Let me deal with the issue of the income. I can confirm that there is an income limit. It has to be €15,000. The minimum reckonable income for the 2016 scheme is determined by the relevant local authority in accordance with the detailed provisions of the Minister's directions, which include the figure of €15,000. In the determination of the minimum reckonable income, local authorities can include income from a number of different sources and classes, such as from employment, private pensions, maintenance payments and certain social welfare payments, including pensions, where the social welfare payment is secondary to employment income.
In determining reckonable income, the income of all tenants of the house, including adult children who are joint tenants, named and paying rent, is included, as is the income of the spouse, civil partner or other partner or cohabitant of a tenant who lives in the house with them, thus ensuring the appropriate level of discount is applied to the purchase price.
A number of income sources, including certain social welfare payments, are disregarded for the purpose of determining reckonable income. The list of income disregards includes child benefit, carer’s allowance, and the family working payment, formerly the family income supplement, as these are deemed not to be long-term in nature. The income sources have to be long-term in nature.
We have had this conversation and we are trying to find ways to accommodate cases such as the one Deputy Jan O'Sullivan and others mentioned in respect of the €15,000.