Written answers

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Photo of Peter MathewsPeter Mathews (Dublin South, Independent)
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193. To ask the Minister for Finance when the losses will be incurred, after he imposed a levy on private sector pensions, and be re-instated on those pensions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4591/16]

Photo of Michael NoonanMichael Noonan (Limerick City, Fine Gael)
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I take it the Deputy is referring to the stamp duty levies applying to the assets of funded pension arrangements introduced in 2011 to pay for the Jobs Initiative, the chargeable persons for which are the trustees of pension schemes and others responsible for the management of pension fund assets.

The original 0.6% stamp duty levy on pension fund assets ended in 2014. The additional levy of 0.15% which I introduced for 2014 and 2015, mainly to help continue to fund Jobs Initiative, also ended last year.

The position is that the equivalent value of all of the money raised from the stamp duty levy has been used to fund the wide range of measures introduced in the Jobs Initiative to protect existing jobs and to help create new jobs and the Initiative has been a success in this regard.  The measures introduced include expenditure measures such as the JobBridge and Springboard schemes, as well as a number of tax and PRSI incentives such as the reduction in the VAT rate from 13.5% to 9% for the tourism and hospitality sectors and the halving of the lower employer PRSI rate. 

While the pension fund levies have ceased as I have already outlined, I have no plans to repay the pension fund levies collected as suggested in the question. The value of the funds raised by way of the levy have been used to protect and create jobs and this has helped to create the improving financial and economic position of the State. Taxpayers to whom the impact of the levy may have been passed on by the chargeable persons responsible for the payment of the levy (the pension scheme trustees, etc.) will benefit from the changes which I began in Budget 2015 and have continued in Budget 2016 to reduce the tax burden on low and middle income earners.


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