let me be clear what is happening, from 1 January 2014, the One-Parent Family Tax Credit is being replaced with a new Single Person Child Carer Tax Credit. The new credit will be of the same value, i.e. €1,650, as the existing One-Parent Family Tax Credit and will also carry the same entitlement to the extended standard rate tax band of €36,800 per annum. The new credit will be targeted such that it is available only to the primary carer of the child. A maximum of one credit will be available per single carer/claimant, regardless of whether he or she cares for more than one child. This is the same condition that applies to the current One-Parent Family Tax Credit.

The Programme for Government states that “as part of the Government’s fiscal strategy we will maintain the current rates of income tax together with bands and credits. We will not increase the top marginal rates of taxes on income”. In my view, the credit is being maintained. In a time of limited resources, I am merely targeting the credit to ensure that it can achieve the objectives set for it.

Allocation of childcare responsibilities is primarily for parents to agree. Practical implementation issues, such as those which you have raised, are being considered as part of the Finance Bill process.

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