Permanent Structured Co-operation

Ceisteanna (36)

Seán Haughey

Ceist:

36. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the details of the participation by members of the Defence Forces in a PESCO project in Mali; if he is satisfied that this participation does not compromise the traditional policy of military neutrality; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16999/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

The Defence Forces are not participating on a PESCO project in Mali.  The Defence Forces are participating in the EU Training Mission in Mali.  The purpose of this mission is to train the Malian armed forces and support the Government in Mali is asserting sovereign  control over its national territory.  The mission is undertaken in accordance with the provisions of the Defence (Amendment) Act 2006.  It is also supported under a resolution of the UN Security Council.  It does not in any way compromise Irelands traditional policy of military neutrality. 

PESCO is a capability development mechanism which is provided for under the EU treaties.  It is not a mechanism for launching crisis management or peace-keeping operations.  Ireland's participation in PESCO was agreed by Government and approved by Dáil Éireann prior to the Council Decision establishing PESCO on 11 December 2017. As a participant in PESCO, Ireland is required to participate in one PESCO project. It is important to note that participation in each project is on an “opt in” basis and is therefore entirely voluntary.

Ireland, and therein the Defence Forces, is currently a participant on two PESCO projects - (1) The German led European Union Training Mission Competence Centre and (2) the Greek led Upgrade of Maritime Surveillance Project. Both projects are from the initial round of PESCO Projects. We also have observer status on a further eight PESCO projects - six from the initial round and two from the second round.

Permanent Structured Cooperation, PESCO has no implications for Ireland’s policy of military neutrality.

The establishment of PESCO represents a further development in EU Cooperation in support of international peace and security under CSDP. Under PESCO, Member States will come together in different groups to develop and make available additional capabilities and enablers for peacekeeping and crisis management operations.

Within the EU, it is accepted that defence and security is a national competence and that any decisions, including any deepening of EU cooperation, require unanimity. Ireland continues to have a strong and equal voice on defence issues within the EU institutions.

Army Barracks

Ceisteanna (37)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

37. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on the rumour that the artillery unit is to be moved to Dublin from Custume Barracks by the end of 2021 with up to 250 members in this unit. [17105/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

I can confirm that there are no plans to relocate 2 Brigade Artillery Regiment from its current location at Custume Barracks, Athlone.  

I am satisfied that the current Army structures optimise the capacity of the Defence Forces to continue to fulfil all of the roles assigned by Government.

Defence Forces Contracts

Ceisteanna (38)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

38. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the State contracts awarded to a company (details supplied) over the past seven years; and the contracts delivered according to the original contract. [17111/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

I have been advised by my officials that neither the Department of Defence nor the Defence Forces have, to date, awarded any contracts to PJ McLoughlin & Son, Contractor, Longford in the past seven years.

Defence Forces Transport

Ceisteanna (39)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

39. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which transport provisions for troops going abroad or returning therefrom can be relied upon; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17168/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

In the past year the planned rotation of troops to and from the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) mission has been delayed on two occasions.   I regret the impact that these delays had for the Defence Forces personnel and their families.

 The rotation of Defence Force personnel serving in UNDOF and the United nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) missions  happens twice yearly, in April/May and October/November.  In accordance with agreed arrangements, the United Nations is responsible for making transport arrangements for the rotation of troops in April/May, while the Department is responsible for the October/November rotations. This involves the dedicated charter of a civilian aircraft for each movement of troops, which is arranged by the Department by way of a tender competition in line with public procurement regulations. When smaller numbers of personnel are travelling to and from missions, transport is generally by way of scheduled commercial flights.

The UNDOF contingent is operating in a very challenging region where there can never be complete certainty on transit routes and where the administrative procedures relating to the transit of military personnel are complex and cut across a number of jurisdictions.  Approvals for the transit of foreign military forces, in a congested conflict zone, involve many governmental layers, and are, therefore, not without hazard.  While every effort is made to secure the necessary clearances on time, we do not have control over these and rely on the good offices of the States through which we are transiting.  We will continue to engage with these States.  However, given all the variables, it is not possible to guarantee rotation dates at this time with the requisite certainty, and personnel will be advised of this uncertainty when deploying in future. 

Defence Forces Personnel Data

Ceisteanna (40, 44)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

40. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the degree to which the membership of the Defence Forces continues to be replenished; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17169/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

44. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of members of the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps who have retired or resigned in the past two years; the extent to which they have been replaced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17173/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 40 and 44 together.

The table shows the number of personnel who were discharged over the past two years and the number of new personnel inducted for the same period.

Year

2017

2018

Discharges

742 (of which 209 Trainees)

731 (of which 139 Trainees)

Inductions

751

61

Discharges include personnel who left for a variety of reasons including on age grounds, at end of contract and voluntary discharges. Included in this number is the number of trainees who exited prior to completion of their initial training (shown in brackets).

Inductions include general service recruits, cadets, apprentices and direct entry posts.

There are significant recruitment opportunities currently available in the Defence Forces, at both enlisted and officer level, for eligible individuals who wish to have a rewarding and positive career in service to the State.

For 2019, an intake of some 800 personnel across a range of recruitment streams is anticipated.

Defence Forces Equipment

Ceisteanna (41)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

41. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the degree to which military and technical equipment throughout the Defence Forces receives regular maintenance and updating; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17170/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

My priority as Minister with Responsibility for Defence is to ensure that the operational capability of the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service, is maintained to the greatest extent possible to enable the Defence Forces to carry out their roles as assigned by Government.

Maintenance of Defence Forces military and technical equipment is a key element to ensuring operational capability is maintained to the highest level. All equipment is subject to rigorous and regular testing and monitoring to identify where such maintenance requirements, both essential and routine are needed.

The acquisition of new equipment for the Defence Forces remains a clear focus for me. Future equipment priorities for the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service are considered in the context of the White Paper on Defence as part of the capability development and equipment priorities planning process.  The principal aim over the period of the White Paper will be to replace and upgrade, as required, existing capabilities in order to retain a flexible response for a wide range of operational requirements, including response to security risks and other emergencies, both at home and overseas.

The mid-life upgrade programme for the Army’s fleet of eighty MOWAG Armoured Personnel Carriers which is currently underway at a cost of of €55m plus VAT will extend the utility of the fleet and provide greater levels of protection, mobility and firepower. Additionally, twenty-four 4 x 4 Armoured Utility Vehicles were acquired in 2017, and in 2018 delivery was taken of ten new armoured logistic vehicles. These measures at a combined cost of €10m plus VAT will provide essential force protection overseas.

There is also continuous investment in the non-armoured vehicle fleet. In 2018, 20 minibuses, 22 saloons, 61 logistics vehicles and 2 recovery vehicles were purchased for the Defence Forces, and funding is provided on an on-going basis for the required maintenance of vehicles in the military transport fleet, both at home and overseas. A tender competition for the replacement of the Army’s fleet of ¾ tonne 4x4 vehicles is currently underway, and planning is also underway for the replacement of the fleet of troop carrying vehicles in the coming years.

The Government is currently investing in updating the Air Corps fleet of aircraft with the replacement of the existing five Cessna aircraft with three larger and more capable fixed wing utility Pilatus PC 12 aircraft at a cost of €30m plus VAT which are being equipped for ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance). It is expected that the three aircraft will be delivered by 2020. Planning is also in progress to replace the CASA Maritime Patrol aircraft and a tender competition is currently underway in this regard. 

The on-going Naval Service ship replacement programme is evidence of the Government's commitment to investment in the Naval Service. Three new Offshore Patrol Vessels were delivered between 2014 and 2017 with a fourth, to be named the LÉ George Bernard Shaw, delivered in late 2018, and due to be commissioned later this month. In addition, a Programme to extend the life of the P50 class vessels operated by the Naval Service, LÉ Roisín and LÉ Niamh, has recently commenced. Planning is also underway for the replacement of the current Naval Service flagship LÉ Eithne with a multi role vessel. 

With regard to Defence Forces communications systems, there is continued investment in the development of suitable network enabled communications in order to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex operational environment.

The examples given, whilst not exhaustive, demonstrate my commitment to update and upgrade the Defence Forces equipment and capability, within the financial envelope available. In accordance with the National Development Plan, the capital allocation for Defence has been increased to €106 million for 2019, an increase of €29 million. The National Development Plan provides for a total of €541 million for Defence over the period 2018-2022. This level of capital funding will allow the Defence Organisation to undertake a programme of sustained equipment replacement and infrastructural development across the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service as identified and prioritised in the Defence White Paper and builds on the significant investment programme over recent years. 

I am satisfied that the Defence Forces have and maintain the necessary modern and effective range of equipment available to them which is in line with best international standards in order to fulfil all roles assigned to them by Government.

Defence Forces Data

Question No. 44 answered with Question No. 40.

Ceisteanna (42, 43)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

42. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the strength of the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps reserves; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17171/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

43. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the degree to which regular training is made available to the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps reserves; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17172/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 42 and 43 together.

The Reserve Defence Force (RDF) is comprised of the First Line Reserve, the Army Reserve (AR) and the Naval Service Reserve (NSR).  The Government appreciates the service of the Reserve Defence Force and recognises its importance in contributing to Ireland's defence capability.  The White Paper on Defence is clear that there is a continued requirement to retain and develop the RDF and confirms that its primary role is to augment the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) in crisis situations.

The strength of the Reserve Defence Force, as of 28 February 2019, is set out below:

Service 

 Total Effective Personnel

 Army Reserve

 1634

 Naval Reserve

 125

 First Line Reserve

 288

In order to facilitate the voluntary nature of Reserve Service and to maximise attendance of Reserve personnel, training continues to be organised both in and out of normal working hours, at weekends and during academic and traditional holiday periods.

The primary function of training and education in both the Permanent Defence Force and the Reserve Defence Force is to develop and maintain capabilities necessary to enable personnel to fulfil the roles laid down by Government. The scheduling of training in the Defence Forces, including the Reserve, is underpinned by an analysis of training needed to meet operational output requirements and capability development needs. A long term strategy is adopted with current planning horizons out to 2021. In addition the White Paper on Defence sets out a developmental path for the Reserve.

Within the budget of €2.15m allocated to the Reserve, seven days annual paid training is provided for in respect of each effective member of the Reserve.  The budget also provides for fourteen days paid training for all additional personnel recruited to the Reserve in 2018 along with career and specialist courses for selected members of the Reserve in line with Reserve priorities. This provision is sufficient having regard to the existing strength of the RDF and the voluntary nature of Reserve training.

I am satisfied that members of the Amy Reserve and Naval Service Reserve are afforded the opportunity to avail of training and update their skills on an ongoing basis.

Question No. 44 answered with Question No. 40.

Defence Forces Operations

Ceisteanna (45)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

45. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps continues to receive specialist training to deal with emergencies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17174/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

In accordance with the Framework for Major Emergency Management, primary responsibility for responding to emergencies caused by severe weather events, such as storms and flooding, rests with the three designated principal response agencies, namely, the relevant Local Authority, An Garda Síochána, and the Health Service Executive.  The Defence Forces provide the fullest possible assistance to the appropriate Lead Department in the event of a natural disaster or emergency situation in its Aid to the Civil Authority role. The Defence Forces retains a wide range of specialist skills which can be deployed in such circumstances. 

Primary responsibility for the internal security of the State rests with the Department of Justice and Equality and An Garda Síochána. Among the roles assigned to the Defence Forces in the White Paper on Defence is the provision of Aid to the Civil Power (ATCP) which, in practice, means to provide assistance and support to An Garda Síochána when requested to do so.   The Defence Forces retains a wide range of specialist skills which can be deployed in such circumstance. 

There is on-going and close liaison between An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces regarding security matters, including ATCP deployments and a wide variety of military training activities are specifically designed to counter or respond to possible security emergencies. Regular coordination and liaison meetings also take place between the Defence Forces and An Garda Síochána in relation to ATCP issues.

I can confirm that the Defence Forces keep their operational plans and response capabilities for dealing with a wide range of threats and emergencies under constant review. It is my priority as Minister with responsibility for Defence to ensure that the operational capacity of the Defence Forces is maintained to the greatest extent possible to enable the Defence Forces to carry out their roles both at home and overseas.

Defence Forces Training

Ceisteanna (46)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

46. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which the Naval Service and Air Corps are likely to have access to upgraded training facilities and equipment to undergo extra surveillance work likely in the aftermath of Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17175/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

Among the roles assigned to the Defence Forces in the White Paper on Defence is the provision of aid to the civil power and the civil authorities.  The Defence Forces at all times keep operational plans under constant review and there will continue to be ongoing close liaison between An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces regarding security matters, including through regular coordination and liaison meetings.

Defence Forces training is designed to enable Defence Forces personnel address all potential calls on them arising from changes in the security situation on island within the framework of any roles assigned to them by Government, including aid to the civil power and aid to the civil authorities.  Prudent planning in relation to all security situations which may require a Defence Forces response is part and parcel of the day to day operations of the Defence Forces and, as such, is addressed within existing resources. 

Should a situation arise beyond the contingent requirement for Defence Forces deployment already provided for in the Defence vote, this will be addressed in the normal course within the budgetary discussions on defence funding.

Defence Forces Remuneration

Ceisteanna (47)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

47. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the steps he has taken to ensure that all branches of the Defence Forces have ready access to pay and service conditions comparable to those alongside whom they may be deployed on overseas missions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17176/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

Rates of pay and conditions of employment in the Defence Forces have traditionally been set by, amongst other things, reference to levels of pay across the various sectors of the Irish public service. Basic pay is just an element of the overall remuneration package for members of the Permanent Defence Force. In addition to basic pay a range of duties attract additional allowances.

Overseas Peace Support Allowance is paid to members of the Permanent Defence Force participating in overseas military operations on direction of the Government. Overseas Armed Peace Support Allowance is paid in addition to the Overseas Peace Support Allowance to  members of an armed contingent of the Permanent Defence Force, which has been dispatched for overseas military operations. These allowances are paid tax free.

Certain overseas appointments attract expense related allowances to ensure that Military Staff are not “out of pocket” as a consequence of necessarily incurred expenses in the discharge of their duties while living abroad. These expenses include a Cost of Living Allowance associated with a higher cost of living index at the post abroad, a Local Post Allowance and a rent allowance, where applicable.

Defence Forces Personnel Data

Ceisteanna (48)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

48. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which gender balance continues to be maintained with the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17177/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

As of 28 February 2019, the strength of the Permanent Defence Force stood at 8,857 Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) personnel.  Of this some 6.7%, or 596 personnel, were female broken down as follows:

- Army: 498 Female Personnel

- Air Corps: 31 Female Personnel

- Naval Service: 67 Female Personnel 

The Government is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for men and women throughout the Defence Forces and to the full participation by women in all aspects of Defence Forces activities. This is underlined by a commitment in the Programme for Government to increase the level of female participation in the Defence Forces.  

Unlike some other national armed forces, the Defence Forces have no restrictions with regard to the assignment of men or women to the full range of operational and administrative duties.  Women, therefore, play a full and meaningful role in all aspects of Defence Forces operations at home and overseas.  

In line with these policies and commitments, a number of initiatives have been implemented to increase the level of female participation in the Defence Forces. For example: 

- Special consideration is paid to women as a target group for recruitment and within the general recruitment framework. There are specific initiatives which focus on potential female recruits such as female-focused advertising, visits to female schools by Defence Forces personnel, creation of female specific recruitment videos and targeted social media advertising. 

- The introduction of best practices in recruitment such as the adjustment of physical standards for female applicants and a balanced composition between men and women on recruitment and selection boards.

- A Gender Advisor has been appointed to promote gender equality policies and training within the Defence Forces. The Defence Forces are committed to gender equality and employ a gender perspective in all policies and regulations.   

- A Defence Forces Women's Network has also been established with the aim of increasing the participation of female personnel at all levels of the organisation. The Network allows women to identify any actual or perceived barriers to participation, which then feed into wider HR retention policies.

Over the lifetime of the White Paper on Defence, further projects will be progressed to ensure the development and promotion of strategies that continue to support increased female participation in the Defence Forces.

Departmental Contracts Data

Ceisteanna (49)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

49. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the State contracts awarded to a company (details supplied) over the past seven years; and the contracts delivered according to the original contract. [17115/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

My Department has not awarded contracts to the company concerned over the past seven years. 

Insurance Coverage

Ceisteanna (50)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

50. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Finance his plans to introduce legislation to protect consumers in dealing with insurance companies specifically in cases in which the companies are refusing businesses insurance cover without adequate explanation or refusing to explain the reason for refusals especially in situations in which the business has been a customer for many years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16990/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

In replying to this question, I am making the assumption that the Deputy is seeking the introduction of a Declined Cases type agreement similar to that found for the motor sector.  However, it is important to point out that unlike third party motor insurance, employer and public liability insurance is not a compulsory requirement in Ireland, and therefore there is no legal requirement to have such cover in place unlike motor insurance which is necessary in order to drive a motor vehicle. 

In addition, neither I, as Minister for Finance, nor the Central Bank of Ireland can interfere in the provision or pricing of insurance products. These matters are of a commercial nature, and are determined by insurance companies based on the risks they are willing to accept. As such a Declined Cases agreement proposal is likely to have little effect, as insurers would simply price at what they consider the appropriate level for a particular risk.  Consequently, if there was an area where there was a significant level of claims, the price charged would likely reflect this and in many cases might be prohibitive cost wise for such businesses.  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 insurers 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 and not in the best interest of the customer.

Notwithstanding this, 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.

VAT Registration

Ceisteanna (51, 52, 53)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

51. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the number of primary schools registered for value added tax in each of the years 2015 to 2018; if his Department has a policy in relation to primary schools registering for VAT; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17043/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Joan Burton

Ceist:

52. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the number of post-primary schools registered for value added tax in each of the years 2015 to 2018; if his Department has a policy in relation to post-primary schools registering for VAT; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17044/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Joan Burton

Ceist:

53. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance the number of third-level institutions registered for value added tax in each of the years 2015 to 2018; if his Department has a policy in relation to third-level institutions registering for VAT; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17045/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 51 to 53, inclusive, together.

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the number of institutions registered for Value Added Tax between 2015 and 2018 is provided in the table below. These figures represent the number of live VAT registrations at 31 December for each year in question.

Year

Primary

Post-primary

Third-level

2015

2,127

577

63

2016

2,220

569

61

2017

2,311

585

63

2018

2,398

591

64

Schools, whether primary, post primary or third level, are generally not required to register for VAT in respect of the provision of education. Schools may however, in accordance with legislation, be required to register for VAT in respect of additional activities carried out by them, for example: 

- where they are required to account for VAT on the receipt of construction services;

- where they acquire goods from outside the State with a value exceeding €41,000 in any twelve-month period;

- where they are in receipt of services from outside the State;

- where they provide services other than educational services, such as the provision of canteen facilities and exceeds the services turnover threshold for VAT registration (currently €37,500); or

- where they supply goods, such as sales through a school shop, and the turnover from such sales exceed the goods threshold for VAT registration (currently €75,000).

Legal Costs

Ceisteanna (54)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

54. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the cost to date and the anticipated final cost of the appeal in a case (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17046/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

The cumulative cost to date in respect of the entire appeal and recovery in the Apple case is in the order of €7.1 million (including VAT). This includes all legal costs, consultancy fees and other associated costs. These fees have been paid by the Department of Finance, Revenue Commissioners, NTMA, Central Bank of Ireland, Attorney General's Office and Chief State Solicitor's Office.

This case has involved a significant degree of legal and technical complexity and additional expertise has been engaged where required. With regard to future anticipated costs, as it is and will continue to be an important issue for the State, it will continue to be appropriately resourced.

State Aid

Ceisteanna (55)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

55. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the way in which the amount in the escrow account set up on foot of the EU Commission state aid ruling in a case (details supplied) has varied since its establishment; if there is a net average monthly cost or gain accruing to the fund including income and expenses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17047/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

Notwithstanding that the Government profoundly disagrees with the Commission's analysis in the Apple State aid case, the full recovery of the alleged State aid from Apple has been completed with approximately €14.3 billion deposited into the Escrow Fund. The funds will remain in the Escrow Fund pending a final determination in the European Courts over the validity of the Commission's Decision. The ultimate owner of the Escrow Fund will be determined at that point.  

The arrangements in the Escrow Framework Deed include the agreement that all claims of ownership and access to these vast sums of money is suspended until the European Courts have concluded proceedings that the Government and Apple have brought. In general terms, all income/expenses, including any gains or losses will accrue to the Escrow Fund.

The 2018 accounts for the Escrow Fund are in the process of being compiled and will subsequently be audited by the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General.