National Treasury Management Agency Remuneration

Questions (55)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

55. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 193 of 23 April 2013, if he will provide an explanation for expenses of the NTMA as they relate to the net funds drawn down from the Exchequer to cover the National Treasury management Agency's administrative costs of €10.72 million for the three months ending 31 March 2013. [20864/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The NTMA’s administrative costs are charged to the Central Fund. They include costs of employment, professional fees, operating expenses and pension costs. The figure in the Exchequer Statement represents the amount of funding drawn from the Central Fund during the quarter to meet the NTMA’s administrative costs.

Maternity Benefit Issues

Questions (56)

Billy Timmins

Question:

56. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Finance his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding tax on maternity benefit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20884/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

It is a general principle of taxation that, as far as possible, income from all sources should be subject to taxation. In line with this principle, the majority of social welfare payments are reckonable as income for tax purposes. These include long-term payments such as Disablement Benefit, the State Pension, Widows, Invalidity and Blind Pensions, Carers Allowance and the One Parent Family Payment, as well as short term benefits such as Job Seekers Benefit. Treating these payments as income for tax purposes is essentially a matter of equity. As a result of maternity benefit payments becoming liable to income tax for all claimants, from 1 July 2013, a number of possible tax outcomes could arise:

1. An individual may pay no income tax on their maternity benefit payment as their tax credits will be sufficient to reduce their tax liability to zero.

2. An individual may pay income tax on some or all of their maternity benefit payment solely at the standard rate.

3. An individual may pay income tax at the standard rate on a portion of the maternity benefit and the higher rate on the balance of the maternity benefit payment.

4. An individual may pay income tax on all of their maternity benefit payment at the higher rate.

I am fully aware that some employers do not pay a top up payment to their employees whilst on maternity leave. However, in such circumstances many mothers will not be subject to income tax on their maternity benefit payments as their personal credits will ensure that no tax arises on the social welfare income itself. Of course, the extent, if any, to which taxation actually arises in a given case, depends on the total level of income that the individual or couple concerned has in the relevant tax year or years.

I would point out that maternity benefit payments will remain exempt from Universal Social Charge and PRSI.

Given the current budgetary constraints I have no plans to introduce a tax exemption along the lines proposed.

National Debt

Questions (57)

John Lyons

Question:

57. Deputy John Lyons asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide a detailed breakdown of the debt repayments and interest repayments for Ireland for 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20909/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The most recent General Government interest expenditure estimates covering the period 2014-2019 are set out in the table below. These figures are consistent with the estimates from the recently published Stability Programme Update (SPU). The SPU covers the period 2013-2016 primarily but also contains high level public finance forecasts for the years 2017-2019. Tables 17 and A3 of the SPU set out these interest expenditure estimates. The Deputy will appreciate that the interest expenditure estimates for the latter part of the period are particularly tentative at this point.

The following table also shows Government bond maturities as well as maturing EU/IMF Programme loans over the period 2014-2020. The Government bond maturity figures are taken from the 30 April Irish Government Bonds Outstanding Report. The EU/IMF Programme loan maturities reflect the position as of end-March 2013. The information in relation to Government bond maturities and Programme loan maturities is available on the website of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA).

€ billions

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

-

General Government Interest

% of GDP

8.5

4.9

8.9

4.9

9.2

4.8

9.5

4.8

9.9

4.8

10.1

4.7

-

-

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Government Bond Maturities

7.6

3.6

10.2

6.4

9.3

14.5

20.9

EU/IMF Programme Loan Maturities

0.1

6.9

6.2

3.3

7.3

6.0

5.0

It is important to note that the EU/IMF Programme loan maturities, as outlined in the table, do not reflect the agreement reached at the April informal Eurogroup and ECOFIN meetings to lengthen the maturities of Ireland’s EFSF and EFSM loans by increasing the weighted average maturity limit by 7 years. The €6.9 billion EU/IMF Programme loan maturity figure for 2015 includes a €1.27 billion loan from the EFSF. While this is due to mature in February 2015, it was announced at the time of draw down, in January 2012, that this loan would be rolled over.

National Debt

Questions (58)

John Lyons

Question:

58. Deputy John Lyons asked the Minister for Finance the percentage of tax revenues that were used up in interest repayments for 2012 and that will be used up for interest repayments in 2013 and in 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20910/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the table below. As the Deputy’s question concerns the percentage of tax revenues used for interest expenditure, the figures in the table reflect national debt interest expenditure rather than general government interest expenditure. Expressing national debt interest expenditure as a percentage of tax revenues is a standard metric used in the context of debt sustainability.

-

2012

2013F

2014

% of Tax revenue spent on interest of National Debt

15.5

19.9

20.6

Sources: Department of Finance, NTMA

Although the national debt interest/tax revenue ratio has increased sharply in recent years, it is expected to stabilise in the coming years and remain well below the ratio prevailing in the mid-1980s

Banking Sector Staff Issues

Questions (59, 60)

Dominic Hannigan

Question:

59. Deputy Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for Finance his plans to cap the number of consultants who are allowed work in AIB; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20911/13]

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Dominic Hannigan

Question:

60. Deputy Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for Finance if there is a policy on when AIB is allowed hire consultants to work in the bank; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20912/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 59 and 60 together.

As the Deputy will be aware the Relationship Framework with the bank provides that the State will not intervene in the day-to-day operations of the bank or their management decisions. These frameworks are published on the Department of Finance website. I must ensure that the bank is run on a commercial, cost effective and independent basis to ensure the value of the bank as an asset to the State, as per the Memorandum on Economic and Financial Policies agreed with the EU Commission, the ECB and the IMF.

The appointment of any consultant by AIB is a commercial decision for the bank.