Central Bank of Ireland Data

Questions (60, 61)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

60. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if table A.6 of the Central Bank money and banking statistics refers specifically to residential assets here that are securitised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14638/19]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

61. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the value of securitised assets that are residential mortgages securitised by exam bank here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14639/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 60 and 61 together.

The Central Bank of Ireland has advised that Table A.6 of the Bank’s Credit, Money and Banking Statistics includes both on-balance sheet loans for house purchase (column E) and loans for house purchase derecognised from the balance sheet of an Irish resident bank in a securitisation transaction where the servicing rights of the loan remain with the originating institution (column F). The data relates to loans advanced to Irish residents only. (The relevant explanatory note of the dataset can be found here:

https://www.centralbank.ie/docs/default-source/statistics/data-and-analysis/credit-and-banking-statistics/bank-balance-sheets/money-and-banking-statistics-explanatory-notes_january2016.pdf?sfvrsn=9).

At end-January 2019, the Central Bank indicates there was €21.4 billion outstanding in loans to Irish residents for house purchase that were derecognised from the balance sheet of Irish resident banks in securitisation transactions, and where the servicing rights of the loans remain with the originating institutions. (The relevant dataset is the Central Bank of Ireland, Credit, Money and Banking Statistics Table A.6, found here:

https://www.centralbank.ie/statistics/data-and-analysis/credit-and-banking-statistics/bank-balance-sheets/bank-balance-sheets-data).

Help-To-Buy Scheme Data

Questions (62)

Darragh O'Brien

Question:

62. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Finance the number of the first-time buyer help-to-buy scheme recipients since its inception by county; the value of the scheme by county in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14674/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

Section 477C of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 provides for the Help to Buy incentive (HTB), which came into effect on 19 July 2016 and is due to expire on 31 December 2019.

The information sought by the Deputy in terms of numbers of recipients of support by county is not immediately available. I will provide that information to the Deputy as soon as may be. In the meantime, data on the numbers of HTB claims made by county since the scheme commenced together with the value of approved claims by county is set out below.

Claims made by county since the scheme commenced

County

Number of Claims

Carlow

79

Cavan

81

Clare

149

Cork

1,117

Donegal

98

Dublin

3,793

Galway

456

Kerry

94

Kildare

1,059

Kilkenny

91

Laois

160

Leitrim

32

Limerick

350

Longford

40

Louth

343

Mayo

161

Meath

1,282

Monaghan

84

Offaly

102

Roscommon

71

Sligo

76

Tipperary

188

Waterford

261

Westmeath

144

Wexford

190

Wicklow

509

Total

11,010

Values of approved claims by county since the scheme commenced (These values are rounded to the nearest €100)

County

Value of Approved HTB Claims per County

Carlow

€888,400

Cavan

€892,900

Clare

€1,717,300

Cork

€16,529,000

Donegal

€991,900

Dublin

€61,547,800

Galway

€5,736,700

Kerry

€1,150,600

Kildare

€16,519,000

Kilkenny

€1,175,400

Laois

€1,759,500

Leitrim

€290,600

Limerick

€4,278,000

Longford

€507,500

Louth

€4,075,700

Mayo

€1,982,900

Meath

€17,993,100

Monaghan

€945,100

Offaly

€1,105,300

Roscommon

€839,100

Sligo

€839,400

Tipperary

€2,094,600

Waterford

€2,893,900

Westmeath

€1,744,200

Wexford

€2,280,600

Wicklow

€7,611,100

I am advised by Revenue that further Help To Buy statistics are available on its website at the following link:

https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/information-about-revenue/statistics/tax-expenditures/index.aspx.

Mortgage Repayments

Questions (63)

Michael McGrath

Question:

63. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if the Central Bank has been informed of the miscalculation of mortgage repayments by a bank (details supplied); if so, when it was informed; if the number of impacted customers is 3,400; the amount these customers have underpaid as a result of the miscalculation; the way in which the Central Bank plans to proceed with the issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14685/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

Officials in the Department of Finance have received the following reply from the Central Bank of Ireland in response to the Deputy’s question:

“The Central Bank of Ireland (‘Central Bank’) is aware of the error and is engaging with Bank of Ireland. We cannot comment on the specifics of any individual firm.

“Errors by regulated financial services firms are monitored by the Central Bank to conclusion to ensure customers are treated fairly in line with the requirements of the Consumer Protection Code.

“In relation to any error, the Central Bank expects firms to have robust systems and controls in place and where issues that affect customers arise, they should be addressed and rectified, with the overarching objective of protecting consumers’ interests. Firms must also communicate clearly and promptly with affected customers and ensure that any identifiable loss is remediated. Any customer who considers that they have been affected by this error, should contact Bank of Ireland directly.

“If consumers are not satisfied with how they are treated, they are entitled to make a complaint to Bank of Ireland. If they are not satisfied with the response they receive, they can make a complaint to the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman.”

Pension Provisions

Questions (64)

Michael McGrath

Question:

64. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if the Central Bank has a role in consumer protection for pension providers; if this is reserved for the Pensions Authority; if the Central Bank and the Pensions Authority have been informed by a company (details supplied) of the failure to pay bonus payments on pension fund plans; if so, when they were informed; if 2,000 customers have been affected; the amount of bonuses that were not paid in monetary terms; the way in which the Central Bank and the Pensions Authority plan to proceed with the issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14686/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I will respond to the Deputy's question in relation to the Central Bank of Ireland, however, the Pensions Authority is under the aegis of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, and therefore any related queries should be directed to my colleague Minister Regina Doherty.

The Central Bank of Ireland does have a consumer protection role in respect of pension providers. For example, the Central Bank’s Consumer Protection Code 2012 applies, where relevant, to activities such as the sale and administration of third pillar pension products (consisting of private, individual, pension plans funded from personal savings) conducted by regulated entities operating in the state.

I have been informed that the Central Bank is aware of the error in relation to Irish Life and is engaging with the company. However, as the Deputy will be aware the Central Bank cannot comment on the specifics of any individual firm.

Errors by regulated financial services firms are monitored by the Central Bank to conclusion to ensure customers are treated fairly in line with the requirements of the Consumer Protection Code.

In relation to any error, the Central Bank expects firms to have robust systems and controls in place and where issues that affect customers arise, they should be addressed and rectified, with the overarching objective of protecting consumers’ interests. Firms must also communicate clearly and promptly with affected customers and ensure that any identifiable loss is remediated.

Any customer who considers that they have been affected by this error, should contact Irish Life directly.

If consumers are not satisfied with how they are treated, they are entitled to make a complaint to Irish Life. If they are not satisfied with the response they receive, they can make a complaint to the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman.

As I stated at the outset, the Deputy's queries in relation to the role of the Pensions Authority in this matter should be addressed to my colleague the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

Central Bank of Ireland Enforcement Actions

Questions (65)

Michael McGrath

Question:

65. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the steps the Central Bank takes on a regular basis to ensure mortgage repayments and mortgage arrears are calculated correctly; if enforcement actions have been taken against lenders for these issues; if so, the lenders; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14687/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I have been advised by the Central Bank of Ireland that the calculation of mortgage repayments and mortgage arrears are carried out by regulated entities in line with the terms and conditions of the loan agreement and any alternative repayment arrangement agreed with the borrower respectively.

The Central Bank’s Statutory Codes of Conduct, including the Consumer Protection Code 2012 (the Code) and the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears 2013 (CCMA) do not prescribe how mortgage repayments or mortgage arrears are calculated. However, the CCMA defines ‘arrears’ as “Arrears: arise on a mortgage loan account where a borrower has not made a full mortgage repayment, or only makes a partial mortgage repayment, in accordance with the original mortgage contract, by the scheduled due date.”

The overriding objective of the CCMA is to ensure that fair and transparent processes are in place for borrowers in or facing mortgage arrears and that due regard is given to the fact that each case of mortgage arrears is unique and needs to be considered on its own merits. Additionally, General Principle 2.1 of the Code states, “A regulated entity must ensure that in all its dealings with customers and within the context of its authorisation it acts honestly, fairly and professionally in the best interests of its customers and the integrity of the market.”

I have also been advised by the Central Bank that it has not taken enforcement action under its codes of conduct in respect of the calculation of mortgage repayments. If any regulated entity has incorrectly calculated mortgage repayments, the Central Bank expects that, as an error, it is rectified speedily and accurately. In relation to any error, the Central Bank expects firms to have adequate systems and controls in place and where issues that affect customers arise, they should be addressed and rectified, with the overarching objective of protecting consumers’ interests, including ensuring that they are not left out of pocket.

Brexit Preparations

Questions (66)

Michael McGrath

Question:

66. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of additional customs officials that have been hired and are operational to deal with Brexit; the number that are undergoing training at the moment; the number that will be fully operational by 12 April 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14688/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

In September 2018, the Government granted approval in principle for the phased recruitment of an additional 600 Revenue staff to meet the challenges posed by Brexit. Budget 2019 provided Revenue with the funding needed for 270 of the additional 600 staff to be recruited during 2019 to manage an orderly UK withdrawal.

Following the Government decision to give greater priority to the preparations for a No Deal Brexit in December 2018, it was agreed to accelerate Revenue’s recruitment plans.

Revenue has appointed over 400 staff from open recruitment and interdepartmental competitions since the start of 2019. 400 staff will have completed customs training in April 2019 in preparation for Brexit.

As serving staff are taking up their new Brexit related positions, Revenue is backfilling the vacancies created through panels of candidates established from its general recruitment activity.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, Revenue plans to appoint a further 200 staff during the rest of 2019. This would bring the total additional staff recruited to the 600 staff required to deal with the UK withdrawal from the EU.

Brexit Issues

Questions (67)

Michael McGrath

Question:

67. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of insurance companies that are prudentially regulated in the UK or Gibraltar but operating here under freedom of service; the number of customers of those companies that will be required to find new insurance companies upon renewal; if the Central Bank expects all such companies to move to be prudentially regulated here and or the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14689/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

At the outset, it is important to note that while as Minister for Finance, I am responsible for the development of the legal framework governing financial regulation, my Department does not collect the type of information being sought by the Deputy. The day to day supervision of insurance undertakings is a matter for the Central Bank of Ireland, and so I have consulted with it in respect of the information sought.

In this regard, I am advised by the Central Bank of Ireland that there are currently 139 UK and 26 Gibraltar authorised insurance undertakings with freedom of service notifications into Ireland. However, they note that not all undertakings with passporting notifications write business in Ireland. In this regard, they advise that 64 UK insurance undertakings and 17 Gibraltar insurance undertakings currently have Irish policyholders. Of these 81 undertakings, 12 undertakings to date, have not established a presence and sought authorisation in Ireland or another EU country. I do not have information on the number of policyholders in those undertakings.

With regard to the Central Bank’s expectations, I am informed that the Central Bank has engaged with insurers and brokers on Brexit, and that it has instructed them to take appropriate contingency measures to ensure the continuity of services for cross-border insurance policies between the UK and other Member States of the EU; inform existing and new customers and beneficiaries of the implications of these contingency measures and provide customers with clear information on the contingency measures taken or planned and how they might affect policies. I understand also that the Central Bank is also working closely with UK and European regulators to exchange information about firms’ plans and actions needed to address any consumer protection concerns.

Finally, the Deputy will be aware that my Department and the Central Bank are working closely to protect customers of insurance products in event of a “no deal” Brexit. In that regard, provisions in the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Act 2019 allow for a temporary run-off regime, which will allow certain UK and Gibraltar insurers and brokers to continue to service existing insurance contracts with Irish policyholders in the event of a “no deal’’ Brexit.

Personal Injury Claims

Questions (68)

Michael McGrath

Question:

68. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the proportion of personal injury claims settled through the Personal Injury Assessment Board outside the court and settled and-or decided on by the courts, respectively based on the most recent data; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14690/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

At the outset, it is important to note that while as Minister for Finance, I am responsible for the development of the legal framework governing financial regulation, neither my Department nor the Central Bank of Ireland collect the type of information being sought by the Deputy. Currently, the only public information available in relation to awards are those settled by PIAB, and those awarded in Court. However what percentage these settlement channels make up of overall award levels, the Cost of Insurance Working Group (CIWG) was not able to establish. In its report on the cost of motor insurance, the CIWG indicated as follows “Claims details in relation to direct settlements between insurers and claimants are not publically available. Some commentators estimate that direct settlement comprise 60%-70% of all cases thus this represents a significant data gap”.

Consequently, the CIWG recommended that such information be collected as part of the National Claims Information Database. One of the key purposes of collecting claims data by settlement channels is to give greater insight into how costs and awards differ depending on the method of settlement.

The Deputy will be aware that the Oireachtas recently passed the legislation to provide relevant powers to the Central Bank of Ireland to establish the National Claims Information Database. Section 4 of the Central Bank (National Claims Information Database) Act 2018 sets out the different settlement channels through which a claim may be finalised. The breakdown of the various channels in the Section was identified as important to allow policymakers to see trends or distinctions in the costs related to these channels and to enable them develop more targeted response measures where necessary. This information is expected to include motor insurance claims information in respect of the last 10 years, including the number of claims reported and settled, the amounts paid on claims, the incurred cost on claims (i.e. the amount paid plus the outstanding amount to be paid, if any), and the actuarial estimate of the final cost of claims i.e. ultimate costs.

The Act was commenced by the Central Bank (National Claims Information Database) Act 2018 (Commencement) Order 2019 (S.I. 2 of 2019) on Monday 28 January 2019. The required consultation by the Central Bank with regard to the publication of the relevant regulations to outline the scope of the Database took place in mid-March and I understand that the Bank is finalising arrangements to publish these regulations. The Central Bank plans to collect motor claims data from insurance undertakings in the first half of 2019, with a view to publishing its first annual report under the legislation in the second half of the year. The Central Bank will also as the Deputy is aware consider the feasibility of expanding the scope of the database to cover employer/public liability later this year.

To conclude, I believe that increasing transparency in and around the settlement channels is a key part of claims information, and having this information will allow policymakers have a better understanding of the way the market is evolving and thus enable them better identify and take action to address trends in the market.

Stability Programme Update

Questions (69)

Michael McGrath

Question:

69. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance when he plans to publish the stability programme update; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14692/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The draft Stability Programme Update 2019 (SPU) will be published in mid-April.

In accordance with the requirements of the European Semester, the final SPU will be submitted to the European Commission by 30th April 2019.

Insurance Coverage

Questions (70)

Michael McGrath

Question:

70. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if an analysis has been undertaken on the potential cost of establishing a public insurance body to provide insurance for flooding to persons who are unable to obtain flood insurance similar to the model in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14693/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Department of Finance carried out a review of policy in relation to flood insurance in 2016, which formed part of the Interdepartmental Flood Policy Coordination Group Interim Report, as approved by Government in November 2016. As part of the review, the Department examined a number of possible approaches including approaches in other jurisdictions. This work included examination of an insurance pool option which would involve setting up an insurance pool financed by an agreed percentage of insurance premiums being paid into it similar to Flood Re in the United Kingdom.

The first point to note is that the Flood Re model is basically an insurance scheme underwritten and administered by the industry which the UK Government helped establish. My Department has had some discussions, with the Irish insurance industry about an equivalent arrangement and they have made it very clear that they do not think it is feasible in an Irish context.

In addition it was concluded that even if industry were willing to participate, the State would have to be prepared to provide financial support in circumstances where the claims were above the level covered by the pool as it is unlikely that there would be sufficient capacity in the Irish reinsurance market to cover this extra amount. This is unlike Flood Re which uses a reinsurance backstop which is facilitated by the fact that there is a liquid reinsurance market in the UK. It is important to note also that certain significant exclusions apply in the UK scheme, such as small businesses and houses built after 2009.

In summary, the Department’s review concluded that the approach of an Insurance Pool with State indemnification would lead to additional levies being imposed on all household insurance policies at a time of increasing insurance costs, and could potentially lead to a considerable financial exposure to the State in the form of a State backstop.

The Government continues to believe that its existing policy and investment in relation to flooding which is focused on the development of a sustainable, planned and risk-based approach to dealing with flooding problems is the best way forward. This commitment is underpinned by a significant capital works investment programme by the OPW and Local Authorities, complemented by the exchange of information with the insurance industry on completed flood defence schemes. This approach should lead to the increased availability of and lower cost for flood insurance and further improve the already high level of coverage in this country compared with many other jurisdictions.

Tax Code

Questions (71)

Michael McGrath

Question:

71. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if expenditure on health and safety equipment by a company qualifies for capital allowances; the rules regarding capital allowances; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14694/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that a company may claim capital allowances on capital expenditure, which it incurs on plant and machinery, at a rate of 12.5% per year over 8 years.

In order to qualify for capital allowances, the plant and machinery must be in use at the end of the company’s accounting period and in use for the purposes of its trade.

With regard to health and safety equipment, equipment such as fire alarms, hose reels and hoses, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems and smoke detectors would qualify as plant. In general, capital expenditure on equipment required to meet health and safety requirements in accordance with health and safety legislation would qualify for capital allowances.

Insurance Costs

Questions (72)

Michael McGrath

Question:

72. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if insurance companies permit business customers to pay on a monthly basis rather than a single payment; the average cost to the customer for such a facility; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14695/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

My officials discussed issues arising from your question with Insurance Ireland, who stated at the outset that ultimately matters related to payment method options are contractual ones which rest between the individual insurance provider and policyholder.

Insurance Ireland also pointed out that the majority of personal consumer insurance products can be paid in instalments and that it was not aware of any major difference in this respect with regard to commercial insurance products.

In respect of the average cost to the consumer for such a facility, this is not data which is collected by the Department or industry. While insurers are permitted to apply administrative fees in such circumstances, the amount or proportion charged varies between different providers.

Insurance Coverage

Questions (73)

Michael McGrath

Question:

73. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if there are models in other jurisdictions by which companies that are unable to obtain an insurance quote can avail of insurance similar to the declined insurance mechanism; if public insurance models are used in other European jurisdictions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14696/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

My officials consulted with both the Central Bank of Ireland and Insurance Ireland on the Deputy’s question. From that engagement, I understand that neither body are aware of any models in other jurisdictions by which companies that are unable to obtain an insurance quote can avail of insurance similar to the Declined Cases Agreement. The Bank has also advised that there is no formal cross-European mechanism in place to deal with these situations.

In addition, we are not aware of any public insurance models used in other European jurisdictions. It should also be noted in this regard that any public insurance model, if it existed, would have to comply with the same prudential rules as apply to private insurers, namely the Solvency II Directive. Therefore, in such a scenario the public insurer’s consideration about providing a particular type of cover and the price to offer it are unlikely to be significantly different to that of a private insurer.

The Deputy should note that unlike third party motor insurance, employer and public liability insurance is not a compulsory requirement in Ireland. Consequently, there is no equivalent arrangement in Ireland to the Declined Cases Agreement which operates at an industry level to ensure no motorists are unable to secure the third party motor insurance that they are legally required to hold to operate a motor vehicle. Such a proposal, if put in place, would in effect be a direct intervention by the State to force insurance companies to take on risk that they would not otherwise be willing to accept. A consequence of this is that they would price such risk at what they consider an appropriate level which almost certainly would be prohibitively expensive. It would not be possible in such circumstances for the Minister for Finance to direct that such cover be applied at lower levels, as neither he nor the Central Bank can interfere in the provision or pricing of insurance products, as these matters are of a commercial nature, and are determined by insurance companies based on the risks they are willing to accept. Another difficulty with such a proposal is that insurers generally operate in niche areas of the business market based on their risk appetite and their understanding of these areas. Therefore, forcing companies to take on risks outside of their expertise may result in them leaving the market and it may also discourage new entrants to the Irish market. On this basis, I believe such a proposal could be counterproductive over the longer term.

In conclusion, the Government is acutely aware of the difficulties that the cost and availability of liability insurance is having on businesses across the country and every effort is being made to implement the recommendations of the second Personal Injuries Commission Report in order to address the awards level differential between this country and England and Wales. It is hoped that once this is done, there should be a significant positive impact on pricing.

Garda Station Refurbishment

Questions (74)

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

74. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the refurbishment and building works that will take place at Drogheda Garda station in 2019; the cost of the programme of works; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14579/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The Capital Investment Plan for An Garda Síochána (AGS) 2016 -2021, includes for the provision of a Property Exhibits Management Store (PEMS) at Drogheda Garda Station. It is also proposed to provide additional locker room facilities.

The deliberative process regarding the brief of requirements and scope of works between the Office of Public Works and AGS is now completed and AGS signoff to the proposed scheme has been received. OPW will now progress the Part 9 Planning Application and commence the tender process for procurement of the works.

An estimate of cost is not yet available and expenditure on the works is unlikely in 2019.

Office of Public Works Properties

Questions (75)

Seán Fleming

Question:

75. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the position regarding a property (details supplied); the specific uses that will be accommodated on the site; the current position that was at an early stage of development as confirmed in reply to Parliamentary Question No. 211 of 7 September 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14577/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The Office of Public Works (OPW) is still considering the uses that will be accommodated on this site that would allow full flexibility on the future potential uses of the lands owned by the State at the Knockmay, Portlaoise, Co. Laois. OPW also confirmed that no decision had been made as to the specific uses that will be accommodated on the site.

Office of Public Works Properties

Questions (76)

Mick Barry

Question:

76. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if a property registered in the name of a person (details supplied) forms part of a site that facilitates the offices of his Department and forms part of an overall site that also accommodates the offices of the Revenue Commissioners. [14605/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The Commissioners of Public Works are the registered owners of the properties contained in Folios WX22940F and WX21417F. These properties known as Government Offices, Anne Street, Wexford currently accommodate the Office of the Revenue Commissioners and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

These Government Offices are not contained within Raymond Corish and Co.’s Folio WX19285F.

As advised in PQ 10721/19 there are a number of complex title issues associated with these properties and the Deputy will be provided with any further relevant update once the matters are fully investigated and resolved.

Public Spending Code

Questions (77)

Darragh O'Brien

Question:

77. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the timeframe for the review of the public spending code; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14671/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The Public Spending Code is reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure that it continues to reflect best practice in project appraisal and evaluation and to ensure value for money in the use of public funds.

In particular, there has been extensive and ongoing review in relation to capital projects over recent months. I anticipate that this major phase of review of the Public Spending Code will be completed before the summer.