Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Questions (63, 64, 65)

Olivia Mitchell

Question:

63. Deputy Olivia Mitchell asked the Minister for Finance the cost to the Exchequer of the tuition fees tax relief scheme, by approved college; by approved course; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35679/15]

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Olivia Mitchell

Question:

64. Deputy Olivia Mitchell asked the Minister for Finance the cost to the Exchequer of increasing the upper cap on tuition fees to €8,000, €9,000, €10,000 and €15,000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35680/15]

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Olivia Mitchell

Question:

65. Deputy Olivia Mitchell asked the Minister for Finance the cost to the Exchequer of increasing the upper cap on tuition fees to €8,000, €9,000, €10,000 and €15,000, for part-time approved courses only; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35681/15]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 63 to 65, inclusive, together.

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that based on 2013 returns, the latest year for which data is available, the estimated cost of the scheme was €12.5 million. It is not possible to provide the details requested by approved college and approved course as that material is not collated.

I am also informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the estimated potential cost in increasing the cap on tuition fees to €8,000; €9,000; €10,000 and €15,000 are estimated to be €0.3 million; €0.5 million; €0.7 million and €1 million respectively. This estimate assumes no change in either the level of claims or the eligibility of courses. It is also assumed that the additional relief could fully be utilised. Changes to the level of the cap are primarily a matter for the Minister for Education and Skills, subject to my consent.

I am further informed that the Revenue Commissioners do not require claimants of this relief to identify whether courses are part-time or full-time and therefore there is no basis upon which to provide a costing for the measures proposed by the Deputy.