Deportation Orders

Ceisteanna (125)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

125. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the basis on which a person (details supplied) has been arrested and imprisoned, presumably on residency grounds. [15938/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned is the subject of a Deportation Order signed on 22 June 2011. The reasons for the making of the Deportation Order have already been furnished to the person concerned. This Order requires the person concerned to remove themselves from the State and remain outside the State. The enforcement of the Deportation Order is a matter for the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB). I am informed that the person has been detained in accordance with section 5 of the Immigration Act 1999 on a GNIB warrant.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Garda Misconduct Allegations

Ceisteanna (126)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

126. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which a full examination of the circumstances surrounding the road death of their only child in the case of a person (details supplied) has taken place; if the alleged perpetrator was on bail on numerous occasions while subsequent crimes were carried out culminating in the death of this person; if the alleged perpetrator has been deported; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15939/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The tragic case to which the Deputy refers was considered under the Independent Review Mechanism (IRM) established to review certain allegations of Garda misconduct, or inadequacies in the investigation of certain allegations, which were made to me as Minister for Justice and Equality, or the Taoiseach.

The recommendation made by the IRM in this particular case was that I should take no further action. Counsel for the IRM pointed out that the appropriate forum for raising matters related to alleged Garda failings was the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) who were already investigating certain matters arising from the tragic death in this case. This arises in part from the fact that my predecessor had referred aspects of this particular case to GSOC. I should also mention that a civil action has been initiated against the State in respect of issues raised in the complaint.

When the Taoiseach and I recently met with the family, the Taoiseach assured them that when the GSOC investigation is completed the question of whether, and if so, what further action can be taken, will be considered. That remains the position. As the Deputy is aware, GSOC is an independent statutory body and the manner in which they conduct their investigation is a matter for them. The last update I received indicated that they had concluded their investigation and that they were reviewing the report. We must now await their final determination.

I am sure the Deputy will appreciate that in the circumstances it would not be appropriate for me to comment further.

Visa Applications

Ceisteanna (127)

Willie Penrose

Ceist:

127. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the reason an application for a three-month visitor visa by a person (details supplied) has been refused; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15983/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the visa application referred to was refused on 6 February 2017.

There were a number of reasons for refusal, all of which were communicated to the applicant. These included the insufficiency of the finances available from both the applicant and her Irish-based reference, and the lack of supporting documentation. The Visa Officer concluded that the applicant's obligations to return to her home country were not deemed sufficient so that she would not overstay following the proposed visit.

The decision of the Visa Officer may be appealed within two months of the date of decision, in this case before 6 April 2017. Guidelines on making an appeal can be found on the website of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (www.inis.gov.ie). As with all visa services worldwide, the central concern in deciding on visa applications is to strike an appropriate balance between protecting the country's vital national interests by maintaining an effective immigration regime while at the same time not placing unnecessary or unreasonable obstacles in the way of intending visitors.

The Deputy may wish to note that queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Tax Yield

Ceisteanna (128)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

128. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Finance the annual tax income for the Exchequer from inheritance tax since 2005; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15777/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that a breakdown of Capital Acquisitions Tax receipts, including the inheritance tax component, is available on the Revenue Statistics webpage at:

http://www.revenue.ie/en/about/statistics/receipts-capital-acquisitions-tax.html for 2007 to 2016. For the years 2005 and 2006, receipts from inheritance tax were €196.6m and €299.3m respectively.

Consumer Protection

Ceisteanna (129)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

129. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the way a consumer complaint against An Post for a breach of the consumer protection code with regard to financial products is treated by the Financial Services Ombudsman and Central Bank; if An Post is regulated in the same way as other financial service providers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15799/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

The Financial Services Ombudsman (FSO) may investigate complaints in relation to any regulated Financial Service Provider. According to the Central Bank Act 1942 as amended, a regulated Financial Service Provider is defined as:

"(a) a financial service provider whose business is subject to regulation by the Bank under this Act or under a designated enactment or a designated statutory instrument,

(b) a financial service provider whose business is subject to regulation by an authority that performs functions in an EEA country that are comparable to the functions performed by the Bank under this Act or under a designated enactment or designated statutory instrument, or

(bb) a financial service provider whose business is subject to supervision by the ECB under a designated enactment, or

(c) in relation to Part VIIB only, any other financial service provider of a class specified in the regulations for the purposes of this paragraph;"

An Post is regulated by the Central Bank in line with the above provisions, and as an Investment Business Firm, Investment Product Intermediary and a Payment Service Institution - (http://registers.centralbank.ie/FirmDataPage.aspx?firmReferenceNumber=C33230).

Where a consumer is unhappy with the service they have received from a firm which is regulated by the Central Bank, they are entitled to make a complaint directly to the firm concerned.  If the consumer is not satisfied with the outcome of their complaint, they can refer the matter to the Financial Services Ombudsman. The Financial Services Ombudsman investigates, in an impartial and independent manner, complaints from individual customers and small businesses who have unresolved disputes with financial service providers which are regulated by the Central Bank.

When a complaint is made by a consumer to the FSO in relation to any regulated Financial Service Provider, every effort is made by the FSO to facilitate the parties in achieving a mediated settlement with the help of his dedicated Dispute Resolution team. If no agreement is reached, the matter will proceed to a more formal investigation and adjudication, and the parties will be issued with a legally binding Finding. If the FSO upholds the complaint, he can direct compensation of up to €250,000 and/or direct such rectification as considered to be appropriate in the circumstances.

Tracker Mortgages

Ceisteanna (130)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

130. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number of customers of a bank (details supplied) who have been identified by the IBRC liquidators as having possibly been affected by the tracker mortgage scandal. [15807/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I am advised by the Special Liquidators of IBRC that the population of sub-accounts identified as in-scope for review under the Direction from the Central Bank of Ireland to IBRC (in Special Liquidation) in relation to the tracker mortgage examination is circa 29,000. The review of these in-scope accounts is on-going and it is estimated to be completed in the coming weeks.

It is important to note that while an account may be in-scope for the purposes of the Central Bank of Ireland tracker mortgage examination, the Special Liquidators have advised that this does not necessarily follow that detriment has been suffered by each and every customer. The final number of customers who have been affected will be known in the coming weeks.

Tracker Mortgages

Ceisteanna (131)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

131. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number of customers of banks (details supplied) who have received redress as a result of the Central Bank's tracker mortgage investigation; the total cost of redress to date; the anticipated final redress costs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15808/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I am advised by the Special Liquidators of IBRC that no customers have received redress at this point in time as a result of the Central Bank of Ireland tracker mortgage examination. The review of accounts which have been identified as in-scope as part of this examination is on-going and has not been finalised but is expected to be completed in the coming weeks. If detriment has been suffered by any customers, redress will be determined following the conclusion of the examination.

Tracker Mortgages

Ceisteanna (132)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

132. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if there are any legal actions in train against the IBRC liquidators from customers of a bank (details supplied) who are of the view that they were wronged in having a tracker rate denied to them and consider that the redress and compensation being offered to them is not enough; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15809/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I am advised by the Special Liquidators of IBRC that there are no legal actions against them in connection with the tracker mortgage examination.

Financial Services Regulation

Ceisteanna (133)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

133. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Finance if he will review the cases of persons having difficulties accessing the savings of deceased relatives in bank accounts (details supplied); if the Central Bank and-or the Financial Services Ombudsman is inquiring into this on behalf of the families; the oversight of the transfer to the legacy team of a company (details supplied) the Central Bank exercised; the sanctions it will impose if and in the event that the takeover entity is found wanting; the remedies families will have for the delays created and the added expense to them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15812/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

In relation to the Financial Services Ombudsman, Section 57CC of the Central Bank Act 1942 as amended provides that The Financial Services Ombudsman shall ensure that investigations are conducted in private. For this reason the FSO cannot comment on whether it has received a complaint from or against any particular person or entity, other than the publication of aggregate details in its Annual Reviews when at least 3 complaints relating to the regulated financial service provider have been found by the Ombudsman to be substantiated or partly substantiated in the previous financial year. That said it is of course open to a consumer to make a complaint to the FSO in relation to the conduct of a regulated financial services provider when they have an unresolved complaint.  Investigations by the Financial Services Ombudsman are free of charge to the consumer.

It is not appropriate for me as Minister for Finance to become involved in individual consumer cases, rather it is my role to ensure that a robust consumer protection framework for financial products and services is in place.  In relation to the Central Bank, it is unable to comment on its dealings with individual firms. However, the Consumer Protection Code 2012 imposes obligations on regulated entities in relation to their interactions with consumers. Where a regulated entity intends to cease operating, merge with another, or to transfer all or part of its regulated activities to another regulated entity, Provision 3.11 of the Consumer Protection Code states that it must: a. notify the Central Bank immediately; b. provide at least two months notice to affected consumers to enable them to make alternative arrangements; c. ensure all outstanding business is properly completed prior to the transfer, merger or cessation of operations or, alternatively in the case of a transfer or merger, inform the consumer of how continuity of service will be provided following the transfer or merger; and d. in the case of a merger or transfer of regulated activities, inform the consumer that their details are being transferred to the other regulated entity, if that is the case.

The Central Bank has a range of powers available to it to investigate non-compliance with its requirements and its approach to regulating financial services providers and markets, whilst ensuring the protection of consumers, is based on a model of assertive risk-based supervision underpinned by a credible threat of enforcement.

Central Bank of Ireland Investigations

Ceisteanna (134)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

134. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the way in which Article 5 of the European directive on unfair terms in consumer contracts, Directive No. 93/13, is factored into the Central Bank's investigation into tracker mortgages; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15831/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

The Framework for Conducting the Tracker Mortgage Examination (published in conjunction with the report providing a further update on the Examination of Tracker Mortgage Related Issues on 23 March) provides that in the course of the Examination, the lender is to determine whether or not in all circumstances it has complied with its consumer protection regulatory obligations arising pursuant to the following:

- Code of Practice for Credit Institutions, 2001;

- Consumer Protection Codes, 2006 and 2012;

- Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears, 2010 and 2013, specifically the relevant tracker mortgage related provisions;

- Consumer Protection Act, 2007; and

- Any other applicable legislation.

The Framework for carrying out the Examination does not prescribe the specific regulations or code requirements that the lender should consider when conducting its review.  The Central Bank expects lenders to consider all relevant financial services and consumer protection legislation. As part of the framework, lenders are required to ensure that they complete a review of their mortgage loan books to assess compliance with both contractual and regulatory requirements relating to tracker mortgages to ensure the fair treatment of mortgage customers.

Lenders are also required to appoint external independent third party assurers to oversee the Tracker Examination and to ensure that it is being carried out in line with the Central Bank's Framework for the conduct of the Tracker Examination.

Insurance Costs

Ceisteanna (135)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Ceist:

135. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Finance the extent to which the motor insurance market in particular and the insurance market in general has been influenced by statistics produced by An Garda Síochána which have now been confirmed as being unreliable; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15945/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I understand following consultation with your office that the reference to "statistics produced by An Garda Síochána which have now been confirmed as being unreliable" relates specifically to the recent public revelation that the number of roadside drink-driving breathalyser tests undertaken nationally between 2011 and early 2016 have been exaggerated by the Garda Siochana.

As you are aware, as part of a Departmental review of policy in the insurance sector, I established the Cost of Insurance Working Group, chaired by Minister of State Eoghan Murphy T.D. In the course of its examination of the motor insurance sector, which culminated in the publication of the "Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance" in January, the Working Group consulted with insurance providers in relation to issues such as how a motor insurance premium is calculated and what factors have led to the recent general large increases in such premiums.

Factors influencing the calculation of an individual premium include, inter alia, the age of the driver, the age of the vehicle, the relevant driving history, and existence or otherwise of a No Claims Discount/No Claims Bonus. Reasons provided to the Cost of Insurance Working Group for the large recent increases in motor insurance premiums included a cross-industry re-balancing process following a period, approximately from 2010 to 2014, when premiums were widely under-priced, growth in the frequency and cost of settling claims, and a significant rise in the levels of reserves set aside for claims expected to be paid in the future.

I am not aware of any evidence that the exaggerated  number of roadside drink-driving breathalyser tests provided by An Garda Síochána would have had any direct impact on the general cost of motor insurance.

Tax Code

Ceisteanna (136)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

136. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the status of the Government's appeal of the European Commission's state aid investigation ruling in a case (details supplied); if the backdated tax has been paid into an escrow account; the interest rate payable on the account; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15960/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

The Government profoundly disagrees with the European Commission's analysis in the Apple State Aid case.

An appeal is therefore being brought before the European Courts.  Such an appeal takes the form of an application to the General Court of the European Union, asking it to annul the Commission's Final Decision.  The Attorney General prepared the legal grounds in support of the annulment proceedings and the application has been lodged in the General Court of the European Union. As is normal practice, a summary of these have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union.  They were also published on the Department of Finance's website in December 2016.

As this is the subject of open legal proceedings, it will not be possible to comment further, in particular on any of the individual elements of the State's legal case in defence of our position. This is important to ensure that we do not prejudice our own legal case.

Notwithstanding the appeal, Ireland is obliged to comply with the binding Articles of the Decision regarding recovery. This includes the order to calculate the exact amount of the aid and the process which ensures that the aid is recovered from the Apple companies.  Both these processes are on-going and involve a high degree of co-operation with the Commission and Apple. Irish officials are continuing this work to ensure that the State complies with all our obligations.  The Commission have confirmed that they are satisfied with Ireland's progress on the issue of recovery to date.

VAT Yield

Ceisteanna (137)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

137. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 226 of 1 February 2017, the steps he will take to ensure that the correct money due is paid in a timely fashion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15964/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

As I informed the Deputy in response to Parliamentary Question number 71 of 23 March 2017, on 1 January 2015 new EU VAT rules came into effect changing the place of supply in respect of all supplies of telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic (TBE) services to consumers, from the place where the supplier is located to the place where the consumer resides. The VAT Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS), which is an optional scheme, also came into operation on 1 January 2015 allowing business to submit returns and pay the relevant VAT due to EU Member States through the web portal of one Member State, instead of having to register for VAT in multiple Member States.

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the amount of VAT collected on behalf of and subsequently remitted to each EU Member State is in accordance with EU rules governing the place of supply of TBE services and is paid in a timely fashion.

The apparent underpayment highlighted by the Deputy is in fact a transitional feature of the changeover to the new VAT rules, whereby the Member State which collects the VAT can retain a proportion of the VAT due to other Member States for a set period.  When the scheme to tax TBE services in the place of the consumer was agreed, it was decided to provide that 30% of the monies collected under MOSS would be retained by the Member State of the supplier in 2015 and 2016; 15% would be retained in 2017 and 2018, before transitioning to a full transfer of funds under MOSS from 2019 on. In 2016, for example, the amount of VAT remitted to other Member States in relation to TBE services was the total amount of VAT collected on behalf of other Member States minus the retention fee of, at that time, 30%.