Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Ceisteanna (163)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin

Ceist:

163. Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin asked the Minister for Finance if, on future dates that the euro payments clearing and settlement system is closed due to bank holidays, the public sector payroll could be brought forward by a day to ensure workers are paid on time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20838/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

1 May is the only date on which the Euro settlement and payments systems are closed and which is not necessarily a bank holiday in Ireland.

The Deputy may be aware from my reply to a question from Deputy Michael McGrath on 8 May 2014 that the Central Bank of Ireland worked with the Irish Payments Services Organisation (IPSO) and the banks to minimise any inconvenience to customers arising from the closure of the euro settlement and payment systems on 1 May this year. Business representative bodies and businesses that make large numbers of direct debit and credit transfer payments were contacted and advised that where possible they should bring payments forward to 30 April; in addition, a notice advising consumers about the closure and its consequences was inserted in all of the major national newspapers on Friday 25 April and also placed on the Central Bank of Ireland and IPSO websites.

The full implementation of the Single European Payments Area (SEPA) means that at least for the time being this situation will recur on 1 May in each year that the Irish May bank holiday does not coincide with the European one.  The Central Bank of Ireland, IPSO and the Irish banks will make every effort to minimise disruption to customers via an ongoing communications programme aimed at raising awareness of the '1 May payments issue'.

All employers including public service employers would be expected to make appropriate arrangements to ensure salary payments are made in good time to employees taking account of bank and other holidays.