Tax Forms

Questions (168)

Jack Wall

Question:

168. Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Finance if it is possible for a person (details supplied) in County Kildare to obtain a copy of their P60 or P45 for 1993 from the Revenue Commissioners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11357/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I have been advised by the Revenue Commissioners that they do not hold paper records of the P60 or P45 for 1993 for the person concerned. However the Revenue Commissioners have extracted details of the pay, tax and PRSI for 1992/93 and 1993/94 for the person concerned from other records that they hold. These details were forwarded to the person concerned on 27th February 2013.

Property Taxation Collection

Questions (169)

Seán Kenny

Question:

169. Deputy Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Finance if he will instruct the Revenue Commissioners to accept cash payments over the counter in each Revenue office for householders to pay the property tax; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11365/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am informed 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 informed by the Revenue Commissioners that a wide range of payment options is available to liable persons, which will allow them to pay their LPT liability in full or to pay the tax for 2013 in equal instalments over the period 1 July to 31 December 2013. For a significant number of property owners, the easiest and most convenient way to pay LPT is to have the tax deducted at source on a phased basis from their salary or occupational pension or from certain payments from the Departments of Social Protection and Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The Revenue Commissioners also advise that where deduction at source is chosen, there is no additional administration or interest charge imposed by Revenue. Other payment options include Single Debit Authority, debit/credit card, direct debit and cash.

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that their offices are not equipped, from a security point of view, to accept cash. As an alternative, for those who wish to pay their LPT in cash, I am advised that the Revenue Commissioners are currently negotiating with a number of payment service providers, including An Post, to allow LPT cash payments to be made at their premises and Revenue will shortly be publishing details of these service providers and the relevant premises. The Revenue Commissioners also advise that the option to pay LPT in cash through these service providers will be available nationwide. Normal transactional charges may be levied by the payment service provider. I am satisfied that the range of payment options available to facilitate single or phased payment of the tax, and the manner in which those options are accessible to property owners, will allow property owners choose whatever option suits their own particular circumstances.

Consultancy Contracts

Questions (170)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

170. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if any State contracts had been provided to Ernst and Young since 2011; and if so, if he will list the contract details and value. [11448/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I can only reply in respect of my Department and the offices/agencies under the aegis of my Department. My Department has not provided any State contracts to Ernst and Young since 2011. Regarding offices/agencies under the aegis of this Department the position is as follows:

National Asset Management Agency (NAMA)

Year

Value

2012

€195,478

2011

€6,907,285

Ernst & Young were appointed to the following professional service panels to provide advice to NAMA following competitive tenders:

- Loan valuation and related due diligence

- Advisory services in connection with review and evaluation of borrower business plans

- Insolvency advice

- Credit Verification (Investigative) Services

The members of these panels can be called upon to provide professional advice to NAMA as required. The value of services provided to NAMA since 2011 by Ernst & Young relates in the main to loan valuation and due diligence arising in the context of NAMA’s acquisition and valuation of loans.

National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA)

The information in respect of contracts awarded by the NTMA (excluding NAMA) to Ernst and Young from 1 January 2011 to 1 March 2013 is set out below:

Year Contract Awarded

Description of Services

Contract Value (Ex VAT)

2011

Professional services in relation to the liquidation of Ulysses Securitisation plc

€11,000

The Office of the Revenue Commissioners and the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General did not issue any contracts to Ernst & Young during the period in question.

Tax Collection

Questions (171)

Ciara Conway

Question:

171. Deputy Ciara Conway asked the Minister for Finance his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding a revenue issue; the options available to this company; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11454/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that correspondence regarding this matter has been recently received in the Waterford Revenue Office and the matter is currently receiving attention. I am further advised that the issues that are covered by this correspondence are complex in nature and will best be resolved by further dialogue between the company, its agents and the Waterford Revenue District.

Appointments to State Boards

Questions (172)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

172. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance the number of appointments he has made from March 2011 to January 2013 to State boards; in the case of each appointment, the number of appointments that were made to members of the general public who submitted a curriculum vitae for the appointment; the number of direct appointments he made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11475/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

In response to the Deputy’s question the following appointments were made in respect of bodies under the aegis of my Department since March 2011.

Fiscal Advisory Council

The following people were appointed to the Fiscal Advisory Council on 7th July 2011:

Mr Sebastian Barnes

Professor Alan Barrett

Dr Donal Donovan

Professor John McHale, Chair

Dr Roisin O’Sullivan

As Minister for Finance I announced the establishment of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council on a non-statutory basis on 7 July 2011. When establishing the Council, I stated that the Council would be an independent body whose existence and independence would be underpinned by legislation to be brought forward by Government in the Fiscal Responsibility Bill. The Chairman did not undergo interview by Oireachtas Committee but the Fiscal Council appeared before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform on a number of occasions to discuss their fiscal assessment reports.

I appointed the members having regard to a number of criteria including the desirability of having a mix of appropriate backgrounds (academia, the financial sector/financial markets and public finance), macroeconomic/microeconomic expertise and a strong international dimension, as well as the need to take gender considerations into account. I am satisfied that the appointed members have the mix of skills and experience, including in relation to fiscal affairs, to ensure that the Council will be highly effective in fulfilling its mandate. The Fiscal Responsibility Act 2012 was brought into legislative effect on 27th November 2012. The Council commenced on a Statutory basis from the 31st December 2012. The membership remain the same as above.

National Asset Management Agency

Mr John Mulcahy was appointed to the Board of the National Asset Management Agency. He was not appointed under the new procedures for board appointments. His appointment was a National Asset Management Agency Executive Appointment. Mr Mulcahy is head of Asset Management within the National Asset Management Agency. He was appointed on basis of his curriculum vitae.

Credit Union Restructuring Board (ReBo)

The Credit Union Restructuring Board (ReBo) comprises thirteen members in total, including six independent members. To identify suitable independent members the Department publicly advertised for expressions of interest on the Department of Finance and the Public Appointments Service websites. Nominations were also invited from credit union representative bodies, the Central Bank of Ireland and the Department of Finance. The Minister also appointed Mr Joe O’Toole to ReBo for continuity purposes as Mr O’Toole was a member of the Commission on Credit Unions. Appointments made from those who submitted a curriculum vitae:

Mr Bobby McVeigh – Chairman

Mr Brendan Burke

Mr Tom Kavanagh

Mr Eoin McGettigan

Mr Stephen O’Donovan

Ms Kathleen Prendergast

Nominated members appointed to ReBo.

Mr Pat Fay - Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU)

Mr Jimmy Johnstone - Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU)

Mr Kevin Johnson - Credit Union Development Association (CUDA)

Mr Tim Molan - Credit Union Managers Association (CUMA)

Mr Neil Ryan - Assistant Secretary, Financial Services Division, Department of Finance

Ms Elaine Byrne - Deputy Head, Registrar of Credit Unions

National Treasury Management Agency Advisory Committee

Mr John Moran Secretary General of the Department of Finance appointed March 2012

It has been the norm to appoint the Secretary General of the Department of Finance to the Advisory Committee since the establishment of the National Treasury Management Agency

Board of the National Development Finance Agency

The Following were appointed to the Board of the National Development Finance Agency in July 2012.

Mr Robert Watt Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Ms Petrina Smyth appointed on basis of curriculum vitae.

Mr Gerry Murray appointed on basis of curriculum vitae.

Mr Brian Murphy Chief Executive Officer National Development Officer re-appointed in December 2012.

State Claims Agency Policy Committee

The following appointments were made to the State Claims Agency Policy Committee in July 2012.

Dr Noel Whelan re-appointed

Mr Charlie Hardy appointed (Departmental Nominee)

Mr Fachtna Murphy appointed on basis of curriculum vitae.

Ms Wendy Thompson appointed on the basis of curriculum vitae.

National Pensions Reserve Commission

Mr Maurice Keane was re-appointed to the National Pensions Reserve Commission in July 2012.

Local Authority Housing Bonds

Questions (173)

Michael McGrath

Question:

173. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number and total value of builder/developer bonds held by local authorities which are in Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, in special liquidation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11487/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised development bonds that were previously entered into by IBRC in favour of the various county councils or local authorities remain in place. However it should be noted that it is likely that any liabilities arising under these arrangements, if called upon, will rank as unsecured claims in the special liquidation. It must be stressed that these bonds are contingent liabilities and will only be called upon where developers breach planning conditions and are not in a position to meet any liability that arises as a result. Any local authority should contact the Special Liquidators directly in respect of such claims should they arise. Due to customer/client confidentiality and sensitivities the Special Liquidators have indicated that they not in a position to provide details of builder/developer bonds held by local authorities in IBRC (in Special Liquidation).

NAMA Legal Fees

Questions (174)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

174. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance further to the judgement in the High Court case between the National Asset Management Agency and the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Information, the total legal fees incurred by NAMA to date in the case and the estimate of all legal costs including those of the OCEI. [11488/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by the National Treasury Management Agency that costs totalling €71,350 have been incurred by them to date in respect of the case referred to by the Deputy. My colleague, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, has advised me that the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Information has informed him that the estimated fees incurred by them to date in respect of the case referred to by the Deputy is €50,000.

NAMA Court Cases

Questions (175)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

175. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance further to the judgement in the High Court case between the National Asset Management Agency and the Office of the Commissioner for Environment Information, if he has considered issuing a direction to NAMA pursuant to section 14 of the NAMA Act 2009, not to appeal the judgement of the High Court to the Supreme Court. [11489/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

Under the National Asset Management Agency Act 2009 (the NAMA Act) NAMA was established as a body corporate and Section 9(3) of the NAMA Act provides that "except as otherwise provided by this Act, NAMA is independent in the performance of its function under this Act". NAMA is governed by an independent board of directors. This is a matter for Board of NAMA.

State Banking Sector Regulation

Questions (176)

Michael McGrath

Question:

176. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 227 of 26 February 2013 and in view of the fact that the parliamentary question did not seek the identity of any of the pensioners concerned but instead sought aggregate information on the number of persons Allied Irish Bank including EBS wrote to asking that they consider voluntary forgoing a portion of their pension, the number that responded positively, negatively or not at all; the number of the retired executives that have since actually foregone some of their pension entitlement; the overall value of the pensions entitlements that have been foregone by retired executives of the bank; and if he will now agree to provide this information in the aggregate form requested. [11504/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I have been informed that AIB previously indicated that it wrote to former senior executives of both AIB and EBS requesting a voluntary reduction in their pension levels. AIB is not disclosing the names of the individuals on confidentiality grounds but the Bank has to date issued in excess of 30 letters. Currently the bank is in discussions with a number of individuals and further disclosures could negatively affect the outcome of these discussions. Additionally the bank is not in a position to release information on former employees without the express consent of the individuals. This is an ongoing process from a tax, legal and revenue perspective and ultimately any reduction taken by an individual is purely on a voluntary basis.

Banking Sector Regulation

Questions (177)

Michael McGrath

Question:

177. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the steps the Central Bank of Ireland is taking to address the Ulster Bank error which resulted in more than 1,000 mortgage customers underpaying their mortgage for a number of years; the follow-up steps the Central Bank of Ireland has taken following last year's IT systems collapse at Ulster Bank which resulted in weeks of disruption for customers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11509/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I have been advised by the Central Bank that, in accordance with the provisions of Consumer Protection Code, the Central Bank was notified by Ulster Bank Ireland Limited of an under-collection error in mortgage payments. The Bank is working with Ulster Bank to ensure that all impacted consumers are treated fairly. The error resulted from a failure to move consumers to full capital and interest payments after the initial interest only period on their mortgage expired. Where there has been an under-collection, impacted consumers will be afforded ample time to make repayments and will have the opportunity to choose from a number of repayment options. Any impacted consumers who experience difficulty making revised repayments will be treated sympathetically; this will include all protections afforded by the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA) where relevant.

The error affects approximately 1,300 accounts with a total of approximately €41 million under-collected from these customers. Impacted customers, who are currently in arrears, will also be afforded the protections of the CCMA where relevant. Ulster Bank will write to impacted customers regarding their own specific circumstances and what action they need to take. For further information, customers may contact Ulster Bank’s specialist team on 1800 303 352.

On the issue of the IT systems collapse the Central Bank has further advised me that they encourage all Ulster Bank customers to contact Ulster Bank to ensure that their issues (as a consequence of this incident) are properly addressed. Customers of other banks who were affected should get in touch with their own bank in the first instance to seek redress for loss and inconvenience. If customers are not satisfied with the outcome, they can make a formal complaint to their bank.

While Ulster Bank is required to reimburse and make good any actual losses suffered by customers, the level of any payment for inconvenience suffered is not subject to the Central Bank’s regulatory standards or approval. This is a commercial decision for Ulster Bank. Where customers are not satisfied with how Ulster Bank has dealt with them, they may refer their complaint to the Financial Services Ombudsman. A copy of the Central Bank statement on Ulster Bank customer remediation plan is available on the Central Bank’s website www.centralbank.ie.

Mortgage Resolution Processes

Questions (178)

Ciara Conway

Question:

178. Deputy Ciara Conway asked the Minister for Finance if the banks need to have any ministerial, Central Bank or other formal instruction to write down personal and mortgage debt by expressly using the capital provided in their bailout for the purpose; if he will confirm that the capital was provided for that specific purpose; his views on whether the domestic economy could recover faster if personal and mortgage debt issues were dealt with in more urgent fashion by the banks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11524/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Government is acutely aware of the increasing financial stress that some households are facing arising from difficulty in meeting their mortgage commitments. However, the banks in Ireland, including those in which the State has a significant shareholding, are independent commercial entities and decisions on the handling of their individual mortgages and other loans, including distressed loans, are solely a matter for the Boards and management of individual institutions in the exercise of their commercial and fiduciary responsibilities. As Minister for Finance I have no role to play in the decisions the covered banks make on the treatment of individual loans. The most recent capital injection in the covered banks took place in 2011 and it arose from the March 2011 Central Bank PCAR assessment. This assessment, which was based on certain macro economic and loan loss assumptions on all parts of the loan books, including mortgages, of the covered banks identified a further capital requirement. The Central Bank has clearly stated that banks now have a substantial capital buffer with which to absorb losses on their mortgage portfolios and the State authorities now require determined action by banks to identify and resolve unsustainable mortgages. While I cannot be prescriptive as to what decisions banks should make in individual cases, it is now necessary for the covered banks, and indeed all banks, to work through individual cases of debt difficulty and to ensure that unsustainable debts are appropriately restructured.

From an overall policy perspective, the role of the public authorities is to encourage and put in place the most appropriate framework that will allow both debtors and creditors, including the covered banks, to recognize and address genuine mortgage and loan difficulty. In that regard, the fact that the Central Bank will shortly be setting targets to work through problem cases and to put in place durable solutions is most welcome. However, if it does not prove possible for creditors and debtors to reach mutually acceptable agreements to deal with problem debt, there is then an onus on the State to provide for a fair and effective personal insolvency regime. Indeed, the “Keane Report” clearly stated that, without effective personal insolvency legislation, the mortgage arrears problem will not be resolved. The new Personal Insolvency Act, which provides for a very significant modernization of bankruptcy law and introduces new and more easily accessible frameworks for the statutory resolution of problem debt, will meet that requirement. It is clear that effective action to deal with unsustainable personal debt will not only be of benefit to the individual borrower in difficulty but will also be in the best interests of the wider economy.

IBRC Legal Cases

Questions (179, 180)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

179. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide the quantum of gross legal fees billed to Irish Bank Resolution Corporation as a result of the direct engagement of a law firm (details supplied) for both calendar year 2012 and for 2013 between 1 January and 6 February 2013. [11594/13]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

180. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide the quantum of payments made by Irish Bank Resolution Corporation to a law firm (details supplied) for both calendar year in 2012 and for 2013 between 1 January and 6 February 2013. [11595/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 179 and 180 together.

Due to commercial confidentiality and sensitivities, and also solicitor/client confidentiality, the Special Liquidators do not propose to provide details relating to amounts due and paid to Arthur Cox for both the calendar year 2012 and for 2013 between 1 January and 6 February 2013.

Tax Reliefs Availability

Questions (181)

Seán Kyne

Question:

181. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Finance if, in view of Section 20 of the Finance Bill which extends the tax-relief for the film industry, consideration will be given to extending such relief to the electronic gaming industry so as to encourage indigenous entrepreneurship which would complement the multi-national presence in Galway and Dublin among other locations. [11611/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

Digital games are essentially software development and would already be a field of science and technology for the purposes of the R&D tax credit scheme. Relevant R&D expenditure on games should already qualify under the existing terms of the tax credit scheme, provided any specific games development achieves scientific or technological advancement and involve the resolution of scientific or technological uncertainty. I announced a review of the R&D tax credit scheme in Budget 2013. An invitation for submissions to this review can be found on my Department’s tax policy website (www.taxpolicy.gov.ie).

Property Taxation Exemptions

Questions (182)

Dara Murphy

Question:

182. Deputy Dara Murphy asked the Minister for Finance if exemption will be made to the property tax in respect of persons (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11636/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

Exemptions from the Local Property Tax are only applicable in the circumstances provided for in the legislation. I have no plans to exempt properties built under local authority low cost site schemes from the Local Property Tax.

Tax Reliefs Application

Questions (183)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

183. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number of persons who availed of the special assigned relief programme tax relief in 2012; the number of persons who have submitted preliminary tax payments for 2013 on the basis of the new SARP scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11645/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

As I informed the Deputy in my reply to his question of 26 February last, the annual return that relevant employers must submit to the Revenue Commissioners detailing, inter alia, the number of employees and the amounts of exempt income claimed under the Special Assignee Relief Programme was not due for submission until after the end of the tax year 2012. This is in order to ensure that an accurate picture of take up levels over a full tax year could be provided. Therefore, given that 2012 was the first year of the programme, reliable statistics on its uptake will not be available until later this year when the returns have been analysed. Corresponding returns in relation to SARP relief claimed in 2013 will not be due until after the end of the 2013 tax year, therefore the relevant statistics for 2013 cannot be compiled until after that time.

As regards preliminary tax payments for 2013, I assume the deputy is referring to preliminary tax payments due for 2013 under the self–assessment system. Preliminary tax for 2013 is not due for payment until autumn 2013; therefore statistics in relation to preliminary tax for 2013 are not yet available. Preliminary tax is only due in respect of non-PAYE income and, as most of the individuals who avail of SARP have solely PAYE income, they do not have an obligation to pay preliminary tax. In any event, any preliminary tax paid by self-assessed individuals who also avail of SARP will not reflect tax paid through the PAYE system or the amount of SARP relief claimed.

IBRC Liquidation

Questions (184)

Finian McGrath

Question:

184. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the cost of having 200 KPMG consultants on site in the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation liquidation process; the reason the remaining staff are only receiving statutory redundancy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11689/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am informed by the Special Liquidators that there are not 200 KPMG consultants on site. The presence of KPMG staff is to ensure the orderly wind up of IBRC and they are working closely with the staff retained by the liquidator in order to complete the liquidation process. 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. 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.

Credit Unions

Questions (185)

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

185. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Finance if he will confirm that the unencumbered funds deposited with the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation by a credit union (details supplied) are covered in full by the eligible guarantee scheme; the reason, when in 2011 deposits were transferred to Allied Irish Bank, the funds in question were not transferred; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11699/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by the Central Bank of Ireland that certain tracker bonds sold to Credit Unions which were liabilities of IBRC at the time of the liquidation have a structured deposit element which is covered by the Deposit Guarantee Scheme for that element of the product. As a result the first €100,000 of any claim from these depositors is covered under the DGS Scheme. I have been advised that the Liquidator is aware of a number of depositors who fall outside the eligibility criteria for the ELG Scheme due to the nature of the investment product. Unfortunately, if a deposit is not eligible under the ELG scheme the depositor will rank as an unsecured creditor in the liquidation. At the time that this product was purchased by Credit Unions, there was no additional guarantee provided by the State. It was always the case that the ELG scheme covered only those liabilities which were entered into during the issuance window.

Pursuant to a Transfer Order made by the High Court under CISA on 24 February 2011, Anglo Irish Bank transferred the vast majority of its Irish and UK customer deposits to Allied Irish Banks, together with its NAMA senior bonds and its Isle of Man subsidiary. I have been informed by the Special Liquidators that as far as they are aware all deposits as set out in the Transfer Order were transferred by IBRC. The credit union bond was not transferred to AIB because tracker bonds were specifically excluded from the transfer.