Tax Reliefs Application

Questions (63)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

63. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Finance the amount of tax relief paid in respect of mortgage interest in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare since 2010 to date in 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21643/14]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that it administers mortgage interest relief (MIR) in respect of qualifying loans through the tax relief at source (TRS) system. I am further advised that the amounts due are paid via the relevant lending institutions. With regard to the case to which the Deputy refers, I am informed that in 2010 Revenue received notification from the persons' lender that all qualifying loans in respect of which MIR had been granted were fully cleared. On that basis the MIR entitlement was ceased and Revenue has no record of any further applications from the persons. If the persons are of the opinion that further MIR was due since 2010 they should make contact with the TRS helpline at 1890 463626 to clarify the issue.

Tax Credits

Questions (64)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

64. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Finance the position regarding a reduction in tax credits in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 7; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21674/14]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that in accordance with the Finance Act 2013, with effect from 1 July 2013 maternity benefit became taxable in full. Tax is not deducted 'at source' by the Department of Social Protection (DSP) on these payments. Instead, the Revenue Commissioners receive the payment details from the DSP to enable the taxpayer's annual tax credits to be reduced to take into account the maternity benefit. Thus individuals who pay their tax through the PAYE system, have their annual tax credits and standard rate cut-off point reduced by the amount of the maternity benefit payment they receive. Employers are then advised of these changes and they arrange to deduct the additional tax required over the remainder of the tax year.

The taxpayer in question was in receipt of maternity benefit from the Department of Social Protection and received a total of €2,270.61 between 1 January and 6 March 2014. Due to a technical error in Revenue, her employer received an incorrect tax credit certificate which the employer operated from the date the taxpayer recommenced work. This had the effect of the employer deducting too much tax from the taxpayer. Revenue has issued a corrected tax credit certificate and Revenue has been advised by the employer that her tax position will be corrected in her salary at the earliest opportunity. Revenue wishes to apologise to the taxpayer for this mistake and the inconvenience this has caused. If the taxpayer has further questions she may wish to contact Angela Creighton telephone: (01)8655782

IBRC Liquidation

Questions (65)

Brian Stanley

Question:

65. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Finance the commitment that has been given by Oaktree and Lone Star Fund VIII who have bought the loan book of 13,000 Irish Nationwide Building Society mortgages from KPMG; and the protection that exists for these mortgage holders. [21676/14]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I have been advised by the Special Liquidators that 64% of the residential mortgage portfolio was sold to two purchasers, Shoreline Residential Limited, an indirect affiliate of Lone Star Fund VIII, and Mars Capital Ireland Limited which is funded through funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management LP. The Special Liquidators confirm that they have received confirmation from each of the purchasers that they will comply with the Code of Conduct of Mortgage Arrears (CCMA).

Construction Sector Strategy

Questions (66)

Tony McLoughlin

Question:

66. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide details of the new strategic investment fund and construction plan; the way it may provide equity to allow banks in turn to loan to developers to build homes in certain parts of the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21678/14]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Government's Construction Strategy, published today, 14 May, aims to support a return to a sustainable and properly functioning property and construction sector as an essential part of our national economic recovery. The Strategy includes measures to ensure that financing is available to support necessary and viable development. In particular, a High Level Working Group, led by my Department, will be established to examine the availability of both banking and non-banking sources of finance. In this context, and to the extent that there are financing gaps which can be filled on a commercial basis, it will be open to the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), the legislation for which I will be introducing in the House shortly, to consider addressing such gaps subject to its overall investment mandate.

Budget 2015

Questions (67)

Joe McHugh

Question:

67. Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Finance if he will consider the very vulnerable group of single parents who are raising families - some of them are sending a number of children to college and are on single incomes - in the context of budget 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21705/14]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

At this early stage of the year, I will not be drawn into speculation on the composition of the next Budget.  However, I would stress that when focusing on reducing the deficit and returning sustainability to the public finances, it has been of vital importance to the Government to spread the burden of the adjustments in as fair and equitable a manner as possible, while also seeking to minimise their negative impact on economic growth. This strategy will also underpin Budget 2015.

As the Deputy may be aware, there a number of supports available for single parents both in the tax system and on the expenditure side.  For example, in the tax system there is the Single Person Child Carer Tax Credit. The Department of Social Protection have a number of supports available for single parents such as Child Benefit, Family Income Supplement and the One-Parent Family Payment.  In addition, there are also a number supports available to students which are generally based on their parent's income such as the student support and maintenance grants and the Student Assistance Fund.

IBRC Liquidation

Questions (68)

Seamus Healy

Question:

68. Deputy Seamus Healy asked the Minister for Finance if, in view of a statement by the Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland (details supplied), he will now instruct the liquidator to halt the relevant sale; if he will agree to the request of the organisation representing Irish Bank Resolution Corporation mortgage holders for a meeting with him because it received no redress in respect of its concerns at a recent meeting with the liquidator; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21761/14]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Government is keenly aware of the concerns raised by the Central Bank and others regarding the potential loss of protection under the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA).  The Government is committed to bringing forward legislation that will protect mortgage holders and believes the sale of loan books to unregulated third parties Bill is the most effective way to address the issue in a comprehensive manner. The legislation will ensure the protection of the CCMA or any replacement code in the future will continue to apply to mortgages which are sold to unregulated financial service providers.

In  the interim the Government has always been clear that we fully expected that any purchaser of the IBRC mortgage portfolio would service the loan books in accordance with the CCMA. The two purchasers of the residential mortgage loans to date, Loanstar and Oaktree, have both committed to servicing these books in accordance with the terms of the Central Bank's code of conduct on mortgage arrears, CCMA. As the Deputy will be aware the Special Liquidators are legally obliged to oversee the liquidation of IBRC for the benefit of all creditors of the bank including the State. As such I am not in a position to interfere in the sales process undertaken by the Special Liquidators as to do so would erode value for the creditors of IBRC including the State and the Irish taxpayer and it could leave the me open to legal challenges from other creditors. In such circumstances it would not be appropriate for me to meet with individual borrowers of the bank.

School Textbooks

Questions (69)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

69. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of school e-books sold to parents during each of the past four years. [21615/14]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

My Department does not collate statistics on the use of ebooks by schools. The use of ebooks is an operational matter for each Board of Management and my Department is not involved. The Professional Development Service for Teachers (Technology in Education) which promotes and supports the integration of ICT in teaching and learning in schools, is available to advise schools on the adoption of ebooks in schools.

Third Level Admissions Assistance

Questions (70)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

70. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will work with his Northern Ireland counterpart to establish a phone helpline that could provide advice to students from across Ireland on applying for university and other third level courses, as well as information on the CAO and UCAS systems. [21618/14]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

There are currently no plans to establish a phone helpline. However, resources for assisting students with applying for university and other third level courses will be kept under review. Currently, up to date comprehensive information for learners wishing to access information and make informed choices on further and higher education programmes is available on Qualifax.ie, Ireland's National Learners' Database. Qualifax also provides links for learners in Ireland wishing to access information on studying in Northern Ireland.