National Economic Dialogue

Ceisteanna (177)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

177. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Finance if he will report on the National Economic Dialogue Conference in June 2019. [27994/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

As the Deputy will be aware the fifth National Economic Dialogue took place on June 26th and 27th this year. This dialogue plays an integral part in the preparations for Budget 2020 and provided an opportunity to consider how best to optimise available resources in the interests of all citizens.

The aim is to foster discussion on how to best sustain and strengthen the recovery while taking account of the many competing economic and social priorities within the limited available resources.

As with previous years, this year's Dialogue had representatives from a wide variety of stakeholders, including from community, voluntary and environmental groups, businesses, unions, and the academic community. In addition a number of members of the Select Committee on Budgetary Oversight also contributed to the event.

My opening remarks on “Understanding the Context: Economic Perspectives” and my closing remarks at the Dialogue are available at www.budget.gov.ie along with the paper presented at the NED. When the Chair's report is finalised it and the reports of the six rapporteurs will also be made available on that website.

I believe the National Economic Dialogue is a very constructive exercise. The Dialogues of previous years have had a material affect on the choices made in the budget. I intend to reflect on this year’s discussion when formulating Budget 2020.

VAT Exemptions

Ceisteanna (178)

Michael Moynihan

Ceist:

178. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide for the removal of VAT for low emission slurry spreading equipment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27861/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

The VAT rating of goods and services is subject to EU VAT law, with which Irish VAT law must comply. In accordance with Irish VAT legislation, slurry spreading equipment is liable to VAT at the standard rate, currently 23%, and there is no discretion, under the Directive, to exempt these goods from VAT.

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that farmers may elect to register for VAT or be treated as flat-rate farmers for VAT purposes. Farmers that are registered for VAT have an entitlement to reclaim VAT charged on costs incurred in relation to the farm business, including VAT borne on the purchase of agricultural equipment. Farmers that are not registered for VAT are compensated for the VAT incurred on goods and services used in the course of their farming business, including purchases of agricultural machinery, through the flat rate addition they receive on payments for their supplies of agricultural produce and services.

Tax Code

Ceisteanna (179)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

179. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Finance if a person (details supplied) in County Kildare is paying the correct tax on their pension. [27496/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I am informed that the person in question is in receipt of a pension from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) and receives a private occupational pension.

Revenue has confirmed that where a person is in receipt of both a State pension and a private pension, any income tax that may be due in respect of the State pension is collected by reducing the income tax credits applied to the private pension.

For example, where a person in receipt of both a State pension and a private pension receives an increase of €5 per week (€260 per year) in the State pension, an additional tax liability of €1 per week falls due from his/her private pension, i.e. (€260 x 20% standard rate/52 weeks).

Revenue has also advised me that it has examined the tax record of the person concerned and is satisfied that the correct amount of tax is being deducted. Revenue has contacted the person and clarified the position with them.

Financial Services Regulation

Ceisteanna (180, 181)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

180. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Finance the reason the criteria for the industry fund levy for the Central Bank was devised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27504/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

181. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Finance the proposed breakdown for each contributor of the industry fund levy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27505/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 180 and 181 together.

The Central Bank's total funding requirement for financial regulation activity is determined on an annual basis by the resources required to discharge its legal responsibilities under domestic and EU law. Section 32D and 32E of the Central Bank Act 1942, as amended, provide that the Central Bank Commission may make regulations relating to the imposition of levies and fees on the financial services sector in respect of the recoupment of the costs of financial regulation.

As it stands, the financial services industry currently funds 80% of the costs incurred by the Central Bank for financial regulation, with certain exceptions. [Banks which had participated in the Eligible Liabilities Guarantee (ELG) Scheme, namely AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB, which are required to fund 100% of the Central Bank's regulatory costs. The levies for Credit Unions are currently capped at 0.01% of total assets as at 30 September in the previous year. As a result, the Credit Union sector currently funds approximately 9% of the cost of their regulation.] This means that the subvention from the Central Bank amounts to approximately 20% of the total cost. What this translates to in monetary terms will be determined by the resources required by the Bank to discharge its legal responsibilities during a given year.

As until now, levies were based on estimates, at the end of each year, budgeted income and expenses are compared with actual income and expenses by the Central Bank, on a category by category basis, in order to arrive at the amount over (surplus) or under (deficit) recovered from Industry. Deficits are added to the amount to be raised from Industry in the following year while surpluses are deducted.

In 2018, the cost of financial regulation activities was funded by levies of approximately €128 million and subvention of €66 million. However, there was a deficit carried forward from 2017, which meant that the actual amount of Levy income raised from industry for 2018 was approximately €137 million.

Table 1: 2018 Levy Income by sector (extracted from Note 40, 2018 Financial Statements of the Central Bank)

Sector

2018 Levy Amount

2018 Levy Income including deficit from 2017 Levy Amount

% of total 2018 Levy Income

€000

€000

Credit Institutions

54,751

59,753

43.7%

Insurance Undertakings

35,647

35,002

25.6%

Intermediaries & Debt Management Firms

6,098

5,925

4.3%

Securities & Investment Firms

19,894

23,594

17.3%

Investment Funds

5,508

5,418

4.0%

Credit Unions

1,665

1,665

1.2%

Moneylenders

887

741

0.5%

Approved Professional Bodies

34

18

0.0%

Bureaux de Change

11

4

0.0%

Home Reversion, Retail Credit & Credit Servicing Firms

1,371

2,601

1.9%

Payment Services & E-Money Institutions

1,270

1,875

1.4%

Total Funding

127,136

136,596

100.0%

More information on the 2018 levies and levy income, and a more detailed version of Table 1, can be found in the Central Bank's 2018 Annual Report, available at the following link: https://www.centralbank.ie/docs/default-source/publications/corporate-reports/annual-reports/2018-central-bank-annual-report.pdf?sfvrsn=11

If industry was fully charged, there would be no subvention, however, there are certain costs (e.g. markets supervision) which it may be appropriate to continue to subvent on an ongoing basis where the costs cannot be attributed to specific firms but do relate to the orderly function of markets and the financial stability agenda.

In 2015, the Department of Finance and Central Bank of Ireland issued a joint public consultation on ‘Funding the cost of Financial Regulation’ (CP95).

In response to that consultation, my predecessor as Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, agreed to a phased movement towards 100 per cent Industry Funding in order to eliminate subvention, by the taxpayer, of regulatory costs. Since then, recovery rates have increased in stages across most industry sectors, determined on a yearly basis. Now, in order to give greater clarity to industry, I have approved the trajectory to bring the recovery rate of levies across sectors to 100 per cent over the coming years. This change in policy will apply the user pays principle to the regulation of financial services.

The following table shows the planned trajectory for levy rates across all sectors. Credit Union recovery rates from 2022 onwards will be subject to review and a public consultation to guide strategy once 50% recovery rates have been achieved. The Central Bank published this trajectory on 14 June 2019 and it is available on the Central Bank website at the following link: https://www.centralbank.ie/news/article/press-release-funding-the-cost-of-financial-regulation-14-june-2019

Table 2: Trajectory of recovery rates to fund the cost of Financial Regulation

Levy Year

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

2024

Levied in

2017

2018

2020

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

ELG Banks

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Banks

65%

80%

90%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Insurance Undertakings

65%

80%

90%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Investment Firms & Fund Service Providers

65%

80%

90%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Funds

65%

65%

80%

90%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Retail Intermediaries & Debt Management Co’s

50%

65%

70%

75%

80%

90%

100%

100%

Moneylenders

65%

65%

70%

75%

80%

90%

100%

100%

Approved Professional Bodies

65%

65%

70%

75%

80%

90%

100%

100%

Bureau de Change/Money Transmitters

65%

65%

70%

75%

80%

90%

100%

100%

Retail Credit / Home Reversion / Credit Servicing Firms

65%

65%

70%

75%

80%

90%

100%

100%

Payment & EMoney Institutions

65%

65%

70%

75%

80%

90%

100%

100%

Invoices for 2019 levies will issue on an arrears basis in Quarter 3 2020 as the Central Bank implements its strategy to move from levies based on budgeted to lives based on actual costs. This is to address an aspect of volatility in response to industry feedback by eliminating large balancing surpluses and deficits (as identified above) in favour of levies based on the Central Bank’s audited financial statements. While businesses should accrue for 2019 costs in their financial statements, many will welcome the cashflow effect arising from this change.

Further information can be found in the Funding Strategy and Guide to the 2018 Industry Funding Regulation, where the Central Bank set out its 3-year funding strategy. The Strategy document is available on the Central Bank website at the following link: https://www.centralbank.ie/docs/default-source/regulation/how-we-regulate/fees-levies/industry-funding-levy/guidance/funding-strategy-and-guide-to-the-2018-industry-funding-regulations.pdf?sfvrsn=4

Living City Initiative

Ceisteanna (182)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

182. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number of successful applicants by city or town under the living city initiative since its introduction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27526/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that applications for the Living City Initiative are only required to be made to the relevant local authority under the owner-occupier and rented residential elements of the scheme. Applications are not required to be made under the commercial element of the scheme.

Based on the most recent information received by Revenue from the City and County Councils, the number of successful applications per eligible city since the introduction of the scheme is as follows:

City

Applications Received

Dublin

78

Cork

64

Limerick

17

Waterford

32

Kilkenny

11

Galway

3

Budget Measures

Ceisteanna (183, 184, 185)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

183. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the pre-committed expenditure for Budget 2020; the demographics, capital commitments and other pre-committed expenditure including the nominal equivalent for each component; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27616/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

184. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the breakdown of non-voted expenditure carried over for Budget 2020; the other general Government commitments that will impact Budget 2020; the GEC increases and negative DRMs that will impact Budget 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27617/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

185. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the discretionary revenue raising measures that will impact Budget 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27618/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 183 to 185, inclusive, together.

The Deputy’s questions relate to the difference between gross and net fiscal space.

As I have noted on many occasions, undue focus on the concept of fiscal space, which is calculated based on 'one size fits all' European rules, is inappropriate. Government budgetary policy is formulated based on what is right for the economy given our position in the economic cycle, not by a narrow, literal interpretation of what is permissible under the fiscal rules.

Table A1 of the Summer Economic Statement 2019 sets out an itemised 'walk' from the gross fiscal space permitted within the expenditure benchmark pillar of the European fiscal rules to net fiscal space.

This difference between gross and net fiscal space takes account of the measures that have already been provided for within the fiscal projections. The residual - net fiscal space - represents an additional amount on top of the existing budgetary increases that a literal application of the fiscal rules would allow. Using net fiscal space therefore worsens the headline general government balance.

The breakdown of pre-committed voted expenditure is shown in block j . The table details amounts that have been budgeted for in relation to demographics, the Public Service Stability Agreement and the carryover of Budget 2019 measures. As these all relate to current expenditure measures the nominal and fiscal space cost is the same.

However, as this table relates to fiscal space the amount shown for voted capital expenditure represents the smoothing over a four-year period in accordance with European fiscal rules. The corresponding nominal increase for 2020 is €0.7 billion, as noted elsewhere in the Summer Economic Statement.

Row k delineates the movement related to ‘other expenditure’. As the assessment of fiscal space under the expenditure benchmark is carried out within the statistical framework of the European System of Accounts (ESA) 2010, this block of data also includes non-voted expenditure movements within the wider general government expenditure aggregate (subject to a number of technical adjustments).

Also shown are the expenditure increases budgeted for, but not committed to any measure, as well as the assumed tax reductions within the fiscal projections. The final row in this block is a residual between the corrected expenditure aggregate movement and all of the items detailed thus far. As such, this item cannot be further disaggregated as it relates to a number of moving parts.

Details of the discretionary tax policy measures that form part of the current set of fiscal projections were set out in the Budget 2019 Tax Policy Changes document, published as part of Budget 2019.

It is not the practice of the Minister for Finance to discuss the details of future discretionary revenue measures which may be under consideration as part of the Budget and Finance Bill.

Extract from Table A1: expenditure benchmark approach to fiscal space for 2020, € billions

-

Fiscal space amount

Nominal increase

j. Pre-committed fiscal space for Voted expenditure

2.3

1.9

demographics

0.5

0.5

public service stability agreement

0.4

0.4

carryover of Budget 2019 measures

0.3

0.3

capital/NDP (smoothed)

1.1

0.7

k. Other

1.1

1.1

unallocated current expenditure (within GEC)

0.3

0.3

expenditure reserve for 2020

-0.2

-0.2

tax reductions

0.6

0.6

other (non-voted and gg)

0.3

0.3

Insurance Costs

Ceisteanna (186)

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

186. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Finance his views on correspondence from a person (details supplied) regarding young driver insurance; and his further views on points raised in same. [27620/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

At the outset, the Deputy should note that I am responsible for the development of the legal framework governing financial regulation. Neither I, nor the Central Bank of Ireland, can interfere in the provision or pricing of insurance products, as these matters are of a commercial nature, and are determined by insurance companies based on an assessment of the risks they are willing to accept. This position is reinforced by the EU framework for insurance which expressly prohibits Member States from adopting rules which require insurance companies to obtain prior approval of the pricing or terms and conditions of insurance products. Consequently, I am not in a position to direct insurance companies as to the price or the level of cover to be provided to motorists, including young motorists.

I understand that motor insurers use a combination of rating factors in making their individual decisions on whether to offer cover and what terms to apply. Factors include those such as the age of the driver and the relevant driving experience, as well as the age and type of vehicle, how the vehicle is used, the claims record, and the number of drivers. Insurers do not all use the same combination of rating factors, and as a result prices vary across the market. In addition, insurance companies also price in accordance with their own past claims experience. I acknowledge the point that it would be helpful if insurers provided appropriately anonymised actuarial data to support their case with regard to pricing policy for younger motorists, however insurers argue that such information is commercially sensitive and unfortunately I am not in a position to compel them to disclose such information.

Notwithstanding the above, the Cost of Insurance Working Group was established in July 2016 and undertook an examination of the factors contributing to the increasing cost of insurance in order to identify what short, medium and long-term measures could be introduced to help reduce the cost of insurance for consumers and businesses. The initial focus of the Working Group was the issue of rising motor insurance premiums and as part of that exercise, there was and has been extensive interaction with the insurance industry and its representative bodies. The Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance was published in January 201 and makes 33 recommendations with 71 associated actions to be carried out in agreed timeframes, which are set out in an Action Plan. In January 2018, the Working Group published the Report on the Cost of Employer and Public Liability Insurance. This Report makes a further 15 Recommendations with 29 associated actions. While this Report is focussed on addressing issues linked to business insurance, the implementation of recommendations from both reports will have a positive impact for all consumers and businesses including young motorists.

There has been significant work to date in implementing the recommendations of the two aforementioned reports, including the following:

- the establishment of the Personal Injuries Commission, and its subsequent recommendations relating to addressing award levels for soft tissue injuries – this has provided the objective evidence we need to be able to address award levels;

- the establishment of the National Claims Information Database in the Central Bank to increase transparency around the future cost of private motor insurance;

- reforms to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board through the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (Amendment) Act 2019 ;

- amendments to Sections 8 and 14 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 to make it easier for businesses and insurers to challenge cases where fraud or exaggeration is suspected;

- the reform of the Insurance Compensation Fund to provide certainty to policyholders and insurers; and,

- various reforms of how fraud is reported to and dealt with by An Garda Síochána, including increased co-ordination with the insurance industry, as well as the recent decision by the Garda Commissioner to develop a divisional focus on insurance fraud which will be guided by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) which will also train Gardaí all over the country on investigating insurance fraud, and the recent success under Operation Coatee , which targets insurance-related criminality.

I believe that these reforms are having a significant impact with regard to private motor insurance (CSO figures from May 2019 show that the price of motor insurance is now 24.5% lower than the July 2016 peak).

Undoubtedly the single most essential challenge which must be overcome if there is to be a further sustainable reduction in insurance costs for motorists is to bring the levels of personal injury damages awarded in this country more in line with those awarded in other jurisdictions. In this regard, the Personal Injuries Commission has highlighted the significant differential between award levels in Ireland and other jurisdictions, and has made a number of recommendations to address this issue, in particular the establishment of a Judicial Council to compile guidelines for appropriate general damages for various types of personal injury. In this regard, relevant amendments were agreed to the Judicial Council Bill at Report Stage in the Seanad two weeks ago and I am pleased that the Bill subsequently completed its consideration by the Seanad. This is a significant step and both I and Minister of State D’Arcy are hopeful that the Bill can now complete its consideration by Dáil Éireann and be enacted before the summer recess.

Finally, I would advise younger drivers who are quoted increased premiums to consult the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission website (https://www.ccpc.ie/), which has an informative section regarding the purchase of car insurance generally. One of the key tips listed to help cut costs is to “shop around” and “always get quotes from several insurance providers when you need to get or renew insurance”. Insurance Ireland also operates a free Insurance Information Service for those who have queries, complaints or difficulties in relation to obtaining insurance. Insurance Ireland can be contacted at feedback@insuranceireland.eu or 01-6761914.

Employment Investment Incentive Scheme

Ceisteanna (187)

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

187. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Finance the status of an employment investment incentive scheme application submitted to the Revenue Commissioners in February 2019 by a company (details supplied); and when a response will issue in respect of same. [27625/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I am informed by Revenue that all Employment and Investment Incentive applications received by Revenue are processed by the date order in which they are received.

Revenue advise me that the application in question has been received and examined, and that contact was made with the taxpayer’s representatives by Revenue on 26 June 2019 regarding the outcome of this examination.

Irish Collective Asset Management Vehicles

Ceisteanna (188)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

188. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number of listed undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities, UCITS, registered as Irish collective asset-management vehicle, ICAVs; the percentage this comprises of total UCITS; the gross value of the UCITS that are registered as ICAVs; and the percentage of this value of UCITS value. [27627/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) were first introduced in 1985. The UCITS Directive sets out a common set of rules for the cross-border distribution of collective investment schemes via the European Passport. UCITS were designed with the retail consumer in mind, ensuring appropriate levels of protection for investors. The key common aspects of UCITS funds are that they must be open-ended and liquid. The Central Bank of Ireland is the competent authority in Ireland for UCITS.

The Irish Collective Asset-management Vehicle (ICAV), which was introduced in 2015, is a corporate vehicle designed specifically for Irish domiciled and regulated investment funds. The Central Bank of Ireland is the registrar for ICAVs. All ICAVs must registered and authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland.

I been informed by the Central Bank of Ireland that UCITS, including UCITS which are registered as ICAVs, are not required to list on regulated markets and the Central Bank does not track the number of listed UCITS. Thus in the time available, my officials have not been able to determine if this information is available publicly from alternative sources. My officials will continue to examine the issue and will revert to the Deputy if it is possible to source the number of listed UCITS registered as ICAVs.

In relation to ICAVs that are UCITS, I have been informed by the Central Bank of Ireland that:

- Number of UCITS ICAVs (including sub-funds and standalone funds) = 613

- UCITS ICAVs as a percentage of total UCITS = 13.23%

- UCITS ICAVs total NAV = €61.9 billion (rounded)

- UCITS ICAVs total NAV as a percentage of UCITS total NAV = 3.13%

Irish Real Estate Fund

Ceisteanna (189, 190, 191)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

189. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the value of the property and real estate investment held by all funds domiciled here; and the gross value and proportion of the total asset value figures of the amount that relates to residential and commercial properties. [27628/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

190. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the value of all assets held by IREFs; and the gross value terms and proportion of the total asset value terms of the amount that relates to residential and commercial properties. [27629/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

191. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number of IREFs domiciled here; the number registered as ICAV structures, QIAIFs, RIAIFs and UCITS, respectively, in tabular form; and the percentage share of IREFs in each of the fund categories or corporate structures listed. [27630/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 189 to 191, inclusive, together.

I am advised by Revenue that, with regard to the information included on tax returns filed with Revenue, it is not possible to identify the value of property and real estate investments held by all funds domiciled in the State.

The Deputy will be aware that an IREF is an investment undertaking, or a sub-fund, which derives 25% or more of its market value from assets deriving their value directly or indirectly from real estate in the State. The Irish Real Estate Funds (IREF) regime was introduced in Finance Act 2016 in response to concerns raised regarding the use of certain collective investment vehicles to invest in Irish property. Investors had been using the structures to minimise their exposure to Irish tax on Irish property transactions. The regime provides, with some exceptions, that where a unit holder receives value from the IREF, an IREF withholding tax of 20% will generally apply.

In respect of the value of assets held by Irish Real Estate Funds (IREFs), only partial information is available from the IREF tax returns filed with Revenue for the years 2017 and 2018. In this regard, IREFs are required to file an IREF tax return only where they have a taxable event in a particular year and therefore not all IREFs will have made returns for these years. The initial information in relation to IREFs that have made a return is available at https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/documents/research/ct-analysis-2019.pdf.

IREFs were required by regulation to file annual financial statements on or before 30 January 2019 with Revenue for accounting periods which ended during 2017 and accounting periods which ended on or before 30 June 2018. The information contained on the financial statements is currently being reviewed and analysed by Revenue. Once this analysis is completed, Revenue will be in a position to provide more detail on the value of Irish real estate held by IREFs.

In relation to the Deputy's question different types of funds, authorised investment funds in Ireland are established as either Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) or Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs). The IREF regime does not apply to UCITS funds as UCITS are widely-held retail funds with diversification requirements. AIFs are authorised by the Central Bank as either a Qualifying Investor AIF (QIAIF) or a Retail Investor AIF (RIAIF). IREFs are generally structured as unit trusts, Irish collective asset-management vehicles (ICAVs) or as a designated investment company. I am advised by Revenue that, as previously stated, as the analysis of IREF financial statements has not yet completed, Revenue is not currently in a position to provide the information requested by the Deputy. I expect this analysis to conclude, and to be in a position to provide the resulting data to Deputies, in the near future.

Irish Collective Asset Management Vehicles

Ceisteanna (192)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

192. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number of qualifying investor alternative investment funds QIAIFs registered as ICAVs; the percentage this comprises of total QIAIFs; the gross value of the QIAIFs that are registered as ICAVs; and the percentage of this value of total QIAIFs value. [27631/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

The Irish Collective Asset-management Vehicle (ICAV), which was introduced in 2015, is a corporate vehicle designed specifically for Irish domiciled and regulated investment funds. All ICAVs must registered and authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Alternative Investment Funds(AIFs) are subject to the requirements of the Alternative Investment Funds Directive (AIFMD), which are (AIFs - regulated by the AFIMD Directive). In Ireland the Central Bank of Ireland is the competent authority for the purposes of AIFMD.

I have been informed by the Central Bank of Ireland that AIFs can be split into two types:

- Retail Investor AIFs (“RIAIF”) which are marketed to retail investors; and

- Qualifying Investor AIFs (“QIAIF”) which are marketed to Qualifying Investors.

The Qualifying Investor AIF is a regulated investment fund suitable for well-informed and professional investors. As the QIAIF is not subject to any investment or borrowing restrictions, it can be used for the widest range of investment purposes. In Ireland the vast majority of AIFs are QIAIFs, with only a small minority approved as RIAIFs.

As at 31st May of 2019:

- Number of QIAIFs registered as ICAVs (including sub-funds and standalone funds) = 968

- QIAIF ICAVs as a percentage of total QIAIFs = 38.01%

- QIAIF ICAVs total NAV = €170.2 billion (rounded)

- QIAIF ICAVs total NAV as % of QIAIF total NAV = 26.95%.

Irish Collective Asset Management Vehicles

Ceisteanna (193)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

193. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number of alternative investment funds, AIFs, registered as ICAVs; the percentage this comprises of total AIFs; the gross value of the AIFs that are registered as ICAVs; and the percentage of this value of total AIFs value. [27632/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

The Irish Collective Asset-management Vehicle (ICAV), which was introduced in 2015, is a corporate vehicle designed specifically for Irish domiciled and regulated investment funds. The Central Bank of Ireland is the national competent authority for investment funds in Ireland and in addition acts as the registrar for ICAVs. All ICAVs must registered and authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland.

I have been informed by the Central Bank of Ireland that in relation to AIF ICAVs, as at 31st of May 2019 the position is as follows:

- Number of AIF ICAVs (including sub-funds and standalone funds) = 998

- AIF ICAVs as % of total AIFs = 34.85%

- AIF ICAVs total NAV = €178.6 billion (rounded)

- AIF ICAVs total NAV as % of AIF total NAV = 26.39%

Credit Union Regulation

Ceisteanna (194)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

194. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance the policy of his Department and the Central Bank in relation to credit union loans and savings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27691/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

Credit unions in Ireland are regulated and supervised under a specific piece of legislation - the Credit Union Act, 1997 and regulations issued by the Central Bank, which set out the framework for the registration, regulation and operation of credit unions including detailed governance requirements and prudential requirements on items including reserves, liquidity, member savings and lending.

The Central Bank has developed and published the Credit Union Handbook to assist credit unions by bringing together in one place the legal and regulatory requirements, and guidance that apply to credit unions, arising from their authorisation as credit unions. The Central Bank has included specific chapters within the Credit Union Handbook which deal with Lending and Savings, Chapters 13 and 19 respectively. The Credit Union Handbook is available at the following link: https://www.centralbank.ie/regulation/industry-market-sectors/credit-unions/credit-union-handbook

In relation to lending, on 24 October 2018 the Central Bank published Consultation Paper (CP125) on potential changes to the lending framework for credit unions. The proposals contained in CP125 include the removal of the existing lending maturity limits which cap the percentage of credit union lending which may be outstanding for periods of greater than 5 and 10 years, and the introduction of concentration limits, on a tiered basis, for home mortgage and commercial loans expressed as a percentage of total assets.

The consultation period closed on 9 January 2019. Following its review of feedback received, in accordance with statutory requirements, the Central Bank will be undertaking consultations with myself, the Credit Union Advisory Committee and credit union representative bodies on proposed draft regulations. Following this the Central Bank expects to publish a feedback statement and final regulations in the latter half of 2019.

In terms of savings, the Credit Union Act 1997 (Regulatory Requirements) Regulations 2016 (the 2016 Regulations) set an individual savings limit of €100,000 that applies on a per member basis. The 2016 Regulations also provided that credit unions could apply to the Central Bank to retain individual members’ savings in excess of €100,000, which were held at commencement of the Regulations and that credit unions with total assets in excess of €100 million can apply to the Central Bank for approval to increase individual member savings in excess of €100,000.

The introduction of the savings limit by the Central Bank followed a public consultation, CP88 - Consultation on Regulations for Credit Unions on commencement of the remaining sections of the 2012 Act. In the feedback statement to CP88, the Central Bank outlined that having considered the feedback received the Central Bank was of the view that an individual members savings limit of €100,000 is appropriate given the stage of development of the sector and the Central Bank’s mandate to ensure the protection of members’ funds by credit unions and safeguarding the stability of the sector.

The Deputy might also be interested to note that I will be bringing forward the Credit Union Interest on Loans Bill 2019 shortly. This bill will amend the current one per cent per month interest rate ceiling for credit unions, permitting credit unions to charge up to two per cent per month. This amendment will provide credit unions with greater flexibility to risk price loan products and in so doing may create an opportunity for credit unions to provide new product offerings.

Fiscal Policy

Ceisteanna (195)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

195. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Finance the estimated cost of reducing a tax by percentage points (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27697/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that cost of reducing the rate of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) can be found in Revenue’s Ready Reckoner at the following link: https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/information-about-revenue/statistics/ready-reckoner/index.aspx.

For the Deputy's convenience, the following table presents this information.

Reduction in the CGT Rate

Full Year € Million

From 33% to 32%

37

From 33% to 31%

73

From 33% to 28%

183

Fiscal Policy

Ceisteanna (196)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

196. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Finance the estimated cost of reducing a tax by percentage points (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27698/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the cost of reducing the rate of DIRT can be found in Revenue’s Ready Reckoner at link: https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/information-about-revenue/statistics/ready-reckoner/index.aspx.

For the Deputy's convenience, the following table presents this information.

Reduction in the standard rate of DIRT

Full Year € Million

From 33% to 31%

5

From 33% to 29%

10

From 33% to 27%

14

Carbon Tax Yield

Ceisteanna (197)

Dara Calleary

Ceist:

197. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Finance the solid fuel carbon tax collected in 2017 and 2018, by categories (details supplied). [27778/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I am informed by Revenue that the solid fuel carbon tax collected in 2017 and 2018, by the supplied categories, is provided in the following table.

Details

2017 Millions

2018 Millions

Coal to Greenhouse Gas emissions permit holders

1.13

1.39

All other taxable coal

13.55

17.91

Peat Briquettes

4.32

5.96

Milled Peat

0.01

0.01

Other Peat

0.08

0.07

Total

19.09

25.34

Revenue Commissioners Staff

Ceisteanna (198)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

198. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Finance the estimated cost to recruit 40 additional audit and compliance staff at AO level for the Revenue Commissioners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27785/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

It is estimated that the full year cost of recruiting 40 additional audit and compliance staff at Administrative Officer (AO) level would be approximately €2.6 million.

This figure is calculated based on the mid-point of the current Administrative Officer salary scale, which is €41,791 per annum; and in line with guidance on the calculation of staff costs including the estimation of attributable overheads, as outlined in ‘The Public Spending Code: E. Technical References: E-01 ’, prepared by the Central Expenditure Evaluation Unit of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, which can be viewed at the following link: https://publicspendingcode.per.gov.ie/e-01-calculation-of-staff-costs/.

Help-To-Buy Scheme

Ceisteanna (199)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

199. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Finance if the help to buy scheme will be extended beyond the end of 2019 or terminated at this point; if the scheme is to be terminated; if a replacement scheme will be brought into force; and the assistance which will be available to assist first-time buyers. [27835/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

The Help to Buy incentive (HTB) is scheduled to expire on 31 December 2019. This is provided for in Section 477C of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. As is normal practice, the role and operation of the incentive will be examined in the context of the forthcoming Budget and Finance Bill process. It would be premature at this point to anticipate the outcome of that examination.