Departmental Staff Data

Ceisteanna (94, 95)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

94. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Taoiseach the number of employees in his Department; the number professionally qualified with organisations (details supplied); the number with other relevant professional qualifications; and the number with no professional qualifications, in tabular form. [1895/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

95. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Taoiseach the number of employees in his Department authorised to engage in procurement; the number professionally qualified with organisations (details supplied); the number with other relevant professional qualifications; and the number with no professional qualifications, in tabular form. [1912/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Taoiseach)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 94 and 95 together.

There are currently 212.7 whole time equivalent staff working in my Department. Given the nature of the work and size of the organisation, the Department has no staff in a professional or technical grade.

My Department does not collect or collate this personal data except where the Department funds training undertaken by staff or the cost of individual membership of relevant organisations for the purposes of their work. In the case of the Institute of Public Administration, the Department funded the cost of training in respect of thirty five staff and refund of academic fees for twelve staff in 2018.

My Department has a procurement policy in place to direct and guide staff when engaging in procurement and relevant staff have availed of specific training in this area. My Department uses OGP framework agreements for a wide range of goods and services such as foreign travel management services, suppliers of IT equipment, managed print services, provision of taxi service, cleaning services and supplies, waste management services, printing and supply of stationery.

Through the Public Appointments Service the Department continues to employ staff recruited both at graduate and non-graduate level, including staff recruited through the Irish Government Economic & Evaluation Service (IGEES).

A comprehensive learning and development programme is implemented by my Department to ensure that staff at all levels have the required skills and knowledge to perform their individual roles and deliver the strategic objectives of the Department. Staff are also encouraged to avail of the Refund of Fees Scheme which facilitates them to undertake third level academic courses relevant to their roles.

Exports Data

Ceisteanna (96)

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

96. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Taoiseach the volume of exports and value in euro terms on a percentage basis in 2017 and 2018, by country, in tabular form. [1992/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Taoiseach)

The data requested by the Deputy is set out in the following table. It shows the top 15 trading partners covering approximately 87% of total trade.

Table A : Exports of Goods by country 2017-2018 and percentage share of total trade

Country

Value €000 2017

Tonnes 2017

Value €000 Jan - Nov 2018

Tonnes Jan - Nov 2018

% of total Value of Exports 2017

% of total Value of Exports Jan - Nov 2018

United States

33,283,714

805,036

36,606,734

569,552

27.1

28.5

Great Britain

14,526,485

6,566,167

12,795,055

6,356,127

11.8

10.0

Belgium

13,333,077

456,970

16,298,484

512,268

10.9

12.7

Germany

10,099,239

436,847

9,579,401

386,034

8.2

7.5

Switzerland

6,211,952

15,781

5,973,094

14,461

5.1

4.6

Netherlands

5,929,216

1,331,931

7,066,630

1,098,799

4.8

5.5

France

5,347,906

1,234,588

4,952,845

1,051,580

4.4

3.9

China

4,378,334

315,720

4,077,541

306,958

3.6

3.2

Italy

2,620,268

244,112

3,403,467

218,226

2.1

2.6

Japan

2,617,183

56,609

3,188,714

59,933

2.1

2.5

Spain

2,596,387

228,108

2,371,403

277,174

2.1

1.8

Northern Ireland

1,928,901

3,267,659

1,859,393

2,802,478

1.6

1.4

Mexico

1,427,471

30,917

1,333,332

32,699

1.2

1.0

Poland

1,329,457

99,252

1,069,341

90,883

1.1

0.8

Canada

1,091,129

168,593

1,286,350

254,045

0.9

1.0

Rest of World

15,990,578

3,184,190

16,611,046

2,878,983

13.0

12.9

Imports Data

Ceisteanna (97)

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

97. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Taoiseach the volume of imports and value in euro terms on a percentage basis in 2017 and 2018, by country, in tabular form. [1993/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Taoiseach)

The data requested by the Deputy is set out in the following table. It shows the top 15 trading partners covering approximately 87% of total trade.

Table A: Imports of Goods by country 2017-2018 and percentage share of total trade

Country

Value €000 2017

Tonnes 2017

Value €000 Jan – Nov 2018

Tonnes Jan – Nov 2018

% of total Value of Imports 2017

% of total Value of Imports Jan - Nov 2018

Great Britain

17,494,876

13,215,307

16,618,681

12,784,921

22.1

20.5

United States

16,368,174

1,936,712

14,038,687

2,167,627

20.6

17.3

France

10,500,158

1,256,203

10,019,805

1,223,016

13.2

12.3

Germany

6,890,232

1,193,527

9,971,185

1,497,723

8.7

12.3

China

4,424,415

516,734

4,757,700

484,690

5.6

5.9

Netherlands

2,433,798

1,368,083

2,729,060

1,504,148

3.1

3.4

Italy

1,563,998

256,859

1,476,081

286,080

2.0

1.8

Belgium

1,393,801

884,241

1,536,902

821,572

1.8

1.9

Northern Ireland

1,373,538

3,505,002

1,354,694

3,376,248

1.7

1.7

Spain

1,317,179

1,328,870

1,354,625

1,517,453

1.7

1.7

Japan

1,209,204

56,467

1,353,166

56,883

1.5

1.7

Norway

1,131,078

2,165,364

928,546

1,410,985

1.4

1.1

Unknown (Non-EU)

1,059,862

8,320

2,604,297

6,382

1.3

3.2

South Korea

975,876

56,455

749,825

55,199

1.2

0.9

India

811,315

419,625

526,516

176,802

1.0

0.6

Rest of World

10,323,426

12,187,880

11,143,700

13,199,861

13.0

13.7

Exports Data

Ceisteanna (98)

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

98. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Taoiseach the amount in euro in value of goods only exported from Irish based firms by country in 2017 and 2018; and the percentage share of such exports to each country in this period as a proportion of the total share in tabular form. [1994/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Taoiseach)

The data requested by the Deputy is not available. The trade of Irish owned enterprises cannot be separately identified in the data as the country of ownership of trading enterprises is not currently available.

Small and Medium Enterprises Data

Ceisteanna (99)

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

99. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Taoiseach the number of SMEs that account for total exports of goods and services on a percentage basis by each country in 2017 and 2018; and the number of persons employed in such SMEs. [1995/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Taoiseach)

The exact data requested by the Deputy is not available. Table A shows the most recent year data is available for exports of goods by SMEs is 2016. There is no breakdown by country available.

Table A : Goods exports by enterprise size 2016

Enterprise size

Value

€million

% of total

Number of enterprises

% of total

Micro

6,917

6

5,007

59

Small

7,507

6

2,143

25

Medium

22,020

19

750

9

SMEs

36,443

31

7,900

92

Large

79,526

67

263

3

Unknown

2,261

2

382

4

Total

118,230

100

8,545

100

Micro (0-9 employees), Small (10-49 employees), Medium (50-249 employees), Large (over 250 employees).

The official measure of Ireland's trade in services is produced by the Central Statistics Office. The value of services exports on a percentage basis with a breakdown by country of destination is shown in the International Trade in Services release. The following table is from the latest edition which contains data for 2017. The volumes of services are not available.

Exports of Services by country in 2017

Country

€ million

% Share

Argentina

170

0.11

Australia

3,654

2.29

Austria

939

0.59

Bahamas

28

0.02

Bahrain

62

0.04

Barbados

91

0.06

Belgium

2,920

1.83

Bermuda

624

0.39

Brazil

1,262

0.79

Bulgaria

96

0.06

Canada

1,903

1.19

Cayman Islands

555

0.35

China

4,042

2.53

Colombia

150

0.09

Croatia

71

0.04

Curacao

2

0.00

Czech Republic

426

0.27

Denmark

1,663

1.04

Dominican Republic

0

0.00

Ecuador

17

0.01

Egypt

218

0.14

El Salvador

16

0.01

Estonia

39

0.02

Ethiopia

91

0.06

Finland

1,222

0.77

France

6,704

4.20

Germany

11,939

7.48

Gibraltar

71

0.04

Greece

367

0.23

Guernsey

90

0.06

Hong Kong

685

0.43

India

2,972

1.86

Indonesia

451

0.28

International Organisations

18

0.01

Isle of Man 

80

0.05

Israel

995

0.62

Italy

6,469

4.05

Jamaica

1

0.00

Japan

5,743

3.60

Jersey

113

0.07

Jordan

98

0.06

Kazakhstan

119

0.07

Kenya

88

0.06

Kuwait

123

0.08

Latvia

71

0.04

Lebanon

48

0.03

Libya

20

0.01

Lithuania

104

0.07

Luxembourg

-1,553

-0.97

Macao

20

0.01

Malaysia

344

0.22

Malta

109

0.07

Marshall Islands

2

0.00

Mexico

682

0.43

Netherlands

4,983

3.12

New Zealand

203

0.13

Nigeria

120

0.08

Norway

2,069

1.30

Oman

87

0.05

Pakistan

109

0.07

Panama

61

0.04

Philippines

224

0.14

Poland

1,267

0.79

Portugal

790

0.49

Qatar

389

0.24

Romania

119

0.07

Russian Federation

1,594

1.00

Saudi Arabia

646

0.40

Singapore

3,724

2.33

Slovakia

110

0.07

Slovenia

70

0.04

South Africa

1,063

0.67

South Korea

846

0.53

Spain

3,693

2.31

Sri Lanka

34

0.02

Sweden

3,441

2.15

Switzerland

3,728

2.33

Taiwan, Province of China

679

0.43

Thailand

300

0.19

Trinidad and Tobago

16

0.01

Tunisia

21

0.01

Turkey

685

0.43

Ukraine

88

0.06

United Kingdom

26,266

16.45

United States

18,475

11.57

Uruguay

4

0.00

Venezuela

19

0.01

Viet Nam

164

0.10

Virgin Islands, British 

89

0.06

Virgin Islands, US

4

0.00

Countries not included above *

26,287

16.46

World total

159,701

100.00

Source: International Trade in Services 2017

* Confidential & not geographically allocated

Departmental Staff Data

Ceisteanna (100, 101)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

100. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of employees in his Department; the number professionally qualified with organisations (details supplied); the number with other relevant professional qualifications; and the number with no professional qualifications, in tabular form. [1885/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

101. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of employees in his Department authorised to engage in procurement; the number professionally qualified with organisations (details supplied); the number with other relevant professional qualifications; and the number with no professional qualifications, in tabular form. [1902/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 100 and 101 together.

My Department's Contract Branch undertakes a procurement function in respect of the Defence Forces for defensive equipment and materials, and in respect of major procurement projects. It has a staffing complement of nine. The Branch leads on the procurement of major equipment platforms and other associated goods and services for the Defence Forces, e.g. land, sea and air capabilities, including the delivery of required procurement outcomes. The Branch is also responsible for the procurement of certain services on behalf of other branches of the Department. Occasionally, other branches may be involved in smaller scale procurements, using frameworks provided by the OGP and with access to the advice of Contracts Branch.

There are 359 staff currently in my Department. Recruitment of civil servants for my Department is provided by the Public Appointments (PAS) from the various competitions which it organises. Such recruitment to the Department is almost exclusively for civil service grades which do not require specific professional qualifications. The Department cannot compel an individual to declare qualifications held and therefore, the information sought by the Deputy in this regard is not available.

My Department is committed to the continuing development of its employees and its Learning and Development section provides access to a range of learning opportunities.

Defence Forces Equipment

Ceisteanna (102)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

102. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the sections of the Defence Forces using 5G communication technology here and-or abroad; if his Department use 5G here; his plans to make use of 5G; if he has received advice or consultancy on the use of 5G by the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2016/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

The Defence Forces are not currently using 5G communication technology in Ireland or abroad. Likewise, the Department of Defence is not using 5G in Ireland. I have not received advice or consultancy on the use of 5G by the Defence Forces. As with all new communication technology, the Department and Defence Forces will continue to monitor its development and applications into the future.

Brexit Issues

Ceisteanna (103)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

103. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has spoken to Mr. Juncker or Mr. Barnier since the vote on the withdrawal treaty took place in London; and if so, the issues that were discussed. [1715/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

The Government regrets the outcome of last night's vote in the House of Commons on the Withdrawal Agreement.

In the very short period since the vote, I have not spoken to Mr Juncker or Mr Barnier.

As President Juncker stated after the vote, what we need from the UK is clarity on how it proposes to move forward. This was reiterated by Michel Barnier in his address to the European Parliament today. Prime Minister May is required to inform Parliament no later than Monday 21 January as to what steps she now proposes to take. The EU response will then need to be considered and we will of course prioritise discussions with partners and the EU institutions in that context.

Departmental Staff Data

Ceisteanna (104)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

104. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of employees in his Department; the number professionally qualified with organisations (details supplied); the number with other relevant professional qualifications; and the number with no professional qualifications, in tabular form. [1889/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

The total number of full time equivalent staff in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is 1,763 including local staff engaged in diplomatic and consular missions abroad.

My Department employs staff with a range of qualifications both generalist and specialist including inter alia development specialists, architects, project managers, accountants, economists, HR specialists, ICT specialists and legal advisers. The Public Appointments Service (PAS) is the central provider of recruitment services to this Department and to the wider Civil Service.

The Department does not track the precise distribution of qualifications from professional bodies held by staff at any one time. However the importance of professional qualifications, particularly in specialised areas is recognised. The Department currently employs six accountants at headquarters who are qualified with either CIMA, ICPA, ACCA or Chartered Accountants Ireland for example.

The Department continually monitors its workforce planning requirements to inform plans for recruitment of new officers, both generalist and specialist, in Ireland and abroad to deliver against high-level goals, including in the context of the “Global Ireland” ambitions. Staff who wish to continue their professional development are supported as a way of contributing to excellence, innovation and career development.

Departmental Staff Data

Ceisteanna (105)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

105. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of employees in his Department authorised to engage in procurement; the number professionally qualified with organisations (details supplied); the number with other relevant professional qualifications; and the number with no professional qualifications, in tabular form. [1906/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

The Procurement Unit in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is responsible for the management, coordination and implementation of procurement processes, and procures services, goods and works on behalf of the Department. It oversees the implementation of procurement rules and procedures in accordance with national and European procurement regulations. The section engages with Departmental budget holders to develop their tenders, advises on procurement routes to market and assists with appropriate pre-market engagement when required. It provides procurement logistic support and advice to the Evaluation Committee.

The Procurement Unit has five staff, three of whom have obtained a relevant professional qualification.

In addition, the Department employs six accountants, all of whom are professionally qualified.

Northern Ireland

Ceisteanna (106)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

106. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on the lack of a Northern Ireland Executive in view of the fact it is absent for two years; and if it will be reinstated in 2019. [1717/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

The continuing absence of vital institutions of the Good Friday Agreement is a source of deep concern for the Government, as it is for the British Government. The Government will continue to do everything in its power, in accordance with its responsibilities as co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement, to secure the effective operation of all of its institutions. Both Governments are determined to find a way beyond the current impasse to get the institutions operating again and I remain in regular contact with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on how this can be pursued.

I visited Belfast on 9 and 10 January last and held discussions with the leaders of all of the Northern Ireland political parties. These were constructive engagements with each of the party leaders and I emphasised that the two-year absence of the devolved institutions must not continue. There are pressing decisions and issues across a range of areas which require a functioning Executive and Assembly. Each of the party leaders confirmed to me their wish to participate in the institutions again and provided views on key concerns and issues for their parties.

Following these latest consultations, I do not underestimate the way to go in achieving a resolution, but I continue to believe that this can be achieved and that there is an increasingly urgent need for talks to begin.

The devolved institutions of the Agreement are urgently needed so that the mandated Assembly and power-sharing Executive can represent the interests of all of the people of Northern Ireland and address issues of concern, including the challenges for Northern Ireland of the UK decision to exit the European Union. The North South Ministerial Council is also essential to oversee and develop North South cooperation on matters of mutual interest, as provided for under the Good Friday Agreement.

The legislation that was brought forward by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, which temporarily suspends the requirement to call an Assembly election, underlines the urgent requirement for all with responsibilities to do everything in their power to get them operating again. The Secretary of State and I are agreed that a new political process is needed. I will continue to work with the Secretary of State and remain in regular contact with the leaders of each of the political parties, to get the necessary political process commenced to secure an agreement for a functioning Executive and Assembly.

I also met in Belfast last week with a range of civil society representatives, including trade unions, business organisations and those working in the education, voluntary and community sectors. In all of these discussions, I heard a clear and unambiguous desire for the Assembly and Executive to operate again, as well as acute concern at the impact of the current impasse for Northern Ireland and for progress with the Peace Process founded on the Good Friday Agreement. There was also serious apprehension on how the challenges raised for Northern Ireland by the UK decision to exit the European Union will be addressed and broad support for the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the UK and the European Union, in particular in providing an absolute guarantee that a hard border will be avoided and that the Good Friday Agreement will be fully protected. I also received a clear message in these civil society engagements that the UK exit from the EU is a further and pressing reason for political leaders to work together through the power-sharing Executive and Assembly, to represent and protect Northern Ireland’s unique interests and concerns.

I believe that these calls from across all sections of the community in Northern Ireland for the devolved institutions to operate have to be heeded.

Official Engagements

Ceisteanna (107)

Willie Penrose

Ceist:

107. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to meet formally with the US Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ms Nancy Pelosi, the next time he visits the United States of America; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2020/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

The Government engages frequently with the US Administration and US elected representatives, both Republican and Democrat, on all aspects of the US-Ireland relationship and on other issues of mutual concern.

I plan to travel to Washington, D.C. in early February for a series of political and other engagements. The Embassy of Ireland in Washington, D.C., will prepare my programme for that visit and I would very much welcome the opportunity to meet with key Congressional and Administration representatives, as well as the US Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ms Nancy Pelosi, at that time. I last met Ms. Pelosi on a visit to Washington DC in October 2017.

The St. Patrick’s Day period also provides an excellent opportunity for substantive engagement. I expect that the Taoiseach will travel to Washington, D.C. for the traditional engagements at the White House and at Capitol Hill, and in that context, will meet with representatives of the US Administration and other political leaders.

Credit Availability

Ceisteanna (108)

James Browne

Ceist:

108. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to financial institutions refusing to close loans of bankrupt persons until the house is sold thus extending the five year term for credit restoration before bankrupt persons may reapply for a mortgage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1833/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

The framework governing the treatment of a person's liabilities and assets in the context of bankruptcy is provided for in the Bankruptcy Act 1988 as amended. In respect of a mortgage or other secured loan, the secured creditor has the option of either

- continuing to rely on the security and not claiming for the debt in bankruptcy or

- surrendering the security for the general benefit of creditors and claiming for the full amount of the debt along with other unsecured creditors or

- realising (or valuing) the security and claiming for the balance (if any) on the debt after deducting the amount realised (or valued) in bankruptcy.

In terms of new credit, there is no provision to prevent a person either during or post bankruptcy from applying for new credit (subject to, in respect of credit for more than €650, the person disclosing the bankruptcy) and it will be a matter for the lender, subject to consulting the central credit register and complying with all relevant Central Bank macro prudential and consumer protection requirements in relation to the provision of new credit to consumers, to make its own commercial decision on any such application for new credit.

Tax Exemptions

Ceisteanna (109)

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

109. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 178 of 6 November 2018, his plans to alter this relief to include a measure (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1836/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

As the Deputy will recall, the advice that I have received from Revenue is that the leasing of land to the spouse or civil partner of a brother or sister of the lessor or the leasing of land to the brother or sister of a spouse or civil partner of a lessor is regarded as a lease between connected persons and is not eligible for relief on the long-term leasing of farm land.

Section 664 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 provides relief from income tax for certain income from long-term leasing. The relief is available, subject to a maximum limit, where farm land is leased to a qualifying lessee for a period of five years or more. In order to qualify as a qualifying lessee for the purpose of the relief, the lessee must not be connected with the lessor, or with any of the lessors if there is more than one. The rules for establishing whether or not persons are connected are laid down by Section 10 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 which sets out that a lessor is not entitled to relief where the land is let to family members or family members of their spouse or civil partner.

The restriction on leases between connected persons is intended to prevent the misuse of the exemption. In addition, allowing relief in cases where the land was leased to connected persons could delay succession or lead to the fragmentation of holdings.

The connected party restriction has applied since the introduction of the relief over 30 years ago and I have no plans at present to alter the restriction. However, as with all such reliefs, my Department regularly reviews tax expenditure measures. Proposals for change are dealt with in the context of the annual Budget and Finance Bill process.

Ireland Strategic Investment Fund Investments

Ceisteanna (110)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

110. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the investments including lending made by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund in the area of residential and non-residential property since its inception; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1852/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I am advised by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) that the following table sets out the ISIF’s commitments, in the area of residential and non-residential property, as at 31 December 2018.

ISIF Investment

Cherrywood

Activate Capital

Man Aalto

Ardstone Residential Partners Fund

Urbeo Residential

Amount

€52m

€500m

€25m

€30m

€58m

Purpose

Site infrastructure funding to unlock 360 acres of development land at Cherrywood, South County Dublin, for residential and commercial development

Lending on commercial basis to residential development projects in Ireland

Real-estate debt fund that provides loan finance to residential developers and builders working on smaller-scale projects in large urban areas

Residential equity investment fund

Investment in build to rent residential platform. The platform will partner with builders, developers, and housing associations to deliver new rental housing projects, which shall include an element of supported tenancies

ISIF Investment

Avestus Capital Partners

DCU Student accommodation

WLR Cardinal

Kilkenny Regeneration

Quadrant

Finegrain

Amount

€25m

€55m

€75m

€2m

€50m

€25m

Purpose

Residential property fund which will invest in the Irish Private Rented Sector. The fund is managed by Avestus Capital Partners. ISIF’s equity capital will be exclusively used to forward purchase newly developed rental properties and support the construction of new homes in Ireland

ISIF has leveraged DCU’s existing student accommodation programme to help unlock funding for the overall Campus Development Programme

Provides development and refinance capital. Focus on multiple real estate sectors, providing both pure finance & development capital. Some residential housing elements

Providing seed investment for a major urban regeneration project in the heart of Kilkenny City

Focus on office development projects. Provides development and refinance capital. Some residential housing elements

Invests in offices, business parks, logistics facilities and industrial properties. Primarily in regional locations.

Therefore, ISIF’s commitment to the investments above as at 31 December 2018 is €897 million. Co-investors have invested an additional €2.7 billion bringing the total capital investment in the area of residential and non-residential property to €3.6 billion.

VAT Rate Application

Ceisteanna (111)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

111. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Finance his plans to apply VAT on health supplements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1857/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

The standard rate of VAT applies to food supplements. However, a Revenue concession allowed the zero rate to be applied to certain types of vitamins, minerals and fish oils. Because of complications in interpretation, the Revenue Commissioners have decided to remove this concession with effect from 1 March 2019 so that all food supplements will be charged at the standard VAT rate.

However, independent of Revenue’s decisions on interpretation, I agreed during the recent Finance Bill to put in place a process that will conclude in the 2019 Tax Strategy Group Paper to examine some of the policy choices around the VAT treatment of food supplements.

It should be noted, however, that human oral medicines, including certain folic acid and other vitamin and mineral products, licenced by the Health Products Regulatory Association will continue to apply at the zero rate of VAT. Infant foods will also continue to be zero rated.

Departmental Staff Data

Ceisteanna (112, 113)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

112. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Finance the number of employees in his Department; the number professionally qualified with organisations (details supplied); the number with other relevant professional qualifications; and the number with no professional qualifications, in tabular form. [1888/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

113. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Finance the number of employees in his Department authorised to engage in procurement; the number professionally qualified with organisations (details supplied); the number with other relevant professional qualifications; and the number with no professional qualifications, in tabular form. [1905/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 112 and 113 together.

As the Deputy is aware, the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) was established in 2013 with the goal of reducing costs and maximising value for money and operational efficiency through instituting central management of the public procurement function. Staff members of the Department of Finance work closely with the OGP staff on procurement matters. Further details regarding the function of the OGP can be found at www.ogp.gov.ie

I wish to advise the Deputy that staff from across all areas of the Department may have an element of procurement in their work. I can advise the Deputy that my Department undertakes public procurements in line with the guidelines issued by the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) and with EU public procurement requirements.

During 2018, 46 staff of the Department attended public procurement training, the purpose of which was to increase the overall level of knowledge of public procurement throughout the Department and ensure that staff were aware of associated compliance requirements. The Department proposed to run further procurement training for staff during Q1 of 2019.

The Deputy may also wish to note that the Department’s Procurement Officer and staff in the procurement unit have undertaken accredited training in public procurement and continue to keep up to date with procurement guidelines and regulations.

The following table provides details where the staff in the Department of Finance achieved their procurement qualifications:

-

Staff Numbers(Headcount 31-12-2018)

Irish Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management

Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply

Institute of Public Administration

Chartered Accountants Ireland

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Other RelevantProfessional Qualifications

Department of Finance

332

0

0

1

0

0

0

1

I wish to advise the Deputy that 27 staff hold professional qualifications that allow those staff members to use a professional title. 6 of those staff members hold professional qualifications from the organisations supplied and a further 21 hold other relevant professional qualifications.

The following table provides details on the staff who hold professional qualifications:

-

Staff Numbers(Headcount 31-12-2018)

Irish Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management

Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply

Institute of Public Administration

Chartered Accountants Ireland

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Other RelevantProfessional Qualifications

Department of Finance

332

0

0

0

4

1

1

21

Staff are not obliged to inform the Department that they hold a professional title or are a member of a professional organisation unless membership is a requirement for their post. This list is compiled from staff who have voluntarily informed the Department that they hold relevant professional qualifications.

The following table is a list of the “other relevant professional qualifications” held by staff in the Department of Finance and their corresponding titles:

Name of Organisation

Titles Arising from their Professional Qualification

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

Chartered Accountant

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

CIPD Associate

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

CIPD Fellow

Institute of Banking

Certified Bank Director

Institute of Banking

Member of the Institute of Banking

Irish Bar (King’s Inns)

Barrister

Irish Computer Society

Member of the Irish Computer Society

Irish Taxation Institute

Chartered Tax Advisor

Law Society of Ireland

Solicitor

New York Bar

Member of the New York Bar

The purpose of the Department’s Learning and Development Strategy 2010-2021 is to deliver the capabilities, competencies and skills required to support and sustain a high performing Department. The Department values and invests in the staff and the aim of the Department is to enable staff to perform to their highest level and fulfill their potential –“To be the best that we can be”. This strategy aims to invest in the staff of the Department for the continued improvement across all areas of the Department.