IBRC Liquidation

Questions (203)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

203. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if he will confirm the net asset position of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation at 30 June 2012; in view of his Department's forecast of a net cost to the Exchequer in 2013 of €1 billion in respect of IBRC liquidation for the eligible liabilities guarantee, if he will confirm the loss being recorded at IBRC between 1 July 2012 and the date on which IBRC is finally would down in 2013. [9824/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I can advise the Deputy that the net asset position and consolidated statement of financial position of IBRC at 30 June 2012 is published on page 24 of IBRC’s Interim Report 2012. The total cost of the liquidation is dependent on the value ascribed to the assets in the valuation process currently being conducted by the Special Liquidators. While claims of c.€1 billion are expected under the ELG Scheme it is too early to estimate what further costs are likely to be incurred until that process has been completed.

At this early stage of the special liquidation the Special Liquidators are engaged in intensive processes which involve, inter alia, asserting control over the businesses, processes, systems and personnel of IBRC. It is important that focus is placed on assessing, reorganising and restructuring the day–to-day activities of the Bank to meet the primary objective of ensuring the purpose of the special liquidation is achieved, as this is key to ensuring that maximum value is extracted from the liquidation.

IBRC Liquidation

Questions (204)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

204. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance what will happen in June 2013 when the €3 billion loan from Bank of Ireland to Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, originally provided in June 2012, secured on a 2025 Government bond, falls due. [9825/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

As part of the transactions relating to the Liquidation of IBRC, the bond repo agreement between IBRC and Bank of Ireland was terminated on a no gain/no loss basis and the Central Bank acquired the bond.

This 2025 Irish Government bond will be placed in the trading portfolio of the Central Bank, along with the bonds acquired in exchange for the Promissory Notes. The Central Bank will sell these bonds but only when such a sale is not disruptive to financial stability. The Central Bank have undertaken that minimum of bonds will be sold in accordance with the following schedule: €0.5bn by the end of 2014, €0.5bn per annum from 2015 to 2018, €1bn per annum from 2019 to 2023 and €2bn per annum from 2024 onwards.

IBRC Liquidation

Questions (205)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

205. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if he will outline the consideration given by him in the liquidation of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation to unsecured creditors taking legal action against IBRC and him, after assets in the form of promissory notes worth €27.7 billion at June 2012 were exchanged for bonds worth €25 billion, thereby wiping out IBRCs capital base. [9826/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Department of Finance received both internal and external legal advice in relation to the liquidation of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation. The legal advice received covered a wide range of issues, however, it would not be appropriate to comment further on the specifics of the advices received, which advices are subject to legal professional privilege.

Sale of State Assets

Questions (206)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

206. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if he will lay before Dáil Éireann the un-audited accounts of Irish Life for the year ended 31 December 2012. [9827/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I can inform the Deputy that it is not my intention to lay un-audited accounts of Irish Life for the year ended 31 December 2012 before Dáil Éireann and that there is no requirement to do so. I am willing to consider making public the audited accounts of Irish Life for the year ended 31 December 2012 when they become available.

The Deputy will be aware that the interim accounts for the six months ended 30 June 2012, which contain detailed financial information, are available on the Irish Life website.

Sale of State Assets

Questions (207)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

207. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the consideration he has given to using the proceeds from the sale of Irish Life, for a stimulus package aimed at reducing unemployment. [9828/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

As was announced last week, the sale of Irish Life was a welcome development, representing the first time during the crisis that a company in which we have invested has been returned fully to private ownership. The sale of Irish Life, while benefiting the Exchequer by an estimated €1.3 billion, has a negligible impact on the General Government Balance (GGB) and I would like to make it clear that it is in GGB terms that our annual fiscal targets under the EU/IMF Programme are set.

Accordingly, directing a large amount of funds for expenditure on a stimulus package, equivalent to the amount of proceeds raised through the Irish Life sale, would have a severe negative impact on the 2013 GGB. This would most likely result in the State missing its annual deficit target and would endanger the economic recovery experienced to date.

The Government recognises that improving labour market conditions represents its biggest challenge, and, accordingly, is giving priority to job protection, job creation and supporting the unemployed. In this regard, the Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation recently published the 2013 Action Plan on Jobs, which seeks to address this important challenge.

Tax Collection

Questions (208)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

208. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide an analysis of outstanding unpaid corporation tax for the past five consecutive years; and if he will provide information as to the corporations liable for the outstanding sums. [9847/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the details of the amounts of Corporation Tax that remained outstanding for each of the last five years are set out in the following table. These figures relate to each individual year and do not represent the cumulative totals at the end of each period.

Total Revenue/Net Receipts

Total Debt

€m

Debt Under Appeal

€m

Debt Available for Collection

€m

Year ended 31 March 2012

4,218

177

112

65

Year ended 31 March 2011

3,500

331

244

87

Year ended 31 March 2010

3,944

315

247

68

Year ended 31 March 2009

3,889

364

273

91

Year ended 31 March 2008

5,071

219

77

142

Debt that is under appeal by the taxpayer is not available for collection until the issue(s) under appeal are resolved. The debt that is categorised as available for collection includes debt that is subject to phased payment arrangements and /or is subject to active collection, included collection enforcement.

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that in line with their long-standing policy, and legislative provisions, details of the corporations liable for the outstanding liabilities may not be provided due to confidentiality obligations.

Tax Code

Questions (209)

Jack Wall

Question:

209. Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Finance the means available to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare in relation to addressing recent correspondence they received from the Revenue Commissioners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9852/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

Pensions payable by the Department of Social Protection (DSP) have always been taxable but the amount of tax payable, if any, depends on the circumstances of the individual concerned, usually whether they have other sources of income. As I have previously informed the House, I have been advised by the Revenue Commissioners that following receipt of data from the DSP in late 2011 containing details of DSP pension payments, it emerged that some pensioners with significant other income had not previously declared their DSP pension for tax purposes. Revenue’s approach was, firstly, to ensure that the record was correct for 2012 and thereafter to examine in detail the largest cases where there was a mismatch between their records and the DSP record, beginning with cases where annual non-DSP income exceeded €50,000. The information obtained from the initial examination would inform Revenue on how they would proceed with other higher risk cases. This follow-up project has been ongoing and Revenue is now corresponding with taxpayers who did not declare their DSP pension where they have annual non-DSP income of between €30,000 and €40,000.

This correspondence, which gives the taxpayer in question an opportunity to engage with Revenue, and, for example, to claim any unclaimed tax reliefs such as medical expenses etc., is in keeping with Revenue’s normal practice. It also provides an opportunity to address the question of ability to pay which can only be determined when the actual liability outstanding has been established on foot of the submission of completed tax returns for the relevant years.

Financial Services Ombudsman

Questions (210)

Jerry Buttimer

Question:

210. Deputy Jerry Buttimer asked the Minister for Finance the reason the Financial Services Ombudsman was not in a position to investigate the case referred to him by a person (details supplied) in County Cork in view of the difficulty that had not arisen until the maturity date of the policy and that it was only at the date of maturity that the difficulty became known to the policy holder; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9941/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

Firstly, I must point out that the Financial Services Ombudsman is independent in the performance of his statutory functions and it would not be appropriate for me to comment on his work.

The Financial Services Ombudsman Bureau was established under the Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act 2004. This legislation provides the Financial Services Ombudsman with various powers in order to determine jurisdiction on a complaint. Included in this is a statutory timeframe, Section 57BX (3)(b) provides:-

"A consumer is not entitled to make a complaint if the conduct complained of - occurred more than 6 years before the complaint is made."

The legislation prohibits the Financial Services Ombudsman from examining any aspect of a complaint where the conduct being complained of occurred more than 6 years from receipt of the Complaint in his Office. If the conduct being complained of occurred 6 years before the complaint is submitted to the Financial Services Ombudsman, the Ombudsman has no discretion in examining such a case.

EU Funding

Questions (211)

Seán Kenny

Question:

211. Deputy Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Finance if EU funding was received for the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 for the purchase of additional resources or equipment for the Revenue Commissioners; the total cost of the new equipment; the cost of the equipment that was covered by the EU funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10002/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that EU funding for equipment was provided under the OLAF Hercule II programme. This funding is for action to combat fraud affecting the EU’s financial interests, including cigarette smuggling and counterfeiting. Revenue received EU funding between 2009 and 2012 for the purchase of an X-Ray Container Scanner, a Tobacco Dog, a Mobile X-Ray Scanner Van and 3 Baggage X Ray scanners.

The X-Ray Container Scanner (2009) cost €1.49m. Revenue received EU funding towards this purchase of €375,000 in 2009 and €326,094 in 2010.

The Tobacco Dog (2012) cost €39,000. Revenue received a first payment of EU funding of €9,984 in 2012 towards this purchase.

The Mobile X-Ray Van (2012) cost €238,189. Revenue received a first payment of EU funding of €47,500 in 2012 towards this purchase.

The 3 Baggage X-Ray Scanners have not yet been purchased, however, in 2012 Revenue received a first payment of €22,500 towards their purchase.

The use of enforcement equipment such as mobile x-ray scanners, other detection technologies and dogs are an important part of a multi-faceted strategy employed by Revenue to tackle smuggling.

IBRC Staff

Questions (212, 220, 221, 222, 232)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

212. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance with regard to the liquidation of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation persons who were employees of the corporation now find themselves effectively to be collateral damage, the remedial action being taken to ensure that their rights under previous agreements with the Government are not liquidated along with IBRC; the steps he will take to restore the value of the severance terms previously agreed in order that when their work is completed they are not placed at a further disadvantage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10050/13]

View answer

Willie O'Dea

Question:

220. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Finance the steps he and his Department are taking to ensure that the severance terms previously agreed by his Department and the board of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation in respect of IBRC employees are honoured; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10225/13]

View answer

Patrick Nulty

Question:

221. Deputy Patrick Nulty asked the Minister for Finance if he will a full breakdown of severance payments provided to the chief executive and former senior managers of the former Anglo Irish Bank; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10227/13]

View answer

Patrick Nulty

Question:

222. Deputy Patrick Nulty asked the Minister for Finance the reason the new terms originally agreed with Irish Bank Resolution Corporation workers for redundancies have been changed; if he will set out the original terms of the redundancies, and the new proposals that are being put to staff; if he will agree to honour the agreed voluntary severance terms; and if he will agree to meet unions representing the IBRC workers. [10228/13]

View answer

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

232. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Finance the step he will take to restore the value of the severance terms previously agreed with the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation for the workers who have been affected by the recent appointment of a liquidator to IBRC to ensure fairness and equity following the Government's recent decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10418/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 212, 220 to 222, inclusive, and 232 together.

As the Deputy is aware, the legislation surrounding liquidation ranks employees as preferential creditors in respect of certain amounts owing to them on a winding up, including accrued wages and salaries, holiday pay, sick pay, statutory redundancy, pensions contributions and claims for damages arising from accidents. Any claims over and above that described above will rank as an unsecured claim in the liquidation process.

There are standard rules which apply to the distribution of the assets of companies in liquidation and it would not be appropriate for me to interfere with these rules. However the State does intervene to ensure that statutory redundancy is available through the Social Insurance Fund and that arrears of pay, sick pay, holiday pay or pay in lieu of statutory notice (limited to €600 per week up to a maximum of eight weeks) are payable from the Insolvency Payments Scheme. The Minister for Social Protection will rank as a preferential creditor of IBRC in respect of any payments made to employees of IBRC from the Social Insurance Fund or the Insolvency Payments Scheme.

Any action taken by the Minister which might divert the assets from IBRC creditors to employees, could be challenged in the Courts. I have been advised by the Special Liquidators that any voluntary severance scheme, that was in place prior to liquidation, is no longer operational.

The Special Liquidators were promptly in contact with staff on Thursday, 7 February and, unlike in other liquidations, the majority of employees have been re-hired by the special liquidators, for a minimum period of 3 months, to ensure an orderly wind-down of the business. In addition some staff may in time be re-hired by NAMA or other purchasers of the assets. This should provide some reassurance to employees.

EU Regulations

Questions (213)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

213. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Finance his views on recent media reports that he is introducing regulations that will entitle the EU/ECB to extend the period during which they may review the taxation and expenditure decisions of our national parliament; and the reason he is doing this. [10103/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU has secured agreement, on behalf of euro area member countries, with the European Parliament and the European Commission, on two proposed regulations the "two-pack". One of the proposals is on the monitoring and assessment of draft budgetary plans and on ensuring the correction of excessive deficits. The other is on the strengthening of economic and budgetary surveillance and sets out explicit rules for enhanced surveillance of countries experiencing or threatened with financial difficulties. The agreement reached on 20 February will have to be approved by member countries and the European Parliament. The "two-pack" will be a significant and welcome enhancement of the euro area’s economic governance regime. It is, to a great extent, a natural extension of the measures contained in the ‘six-pack’ which was introduced on 13 December, 2011. The ‘six-pack’ - comprising five regulations and one directive - reformed and strengthened fiscal surveillance under the Stability and Growth Pact and introduced new macroeconomic surveillance.

The ‘two-pack’ is applicable to euro area member countries only.

The proposed surveillance regulation provides for surveillance under a number of circumstances, specifically, where a member state is experiencing severe difficulties with regard to its financial stability and where this is likely to have adverse spillover effect on other Member States, where a member state is in a macroeconomic adjustment programme, and also post-programme surveillance. There are specific features attaching to each of these. However, in the case of enhanced surveillance, it is a matter for the Commission to decide every six months whether to prolong the enhanced surveillance. Under the regulation, a post-programme surveillance process will be put in place and maintained for a member country until the balance outstanding under EU-sourced financial assistance falls below 25% of the total. This covers all EU funding sources, including bilateral loans. It also provides that the Commission shall conduct, in liaison with the ECB, regular review missions in the Member State under post-programme surveillance to assess its economic, fiscal and financial situation.

The reports generated following such missions shall be considered by the European Council which - acting by qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission - may recommend to the Member State concerned to adopt corrective measures. The regulation provides that the duration of post-programme surveillance may be extended by the Council on a proposal from the Commission “in the case of persistent risks to the financial or fiscal sustainability of the Member State concerned. Post-programme surveillance is a normal feature of IMF assistance programmes, and this regulation provides for a similar arrangement for the EU.

The other proposed regulation concerns ‘the monitoring and assessment of draft budgetary plans and on ensuring the correction of excessive deficits’ in euro area Member States. It will apply to all countries in the euro area, with special provisions including in relation to reporting requirements being made for those which are subject to an excessive deficit procedure. This draft regulation specifies that all euro area Member States, not in a macroeconomic adjustment programme, will be required to submit to the Commission and the Eurogroup and make public a draft budgetary plan no later than 15 October each year. The draft budgetary plan will be assessed by the Commission, which shall adopt an opinion on it by the end of November. The draft regulation also provides that the Commission may request a revised draft budgetary plan in exceptional circumstances where it identifies particularly serious non-compliance with the budgetary obligations laid down in the Stability and Growth Pact.

This Government is firmly committed to reducing the deficit to below 3% by 2015 and to achieve a structural balance thereafter in line with the stability treaty. These regulations make no changes to these rules.

Property Taxation Collection

Questions (214)

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

214. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Finance if it is his intention that the property tax will be payable in instalments using various mediums such as An Post, the banks, the credit union and PayPal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10115/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that commencing in March 2013 residential property owners will receive their Local Property Tax (LPT) Return from Revenue together with an LPT booklet, which will provide details of the payment options available to pay the tax. The LPT Return must be submitted and payment details provided to Revenue by 7 May, if using the paper return, and by 28 May if using Revenue’s online facility. I am further advised by the Revenue Commissioners that there is a wide range of payment options available to liable persons, including the option to pay the tax for 2013 in equal instalments over the period 1 July 2013 to end December 2013. Instalment payments can be made by way of deduction at source from employment, occupational pension income or from certain payments made by the Departments of Social Protection and Agriculture, Food and the Marine. They can also be made by direct debit from current accounts in banks and other financial institutions including credit unions and can also be made in cash or by debit/credit card through approved payment service providers. I am advised that the Revenue Commissioners will shortly publish details of these approved payment service providers and they advise that they are currently negotiating with a number of organisations to provide cash payment facilities, including An Post.

The Revenue Commissioners also advise that there is no additional administration or interest charge imposed by Revenue where the phased payment options are adhered to. Normal transactional charges, however, may be levied by the property owner’s financial institution or by a payment service provider where the property owner chooses to make their payment via a debit or credit card, direct debit or by way of cash payments. There is no charge where the payment is deducted at source.

Finally, I am satisfied that the range of payment options available to facilitate phased payment will allow liable persons choose whatever option suits their own particular circumstances.

Fuel Rebate Scheme

Questions (215, 223)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

215. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance if Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann are both included in the fuel rebate scheme for bus and coach operators under the 2013 Finance Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10154/13]

View answer

Paul Connaughton

Question:

223. Deputy Paul J. Connaughton asked the Minister for Finance if he will consider extending the fuel rebate offered to coach operators to livestock hauliers in view of the importance of the cattle trade and in particular the live export trade, to maintain healthy competition within the sector and also to help ensure that these small family-run businesses can continue to operate and provide this vital service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10239/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 215 and 223 together.

The proposal to introduce an auto-diesel excise duty relief for licensed road hauliers that I announced in the Budget was, initially, confined to licensed and tax compliant hauliers.

Deputies will now be aware that I have extended the relief to the licensed passenger transport sector which would include Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann in the context of the Finance Bill published on 13 February. The maximum amount of the relief will be 7.5 cents per litre and will be price dependent.

Departmental Agencies Staff Remuneration

Questions (216, 217)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

216. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide details of the payment of bonuses or other performance related payments and or allowances made to the staff of agencies under the aegis of his Department with a yearly breakdown from 2008 outlining the overall amount paid in each year period and the number of staff that received such payments and or allowances. [10165/13]

View answer

Thomas Pringle

Question:

217. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide details of payments made to the CEO or equivalent of all agencies under the aegis of his Department including details of any bonuses, pension entitlements or any other remuneration paid to him or her in 2012. [10182/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 216 and 217 together.

In response to the Deputy's question details in respect of agencies under the remit of my Department are as follows:

Financial Services Ombudsman Bureau / Financial Services Ombudsman

In relation to the Financial Services Ombudsman Bureau / Financial Services Ombudsman no bonuses or performances related payments were made to any staff member since 2008.The only payment made to the Ombudsman (CEO) was a salary payment of €176,800 in line with his contract.The Financial Services Ombudsman Bureau pension contribution for the Ombudsman was €44,200 in 2012. The Financial Services Ombudsman has informed me that all of the above figures will be published in the 2012 Annual Report in due course.

Central Bank

Under the Central Bank Act 1942, the employment of staff at the Central Bank and their terms and conditions are matters for the Central Bank Commission.No performance related bonuses or allowances were paid to staff in the period January 2009 to present. No performance related bonuses were awarded to management in the period 2008 to present date.In December 2008, the majority of clerical, administrative and technical and general staff received annual performance related bonuses of €892 (fixed gross amount).

In respect of the pay of the Governor they have informed me that his salary was reduced to €276,324 in 2010. During that year, the Governor surrendered €41,741 of his total salary to the Minister for Finance which resulted in an annual salary net of this amount of €234,583. In 2012, the Governor surrendered a total of €63,324 of his annual salary of €276,324 to the Minister for Finance which resulted in an annual salary net of this amount of €213,000.

Under the Central Bank’s superannuation scheme, permanent bank staff obtain the same superannuation benefits as established civil servants. Patrick Honohan's pension entitlements do not extend beyond the standard entitlements in the model public sector defined benefit superannuation scheme.

Revenue Commissioners

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that details of extra remuneration, exceptional performance awards and performance related pay are contained in the tables below:

Details of Extra Remuneration:

Category of Payment

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012 (Provisional)

Higher, special or

additional duties:

851

531

472

476

442

Revenue Enforcement Allowance*

345

314

345

336

348

Shift and Roster

Allowances:

183

171

177

179

174

Miscellaneous Allowances:

87

74

63

68

67

* The Revenue Enforcement Allowance is paid for flexibility and atypical attendance to staff involved the area of frontier control, shadow economy, enforcement/anti-smuggling/investigation/serious non-compliance activities.

Total amount paid in additional remuneration above

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012 (Provisional)

Total Amount

€4.419m

€4.181m

€4.141m

€4.332m

3.992m

Exceptional Performance Awards**:

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012 (Provisional)

Individual Awards

238

621

1,038

1,121

1,088

Group Awards (No. of Staff)

22 (774)

34 (292)

20 (367)

8 (129)

4 (95)

Gross Amount

€452,078

€252,800

€305,578

€314,948

165,077

Net of Tax

€285,177

€152,228

€183,793

€175,527

103,574

**Under Revenue's administrative budget 0.2% of payroll was available in respect of ex gratia payments or other awards to individual staff members or groups of staff by way of recognition of exceptional performance of duty. It was used to encourage staff to improve service delivery, organisational efficiency or effectiveness. Payments are reported in Revenue's Annual Appropriation Account.

Assistant Secretary Performance Pay

2008

2009

No. Of Recipients

16

Ceased from 2009

Total Amount

€196,900

In addition the Revenue Commissioners have informed me that the Chairman's annual salary is €215,590, but in accordance with Government policy of a €200,000 pay ceiling for senior positions, salary in excess of €200,000 has been waived. The Chairman’s pension entitlements are in accordance with normal civil service rules.

National Treasury Management Agency

Information in respect of performance related payments made to National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) staff is set out in the table below. All National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) staff are NTMA employees and are included in the table below.

The NTMA employed a total of 500 staff as at the end of 2012.

Year

Total Amount of Performance Related Pay

Number of Staff who received Performance Related Pay

2012

€43,100

6

2011

€62,610

5

2010

€1,981,760

258

2009

€3,331,480

161

2008

€3,048,280

139

In addition the NTMA made total payments of €170,364 to 74 employees and €140,500 to 59 employees in relation to 2011 and 2012 respectively. These payments were to employees on lower salaries who contributed significant additional work hours. The NTMA does not have formal overtime payment arrangements in place for staff.

The remuneration details of the chief executives of the NTMA, National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) and NAMA are published in the annual reports of the relevant bodies. The remuneration of the chief executives consists of basic salary, taxable benefits and a performance-related payment.The remuneration details for 2012 are as follows:

NTMA

NDFA

NAMA

Basic Salary

€416,500

€297,000

€365,500

Performance-

related Pay

Nil

Nil

Nil

Taxable Benefits

€29,600

€27,762

€22,664

The chief executives agreed to waive 15% of their salaries following a request by the Minister for Finance and the adjustment in each case is reflected in the above figures. The chief executives waived any consideration for performance-related pay in 2012 (as they did previously in 2011 and 2010).

The chief executives’ pension entitlements do not extend beyond the standard entitlements in the model public sector defined benefit superannuation scheme.

Financial Services Ombudsman

Questions (218)

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

218. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Finance if he will review the situation whereby in the case of alleged miss-selling of endowment mortgages the consumer is not entitled to make a complaint to the Financial Services Ombudsman because of the six year rule; his views on whether it would be more appropriate that, in this case, the six year period run from the date of maturity of the policy rather than the date of commencement of the policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10197/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

Firstly, I must point out that the Financial Services Ombudsman is independent in the performance of his statutory functions and it would not be appropriate for me to comment on his work.

The Financial Services Ombudsman Bureau was established under the Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act 2004. This legislation provides the Financial Services Ombudsman with various powers in order to determine jurisdiction on a complaint. Included in this is a statutory timeframe, Section 57BX (3)(b) provides:-

"A consumer is not entitled to make a complaint if the conduct complained of - occurred more than 6 years before the complaint is made."

The legislation prohibits the Financial Services Ombudsman from examining any aspect of a complaint where the conduct being complained of occurred more than 6 years from receipt of the Complaint in his Office. If the conduct being complained of occurred 6 year before the complaint is submitted to the Financial Services Ombudsman, the Ombudsman has no discretion in examining such a case.

I understand from the Central bank that where the proceeds of an endowment policy are insufficient to repay the capital element of an endowment mortgage, borrowers should be given ample time to make alternative repayment arrangements. Borrowers are afforded the protections of the 'Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears' in cases where the mortgage is in arrears or in pre-arrears and is secured by the borrower’s primary residence.

When the risks associated with endowment mortgage products were highlighted in the 1990s, specific provisions were incorporated into the Consumer Credit Act 1995 which require warnings to the effect that the proceeds of a policy may not be sufficient to repay a mortgage. Under the provisions of the Act, endowment mortgage savings plans must be reviewed by the life company at least every five years to check if the plan is on track to repay the mortgage. A statement setting out the estimated revised valuation of the endowment policy at maturity must be issued by the insurer to the borrower. If the policy is not on track to repay the mortgage, the life company will recommend an increase in the premium.

Tax Reliefs Application

Questions Nos. 220 to 222, inclusive, answered with Question No. 212.

Question No. 223 answered with Question No. 215.

Questions (219)

Robert Dowds

Question:

219. Deputy Robert Dowds asked the Minister for Finance if tobacco companies with operations here availed of the tax credit for research and development expenditure in any of the past three years for which figures are available. [10203/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that their obligation to observe confidentiality for taxpayers and small groups of taxpayers precludes them from providing the information requested.

Questions Nos. 220 to 222, inclusive, answered with Question No. 212.
Question No. 223 answered with Question No. 215.

Property Taxation Exemptions

Questions (224, 226)

Tony McLoughlin

Question:

224. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Finance the mechanism for persons who own a house or property that was modified and grant aided by a local authority to cater for a person with a physical disability, the way this would apply to them in relation to the new property tax; and where the relevant guidelines on this will be available. [10250/13]

View answer

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

226. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance his views on correspondence regarding property tax exemptions (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10257/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 224 and 226 together.

Section 6 of the Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2013 provides for a reduction in the market value of a residential property that has been adapted for occupation by a disabled person where the adaptation has been grant-aided by a local authority. In addition to the payment of the local authority grant, two other conditions must be met, to qualify for the reduction. Firstly, the person with the disability must occupy the property as his or her sole or main residence after the adaptation is completed. Secondly, the liable person in relation to the property must notify the Revenue Commissioners in writing of the amount of the chargeable value that is attributable to the adaptation along with any relevant documentation. The reduction in value is limited to the lesser of the chargeable value attributable to the adaptation work carried out on the property and the maximum grant payable under the relevant local authority scheme. This chargeable value is to be used in relation to subsequent valuations of the property, unless additional grant-aided work is carried out. The relief ends on the sale or transfer of a property that has been adapted, unless the person with the disability continues to reside in the property. Guidance on how to avail of this relief, together with any additional information will be available on the Revenue website, www.revenue.ie shortly.

In accordance with Section 2 of the Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2013, an exemption from the charge to LPT will apply to a residential property purchased, built or adapted to make it suitable for occupation by a permanently and totally incapacitated individual as their sole or main residence, where an award has been made by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board or a court, or where a trust has been established, specifically for the benefit of such individuals. In the case of adaptations to a property, the exemption will only apply where the cost of the adaptations exceeds 25% of the chargeable value of the property before it is adapted. The exemption ends if the property is sold and the incapacitated individual no longer occupies it as his or her sole or main residence.

For individuals on low incomes or those whose only income source is from the Department of Social Protection, the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 and the Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2013 provide for the possibility of deferring the charge in certain cases of inability to pay. Details of the existing deferral arrangements are available on Revenue’s website www.revenue.ie , where the Commissioners have recently published a useful Guide to Local Property Tax. This will be revised shortly to take account of the provisions of the Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2013.

It should be noted, however, that the provisions in the Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2013 to which I refer are subject to its enactment.