Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Ceisteanna (151, 172)

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

151. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Finance if a reply will issue to matters raised in correspondence by a person (details supplied) relating to the seafarers credit and tax allowances; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48802/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

172. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance his plans to extend to personnel serving on board the Irish Lights ship ILV Granuaile an entitlement to the tax credit given to qualifying Naval Service personnel in the Finance Bill 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49056/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 151 and 172 together.

Section 5 of Finance Bill 2019 provides for the introduction of a targeted and time bound income tax credit for permanent members of the Irish Naval Service. This is a once-off measure that will apply in 2020 only, in respect of service carried out in 2019. It is based on the design of the existing Fisher Tax Credit (s472BA of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997) and will provide an income tax credit of €1,270 to permanent members of the Irish Naval Service who spent at least 80 days at sea on a naval vessel in 2019.

As I outlined in my recent Finance Bill 2019 Report Stage speech, the intention is that this tax credit will act as a temporary device as we prepare for other measures in the context of future discussion on public pay. The Naval Service has particular challenges with regard to recruitment and retention, a fact that was acknowledged by Deputy McGrath during the Report Stage debates. As such, I believe it is appropriate that this measure is introduced at this time and with the particular restrictions that I have specified.