I move amendment No. 1:
In page 8, between lines 5 and 6, to insert the following:
“Sea-going naval personnel credit
5. (1) The Principal Act is amended—
(a) in section 458, by inserting, in Part 2 of the Table to that section, “Section 472BB” after “Section 472BA”, and
(b) by inserting the following after section 472BA:
“Sea-going naval personnel credit 472BB.
(1) In this section—
‘day at sea’ means a cumulative period of 8 hours within any 24-hour period on patrol at sea on board a naval vessel;
‘naval vessel’ means a naval patrol vessel owned by the Minister for Defence;
‘qualifying individual’ means a permanent member of the Irish Naval Service who has spent at least 80 days at sea in a relevant period performing the duties of his or her employment;
‘relevant period’, in relation to a year of assessment, means the immediately preceding year of assessment.
(2) Where for the year of assessment 2020 an individual is a qualifying individual—
(a) he or she shall be entitled to a tax credit (to be known as the ‘sea-going naval personnel credit’) of €1,270, and
(b) relief shall not be given under section 472B or 472BA in respect of that year.”.
(2)This section shall apply for the year of assessment 2020.”.
This amendment inserts a new section into the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 to provide a tax credit for permanent members of the Irish Naval Service. Where a permanent member of the service spent at least 80 days at sea on board a naval vessel in 2018, he or she will be entitled to a tax credit of €1,270 in 2020. This is a once-off measure which is intended to apply for 2020 only. It is intended to operate as a temporary device as we prepare for other measures in the context of future discussions on public pay.
The proposed measure is based on the design of the existing fisher tax credit, which was introduced in the budget of 2017 in recognition of the hardships and dangers faced by individuals engaged in that sector. It is important to recognise the critical support of the Naval Service, the role and support it provides to the Irish fishing fleet and the parallel circumstances in which its members operate when carrying out such duties. In the circumstances, it is appropriate that this measure is being introduced at this time and for the reasons I have outlined.