Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme Data

Ceisteanna (83)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

83. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the annual cost of the employment and investment incentive scheme in each year since it commenced including 2018; the number of companies that availed of the scheme in each of the years by multinational and SME companies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51040/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that data on the Employment and Investment Incentive (EII) Scheme can be found in the EII statistics report on Revenue’s webpage at the following link:

https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/information-about-revenue/statistics/tax-expenditures/eii.aspx.

EII has been in operation since 2011 when it replaced the Business Expansion Scheme. The following table sets out information on the number of qualifying companies and the annual Exchequer cost for the years 2011 to 2017 (the most recent year for which data are available).

Year

Qualifying Companies

Estimated Tax Cost (1st tranche) €m

Estimated Tax Cost (2nd tranche) €m

2011/2012

255

15.7

3.2

2013

248

17.3

2.9

2014

297

23.3

2

2015

270

28

2016

203

31

2017

87

18.6

The EII scheme applies to unquoted micro, small and medium sized trading companies only. Therefore, the question of data in respect of multinational companies under the scheme does not arise.

Tax Reliefs Data

Ceisteanna (84)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

84. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the annual cost of the start-up refunds for entrepreneurs in the past five years including 2018; the number of companies that availed of the scheme in each of the years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51041/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that the latest information on the cost and number of individuals availing of the Start Up Refunds for Entrepreneurs (SURE) scheme can be found at the following link:

https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/information-about-revenue/statistics/tax-expenditures/costs-expenditures.aspx.

The most recent year for which data are currently available is 2017.

The following table sets out the Exchequer cost and number of claimants for each year between 2013 and 2017:

Year

Exchequer cost

€M

No. of claims

2017

1.6

64

2016

1.9

80

2015

1.8

86

2014

1.8

59

2013

1.3

60

Tax Appeals Commission

Ceisteanna (85, 86)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

85. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of tax appeals before the Tax Appeals Commission; the value of tax the disputes amount to; the appeals by ranges (details supplied), respectively in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51042/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

86. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the age and value of tax appeals before the Tax Appeals Commission by ranges (details supplied) respectively in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51043/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 85 and 86 together.

The Tax Appeals Commission (TAC) has informed me that the number of appeals on hand before the Commission as at 30 November 2019 is 3,330, with a quantum of tax under dispute amounting to €3.6 billion. It is important to note that, of this amount, €2.5 billion is comprised in 10 appeals, five of which were received by the TAC in the last week of December 2018.

Some appeals before the TAC cannot be progressed when the Commission has to await the outcome of court proceedings. For example, a stay may have been placed on the progression of the appeals by the TAC by Order of the High Court, Court of Appeal or Supreme Court. Of the 10 highest-value appeals before the TAC, two appeals with a combined value of €1.67 billion are currently stayed by Court Order and cannot be progressed by the TAC until the stays are lifted.

The Deputy will be aware that significant work has been undertaken to implement the recommendations of an independent review of the TAC that I commissioned in 2018. Two additional Temporary Appeal Commissioners took up appointments in September, with a third to be appointed in the coming weeks. Legislation to create the role and responsibilities of Chair of the TAC has completed scrutiny in both Houses and, when enacted, will allow recruitment to commence for this position. I expect that these additional resources at Commissioner level, supported by additional administrative staff and case-managers, will allow significant progress to be made in addressing the existing backlogs.

The following tables presents the number and value of appeals on hands as at 30 November 2019, by year received and by value range.

Summary of Appeals on Hand as at 30 November, 2019 (Category / Year Received*)

Number of Appeals

Value Range**

Legacy

Pre Establishment

2016

2017

2018

2019

Total

Below €10,000

42

39

51

515

217

394

1,258

Between €10,001 and €50,000

178

13

47

148

259

113

758

Between €50,001 and €1,000,000

290

74

87

187

335

174

1,147

Between €1,000,001 and €5,000,000

30

9

28

30

17

114

Greater than €5,000,000

9

4

5

15

17

3

53

Total

549

130

199

893

858

701

3,330

Summary of Appeals on Hand as at 30 November, 2019 (Category / Year Received*)

Quantum (€,000)

Value Range**

Legacy

Pre Establishment

2016

2017

2018

2019

Total

Below €10,000

130

37

108

1,779

608

800

3,462

Between €10,001 and €50,000

5,909

442

1,296

3,398

7,427

2,865

21,337

Between €50,001 and €1,000,000

73,719

15,214

24,400

47,490

69,221

45,813

275,857

Between €1,000,001 and €5,000,000

55,195

19,804

48,954

55,528

31,099

210,580

Greater than €5,000,000

110,828

129,359

88,056

340,735

2,338,628

90,968

3,098,574

Total

245,781

145,052

133,664

442,356

2,471,412

171,545

3,609,810

* The TAC was established on 21 March, 2016. The system of characterisation of appeals reflects the appeals:

a. on hand prior to the establishment of the TAC (‘pre-establishment appeals’),

b. appeals received post establishment of the TAC (‘current appeals’), and

c. aged appeals transferred from the Revenue Commissioners (‘legacy appeals’) and the appeal groups are described accordingly.

** The Tax Appeals Commission has advised that it is difficult to provide an actual quantum figure because the original quantum of tax under appeal may be modified post filing of the notice of appeal (i.e. where an aspect of the appeal is settled or withdrawn), the parties may disagree in relation to the precise quantum of tax in dispute, or the monetary value of an appeal is not always calculable (e.g. in appeals where the rate of tax is in dispute or where the quantum in dispute represents a refusal of loss relief or of deductions or in appeals in relation to the refusal of Tax Clearance Certificates).

Tax Appeals Commission

Ceisteanna (87, 88)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

87. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of new appeals brought before the Tax Appeals Commission in each month since January 2016; the number of cases concluded in each month since January 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51044/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

88. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of appeals before the Tax Appeals Commission that have been concluded since January 2016 that have been settled; the value of the settled appeal; the number withdrawn; the value these amounted to; the number of cases heard; the value these appeals amounted to; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51045/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 87 and 88 together.

Following its establishment in 2016, I am informed that approximately 3,028 appeals transferred to the Tax Appeals Commission (TAC) from both the Office of the Revenue Commissioners and the Office of the Appeal Commissioners in March, 2016. The TAC has further advised me that, as of 30 November, 2019 it currently has approximately 3,330 active appeals under its remit.

The Deputy will be aware that significant work has been undertaken to implement the recommendations of an independent review of the TAC that I commissioned in 2018. Two additional Temporary Appeal Commissioners took up appointments in September, with a third to be appointed in the coming weeks. Legislation to create the role and responsibilities of Chair of the TAC has completed scrutiny in both Houses of the Oireachtas and, when enacted, will allow recruitment to commence for this position. I expect that these additional resources at Commissioner level, supported by additional administrative staff and case-managers, will allow significant progress to be made in addressing the existing backlogs.

The following table provides an overview of the number of appeals received and concluded in each month since the establishment of the Tax Appeals Commission on 21 March 2016:

Tax Appeals CommissionNumber of Appeals Received and Closed from 21 March 2016 to date

Month

Received 2016

Closed In 2016

Received 2017

Closed In 2017

Received 2018

Closed In 2018

Received 2019

Closed In 2019

Jan

n/a

n/a

560

52

264

64

162

91

Feb

n/a

n/a

75

39

134

319

114

59

Mar

1,646

4

177

74

159

148

116

107

Apr

64

7

91

53

104

141

101

92

May

62

15

106

131

195

121

116

120

Jun

81

15

82

52

72

76

97

148

Jul

97

29

105

51

114

115

128

153

Aug

66

13

90

45

127

55

130

110

Sep

78

16

107

19

108

90

109

174

Oct

73

23

95

49

108

156

112

216

Nov

90

40

107

42

115

72

136

176

Dec

96

44

152

83

189

81

Total

2,353

206

1,747

690

1,689

1,438

1,321

1,446

I am informed that since its establishment on 21 March 2016, the TAC has cleared appeals relating to €1.4bn in disputed taxes. The below table provides an outline of how appeals were closed from 21 March, 2016:

Tax Appeals CommissionSummary of Appeals Closed since 21 March, 2016 to date

Reason for Appeal Closures

No. of Appeals Closed

Quantum €000

Determination

165

167,679

Dismissed

282

40,194

Merged

38

11,219

Refused

569

30,266

Settled

1,888

877,238

Withdrawn by Appellant

838

314,360

Total

3,780

1,440,956

The following table provides an overview of the number of appeals that have been listed since 21 March, 2016:

Tax Appeals CommissionAppeals Listed for Hearing since 21 March, 2016 to date

2019No.

2019Affecting

2019 Quantum€000

2018No.

2018 Affecting

2018 Quantum€000

2017 No.

2017 Affecting

2017 Affecting

Scheduled

215

604

780,855

167

248

57,715

65

106

153

Withdrawn / Settled in advance of hearing

24

38

303,191

17

23

12,250

2

2

21

Deferred in advance of hearing

122

316

336,999

90

148

35,468

11

11

33

Proceeded With

69

250

140,665

60

77

9,997

52

93

99

* A further 10 hearings in relation to 20 appeals with a quantum of approximately €50 million have currently been listed for the remainder of 2019.

** Quantum figures for 2017 and 2016 and the number of hearings held in 2016 are not available.

Revenue Commissioners Data

Ceisteanna (89)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

89. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of penalties issued by the Revenue Commissioners in each of the years since 2012; the value of fines imposed in each case; the value of interest charged in each case; the amount of fines, penalties and interest paid; the number of cases each year that involved personal insolvency and corporate insolvency, for example, receiver, liquidator and so on in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51046/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that it strongly encourages payment and tax return filing compliance by making it as easy as possible for taxpayers to meet their statutory obligations on a timely basis, thereby avoiding any exposure to interest or penalties. This is achieved by providing simplified procedures to the greatest extent possible, user friendly on-line solutions that are available on a 24/7 basis and high levels of customer support when required.

Revenue’s risk identification systems and procedures constantly monitor tax returns to ensure compliance and where anomalies are identified interventions are carried out to confirm the accuracy of the data provided. The intervention type is dependent on the level of risk involved and the level of engagement displayed by the taxpayer. The intervention types include assurance checks for the more straight-forward issues up to tax audit and investigation with a view to prosecution for the more serious risks. Any additional liability identified is subjected to additional penalty and interest charges.

Revenue also has a clear preference to engage with taxpayers experiencing temporary tax payment difficulties to agree mutually acceptable solutions, which will include an interest element, rather than deploying debt collection/enforcement sanctions to secure outstanding liabilities. However, where there is no engagement or a lack of commitment to identifying and agreeing a solution then Revenue has no option other than to use its debt collection/enforcement powers up to and including insolvency proceedings in the most egregious cases.

The number and value of penalties charged/collected together with the amounts of interest charged/collected by Revenue for the years 2012 to 2018 and to date in 2019 by tax head are set out in tables 1-4 below. Table 5 sets the number of insolvency cases by category for the years 2012 to 2018 and to date in 2019 that are monitored by Revenue. The monitoring process includes engaging with insolvency practitioners to maximise payment of liabilities, ensuring Company Law is enforced and working constructively with Personal Insolvency Practitioners (PIPs) and Approved Intermediaries. The Liquidation and Bankruptcy proceedings initiated by Revenue are separately identified in the tables contained in the link below:

Tables 1 - 5

Revenue Commissioners Data

Ceisteanna (90)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

90. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of items confiscated by customs officials at ports and airports due to the fact VAT or excise had not been paid in the past five years and to date in 2019; the rules in relation to VAT and excise on goods ordered from abroad and being delivered here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51047/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that it is not possible to identify cases where the non-payment of VAT and excise was the specific reason for a seizure of goods at ports and airports. Revenue has provided me with details of all excisable goods seized for the years 2014 to 2019 (to the end of November), for non-compliance with customs and excise obligations at ports and airports. These are set out in the following table.

Cigarettes

Tobacco (Kg)

Alcohol (Litres)

Oil (Litres)

2014

50.2m

5,566

30,520

3,348

2015

64.9m

1,716

30,029

97,000

2016

42.4m

985

90,238

181,860

2017

32.8m

1,049

73,456

80,752

2018

42.2m

1,076

187,680

23,000

2019 (to end November)

11.8m

2,788

151,918

3,000

The rules applicable to VAT and excise on goods ordered from abroad are governed by the EU VAT Directive (Council Directive 2006/112/EC) and the EU General Excise Directive (Council Directive 2008/118/EC). Different rules apply depending on whether the goods are purchased within the EU or are purchased from a third country.

Goods sold by a supplier in another Member State to a private consumer in Ireland are liable to VAT in the Member State of the supplier, provided the value of their total sales to customers in Ireland does not exceed the Irish registration threshold of €35,000 for distance sales. Where sales to private consumers in Ireland exceed this threshold, the supplier must register and account for VAT in Ireland. Suppliers that do not exceed the Irish registration threshold can opt to register and account for VAT in Ireland on their distance sales.

Where goods are purchased by a VAT registered business in Ireland from a supplier in an EU Member State, no VAT is charged, and the Irish business will account for the VAT based on a reverse charge in their VAT return.

In the case of excisable products being dispatched to an address in Ireland from another EU Member State, the person dispatching the excise goods must appoint a tax representative established in Ireland who is liable for the excise due on such orders. The tax representative must declare each order to Revenue prior to dispatch and must also provide a guarantee for the excise due. As soon as the consignment is delivered, the tax representative must ensure that the excise duty is paid to Revenue. Where the person dispatching the goods has not appointed a tax representative in the State, the customer must arrange to pay the excise duty in advance.

Where goods are ordered from another EU Member State they are not subject to Customs Duty.

Goods ordered by persons, both business and private consumers, from suppliers established outside the EU are subject to customs duty, VAT and where applicable, excise duty which are normally payable prior to the release of the goods into free circulation in Ireland. However, in the case of VAT, currently small consignments below a value of €22 which are imported from outside the EU are exempt from VAT and such consignments, below a value of €150, are not subject to Customs Duty.

Tax Reliefs Costs

Ceisteanna (91, 92, 93)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

91. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Finance the estimated cost of reducing the disregard for third-level tuition fees by €1,000 for full-time courses and €500 for part-time courses and to fully remove the disregard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51061/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

92. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Finance the estimated cost of increasing the maximum benefit from €7,000 to €10,000, €15,000 and €20,000, respectively under the third-level tuition fees scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51062/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

93. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Finance the estimated cost of allowing the third-level tuition fees relief to be claimed at the higher rate of tax; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51063/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 91 to 93, inclusive, together.

Section 473A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 provides for income tax relief in respect of qualifying tuition fees paid by an individual for a third level education course, subject to the terms and conditions set out in that section. The relief is granted at the standard rate of income tax (currently 20%), where an individual pays qualifying fees for an approved course, whether on his or her own behalf, or on behalf of another individual. Fees which are met from any other source, from a grant or scholarship fro example, are not allowable. In addition, examination fees, administration fees and registration fees do not qualify for relief.

The maximum amount of fees that can qualify for the relief is €7,000 per course. However, an amount must be disregarded from each claim, whether the claim is in respect of one or more students. “Qualifying fees” for the purposes of the relief mean tuition fees in respect of an approved course, at an approved college, reduced by the amount of the "student contribution". The disregarded "student contribution" amount is currently €3,000 in the case of a full-time course and €1,500 in the case of a part-time course, and it applies to all third level courses. This means the first €3,000 or €1,500, as appropriate, of all fees claimed by an individual taxpayer does not attract tax relief. As a claim may relate to one or more students, generally claimants will get full tax relief on the tuition fees for each of the second and subsequent students in their claim.

I am informed by Revenue that it is not possible to identify the number of courses per claimant, or the breakdown between full and part time courses, from the available data in relation to the disregard for third-level tuition fees. It is therefore not possible to provide an estimate of the tax cost associated with changes to the disregard amount, as outlined by the Deputy.

In relation to the estimated cost of increasing the maximum benefit from €7,000 to €10,000, €15,000 and €20,000; it is not possible to estimate such costs as it would depend on variables such as the amounts claimed and the numbers in respect of which claims are made.

Finally, regarding allowing the third-level tuition fees relief to be claimed at the higher rate of tax and on the assumption that the Deputy is referring to allowing the relief on third level tuition fees to be claimed at the individual’s marginal rate of tax; Revenue advise that this change has an estimated cost of €8 million. This does not account for any changes in taxpayer behaviour associated with the increased rate of relief. It is also the case that equity issues would arise in the event of such a change taking place.

Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears

Ceisteanna (94)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

94. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the fact that banks and financial institutions which placed persons in mortgage distress on split mortgages some years ago as a response to the recession and crisis are now removing persons from the plans and pressurising them to make new arrangements with the banks; if his attention has been further drawn to the fact that this often entails new repayment plans that place enormous burdens on borrowers and unrealistic budgeting plans; his plans to help persons in such a situation; the number of persons placed on split mortgages; if the banks concerned have informed his Department or the Central Bank of their plans to remove persons from split mortgages; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51070/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

The protection of borrowers in arrears is a key priority of this Government and the Central Bank of Ireland. The Central Bank's approach to mortgage arrears resolution is focused on ensuring the fair treatment of borrowers through a strong consumer protection framework and ensuring that regulated entities have appropriate arrears resolution strategies and operations in place.

The Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears 2013 (CCMA) is a statutory Code that ensures that lenders have fair and transparent processes in place for dealing with borrowers in or facing mortgage arrears. Within this process, due regard must be given to the fact that each case is unique and needs to be considered on its own merits. All cases must be handled sympathetically and positively by the regulated entity, with the objective at all times of assisting the borrower to meet his or her mortgage obligations.

The CCMA applies to a mortgage loan secured by a borrower’s primary residence. A split mortgage, as referred to in the Deputy’s question, is considered to be a type of alternative repayment arrangement (ARA) under the CCMA. A regulated entity must ensure that the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP) framework, as set out in the CCMA, is applied not only to cases where a mortgage account first enters into arrears or pre-arrears, but also where an ARA put in place breaks down or where the term comes to an end. The MARP includes obligations to assess the borrower’s case based on the full circumstances of the borrower, and to explore all of the options for ARAs offered by that regulated entity in order to determine which options for ARAs are viable for a particular case. When the term of an ARA comes to an end, the regulated entity must re-assess the borrower’s case in accordance with the MARP.

The MARP also requires that a regulated entity must review an ARA at intervals that are appropriate, including at least 30 calendar days in advance of the ARA coming to an end, or at any time if requested by the borrower. Where there has been a change in the borrower’s circumstances, the regulated entity must request an updated standard financial statement from the borrower and must consider the appropriateness of the ARA for the borrower. Where an ARA is offered to the borrower, the regulated entity must provide the borrower with a clear explanation of how the ARA works and the reasons why it is appropriate and sustainable for the borrower’s individual circumstances. The Central Bank has communicated its expectations that regulated entities must also provide the borrower with information on how the borrower’s case was assessed, and the reasons why ARAs considered, but not offered to the borrower, are not appropriate and not sustainable for the borrower’s individual circumstances.

The regulated entity must have in place an appeals process which allows the borrower to appeal certain decisions, including where an ARA is offered but the borrower is not willing to accept, and where no ARA is offered.

The Central Bank carries out its supervision of regulated entities in a number of ways, which includes both desk based and on-site reviews of various activities. In early 2018, I asked the Central Bank to carry out a review of the CCMA to ensure it remains as effective as possible. This Report was published late last year and found that for borrowers who engaged with the process, the CCMA is working effectively as it is intended in the context of the sale of loans by regulated lenders. Amongst one of the findings in the Report was that when a loan is sold by a bank, any existing ARAs in place with a borrower under the CCMA continues to be honoured until the agreed term of the ARA ends. There was no evidence that borrowers, whose circumstances have not changed, were being moved off existing ARAs during the term of the ARA.

In August 2019, the Central Bank wrote to banks, retail credit firms and credit servicing firms to set out its expectations of all firms in respect of loan sales (the industry letter). The industry letter sets out clear expectations of firms, in particular where a cooperating borrower is complying with the terms of an ARA and their loan is sold, that the new regulated entity cannot unilaterally change the ARA. Additionally, the letter outlined that the new regulated entity should continue to honour an ARA until review, expiry or by agreement, as appropriate, including honouring timelines and terms and conditions for reviews of the ARA. In cases where the borrower’s circumstances have changed, any change to the ARA must comply with the CCMA and be appropriate, sustainable and proportionate to any change(s) in the borrower’s circumstances.

The industry letter is available on the Central Bank’s website

https://www.centralbank.ie/docs/default-source/regulation/consumer-protection/other-codes-of-conduct/industry-letter-issued-to-credit-institutions---central-bank-s-expectations-of-firms-in-respect-of-sales-securitisations-purchases-and-transfers-of-residential-mortgage-loans.pdf?sfvrsn=4

Finally, as at end-June 2019, 21,291 PDH mortgage accounts were in a split mortgage restructure. 85.4 per cent were deemed to be meeting the terms of this restructure type - Table 2

https://www.centralbank.ie/docs/default-source/statistics/data-and-analysis/credit-and-banking-statistics/mortgage-arrears/2019q2_ie_mortgage_arrears_statistics.pdf?sfvrsn=6 of public statistical release

Source: Mortgage Arrears and Repossessions Statistics dataset and webpage

https://www.centralbank.ie/statistics/data-and-analysis/credit-and-banking-statistics/mortgage-arrears

Office of Public Works

Ceisteanna (95)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

95. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if information signs will be relocated at a graveyard (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50755/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The graveyard in question is not a National Monument in State care and therefore the proposed project is outside the remit of the Office of Public Works.

Community Employment Schemes Supervisors

Ceisteanna (96)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

96. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will meet with trade union representatives to discuss recent developments with the pension entitlements of community employment supervisors and related issues; his plans to convene the community sector high level forum to resolve outstanding matters relating to community employment supervisors and other workers' pension entitlements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50791/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

This issue relates to a claim by community employment supervisors and assistant supervisors who have been seeking, through their union representatives, the allocation of Exchequer funding to implement a 2008 Labour Court recommendation relating to the provision of a pension scheme.

The matter was the subject of extensive discussion at the Community Sector High Level Forum which was reconvened to examine certain issues pertaining to the Community Employment sector and in particular to ensure that the matter was fully examined having regard to both costs and precedent in the context of the wider Community and Voluntary sector. These discussions provided a clear understanding to each of the parties of their respective positions in relation to this matter and the formal engagement process between the parties was accordingly concluded on this basis. The membership of this Forum includes public service management and union representatives.

It will be appreciated that the implications arising from this claim extend well beyond the CE Supervisors and Assistant Supervisors cadre and impact across the entire Community and Voluntary sector. It is accordingly appropriate that the wider sector implications should be fully taken into account in considering the cost implications arising from this issue.

Taking this important consideration into account it is accordingly the position that a detailed scoping exercise was carried out by my Department in 2017 in order to comprehensively examine and assess the full potential implications of the issues involved.

The scoping exercise clearly illustrated that this matter presents very significant issues for the Exchequer, with a potential cost exposure for the State of between €188 million per annum and €347m depending on the size of the sector which is difficult to ascertain, were consequential demands to be made to fund employer pension contributions for all similar State funded Community and Voluntary organisations whose employees are in a similar position to the Community Employment scheme supervisors. This excludes any provision for immediate ex-gratia lump sum payment of pension for those imminently retiring, as sought, which could, depending on the size of the sector, give rise to a further Exchequer cost exposure of up to €318 million.

To fund an employer pension contribution for CE Supervisors and Assistant Supervisors alone would cost the State an estimated €6m per annum, excluding any provision for immediate ex-gratia lump sum payments, estimated at a further €19.2m before administration/implementation costs.

While CE supervisors and assistant supervisors represent only a very small part of the wider community and voluntary sector, any explicit provision of State funding for such a scheme in respect of those employees would inevitably give rise to claims for similar schemes and funding provision on the part of those many thousands of workers in the broader sector. My Department has to have regard to the full potential Exchequer exposure associated with setting such a precedent.

It continues to be the position that state organisations are not the employer of the particular employees concerned and accordingly it is not for the State to provide funding for occupational pension scheme provision.

Departmental Staff Data

Ceisteanna (97)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

97. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of persons employed on an agency basis in his Department and in each agency under his aegis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50809/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department has no agency staff members.

In relation to the bodies under the aegis of my Department, the Office of Public Works currently engages the services of 46 agency staff members.

Budget 2020

Ceisteanna (98)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

98. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 88 of 24 October 2019, the Department or State agency which commissioned official promotional material in respect of budget 2020 which was widely promoted on social media after the budget; the costs involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50861/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I wish to advise the Deputy that all Budget 2020 promotional material used by my Department on social media, photography and infographics were produced and managed by the staff of the Department's Press Office, and did not incur any additional costs. Additionally, no Budget 2020 promotional material was produced by the bodies under the aegis of my Department. The position in respect of other Departments and bodies under their aegis should be the subject of separate questions to the relevant Ministers.

The Deputy may wish to note that The Budget in Brief: A Citizen’s Guide to Budget 2020 was published for the first time this year on Budget Day. This new publication is a user-friendly booklet that explains the budget using a simple format and clear language. The Guide was designed and produced by a team within my Department and was informed by work highlighting that publication of a citizen’s guide is identified as good practice in the international fiscal transparency initiative. The Guide was published online and a copy of The Budget in Brief has been sent to each post-primary school in the country, as the information may be of use in facilitating discussions with students around the Budget and in fostering an interest in public policy making more generally. The associated costs for the production of this Guide was a printing cost of €428.45 and circulation incurred a postage cost of €695.40.

Community Employment Schemes Supervisors

Ceisteanna (99)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

99. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans in respect of the long-promised provision of pensions for community employment supervisors; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50873/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

This issue relates to a claim by community employment supervisors and assistant supervisors who have been seeking, through their union representatives, the allocation of Exchequer funding to implement a 2008 Labour Court recommendation relating to the provision of a pension scheme.

The matter was the subject of extensive discussion at the Community Sector High Level Forum which was reconvened to examine certain issues pertaining to the Community Employment sector and in particular to ensure that the matter was fully examined having regard to both costs and precedent in the context of the wider Community and Voluntary sector. The membership of this Forum includes public service management and union representatives.

It will be appreciated that the implications arising from this claim extend well beyond the CE Supervisors and Assistant Supervisors cadre and impact across the entire Community and Voluntary sector. It is accordingly appropriate that the wider sector implications should be fully taken into account in considering the cost implications arising from this issue.

Taking this important consideration into account it is accordingly the position that a detailed scoping exercise was carried out by my Department in 2017 in order to comprehensively examine and assess the full potential implications of the issues involved.

The scoping exercise clearly illustrated that this matter presents very significant issues for the Exchequer, with a potential cost exposure for the State of between €188 million per annum and €347m depending on the size of the sector which is difficult to ascertain, were consequential demands to be made to fund employer pension contributions for all similar State funded Community and Voluntary organisations whose employees are in a similar position to the Community Employment scheme supervisors. This excludes any provision for immediate ex-gratia lump sum payment of pension for those imminently retiring, as sought, which could, depending on the size of the sector, give rise to a further Exchequer cost exposure of up to €318 million.

To fund an employer pension contribution for CE Supervisors and Assistant Supervisors alone would cost the State an estimated €6m per annum, excluding any provision for immediate ex-gratia lump sum payments, estimated at a further €19.2m before administration/implementation costs.

While CE supervisors and assistant supervisors represent only a very small part of the wider community and voluntary sector, any explicit provision of State funding for such a scheme in respect of those employees would inevitably give rise to claims for similar schemes and funding provision on the part of those many thousands of workers in the broader sector. My Department has to have regard to the full potential Exchequer exposure associated with setting such a precedent.

It continues to be the position that state organisations are not the employer of the particular employees concerned and accordingly it is not for the State to provide funding for occupational pension scheme provision.

Flood Relief Schemes Data

Ceisteanna (100, 101, 102)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

100. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the funding allocated to flood risk management through the OPW in each of the years 2018 to 2027 that is already committed and due to be committed under the National Development Plan 2018-2027. [50958/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

101. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the flood defence schemes at construction stage; and the timelines for completion in tabular form. [50959/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

102. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the flood defence schemes planned from 2018 to 2027 under the National Development Plan 2018-2027; and the timeline for the completion of each in tabular form. [50960/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 100 to 102, inclusive, together.

Capital expenditure and investment on flooding projects and associated flood risk management measures and programmes for 2018 was €64.64m.

The allocation for flood relief projects and associated flood risk management measures in the 2019 Revised Estimates Volume is €73.127m.

Table 1 below sets out the capital allocation for the flood risk management area for the period 2020 to 2027 as allowed for in the National Development Plan 2018 - 2027.

Table 1

Year

2020

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

Allocation

€90m

€100m

€100m

€100m

€100m

€100m

€100m

€100m

The above allocations will allow the Office of Public Works (OPW) in collaboration with Local Authorities to continue implementation of its comprehensive programme of investment in flood relief schemes nationally as I announced in May 2018 at the launch of the 29 Flood Risk Management Plans under the CFRAM Programme. This programme amounts to €1 billion approximately and includes over 150 individual flood relief projects which I and the Government are committed to implementing within the timeframe of the National Development Plan. In addition to these projects the OPW will continue to fund Local Authorities to undertake eligible local flood relief projects up to a limit of €750,000 under the Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme.

Table 2 below sets out the projects currently at construction along with their anticipated completion dates based on best information currently available.

Table 2

Flood Relief Project

Anticipated completion

Ashbourne, Co Meath

Quarter 4, 2020

Athlone, Co Westmeath

Quarter 1, 2022

Bandon, Co Cork

Quarter 3, 2020

Claregalway, Co Galway

Quarter 4, 2019

Clonakilty, Co Cork

Quarter 2, 2020

River Dodder (Phases 2C, D and E) Dublin City

Quarter 3, 2020

Douglas, Cork City

Quarter 4, 2022

Dunkellin River, Co Galway

Quarter 4, 2019

Ennis Lower, Co Clare

Quarter 1, 2020

Ennis South, Co Clare

Quarter 4, 2021

Templemore, Co Tipperary

Quarter 4, 2020

Table 3 below sets out the projects which are planned for the period up to 2027. Work is already underway in a significant number of these, with the remaining projects being progressed at various times over the period in question, as resources allow. At this point, it is not possible to identify the specific timeline to implementation for each individual project.

Table 3

Flood Relief projects being advanced over the period to 2027

Abbeydorney, Co. Kerry

Adare, Co. Limerick

Aglish, Co. Waterford

Ardee, Co. Louth

Ardfinnan, Co. Tipperary

Arklow, Co. Wicklow

Askeaton, Co. Limerick

Athea, Co. Limerick

Athleague, Co. Roscommon

Athy, Co. Kildare

Avoca, Co. Wicklow

Ballina, Co. Mayo

Ballinasloe, Co. Galway

Ballingeary, Co. Cork

Ballinhassig, Co. Cork

Ballybay, Co. Monaghan

Ballybofey / Stranorlar, Co. Donegal

Ballyduff, Co. Waterford

Ballyhale, Co. Kilkenny

Ballylongford, Co. Kerry

Ballymakeera, Co. Cork

Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow

Baltray, Co. Louth

Banna, Co. Kerry

Bantry, Co. Cork

Birr, Co. Offaly

Blackpool, Cork City

Blessington, Co. Wicklow

Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary

Boyle, Co. Roscommon

Buncrana & Luddan, Co. Donegal

Bunratty, Co. Clare

Burnfoot, Co. Donegal

Cahir, Co. Tipperary

Camac River, Dublin City

Carlingford, Co. Louth

Carlow, Co. Carlow

Carndonagh, Co. Donegal

Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim

Carrigaline, Co. Cork

Carrowkeel, Co. Donegal

Castleconnell, Co. Limerick

Castlefin, Co. Donegal

Castleisland and Tullig, Co. Kerry

Castlemartyr, Co. Cork

Castletown Bearhaven, Co. Cork

Cavan Town

Clane, Co. Kildare

Clifden, Co. Galway

Clonaslee, Co. Laois

Clontarf, Dublin City

Cois Aibhainn Flood Cell in Westport, Co. Mayo

Crossmolina, Co. Mayo

Dingle, Co. Kerry

Donegal, Co. Donegal

Downies, Co. Donegal

Drogheda, Co. Louth

Dromod, Co. Roscommon

Dublin City (Carysfort - Maretimo), Co. Dublin

Dundalk and Blackrock South, Co. Louth

Dunfanaghy, Co. Donegal

Dungarvan & Environs, Co. Waterford

Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford

Fethard, Co. Tipperary

Foynes, Co. Limerick

Freshford, Co. Kilkenny

Galway City

Glashaboy, Co. Cork

Glenties, Co. Donegal

Golden, Co. Tipperary

Gort Lowlands, Co. Galway

Graiguenamanagh, Co. Kilkenny

Greystones & Environs, Co. Wicklow

Holycross, Co. Tipperary

Inchigeelagh, Co. Cork

Inishannon, Co. Cork

Inishkeen, Co. Monaghan

Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny

Kanturk, Co. Cork

Kenmare, Co. Kerry

Kilkee, Co. Clare

Killaloe, Co. Clare

Killarney, Co. Kerry

Killybegs, Co. Donegal

Kilrush, Co. Clare

King’s Island, Limerick City

Knocklofty, Co. Tipperary

Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow

Leitrim, Co. Leitrim

Leixlip, Co. Kildare

Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

Lifford, Co. Donegal

Limerick City

Listowel, Co. Kerry

Longford, Co. Longford

Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin

Lower Lee, Cork City

Lower Morell, Co. Kildare

Lucan to Chapelizod, Co. Dublin

Macroom, Co. Cork

Malahide, Co. Dublin

Maynooth, Co. Kildare

Midleton, Co. Cork

Mohill, Co. Leitrim

Monaghan, Co. Monaghan

Mornington, Co. Meath

Mountmellick, Co. Laois

Naas, Co. Kildare

Nenagh, Co. Tipperary

Newbridge, Co. Kildare

Newcastle, Co. Tipperary

Newcastle West, Co. Limerick

Old Connaught / Wilford, Co. Dublin

Piltown, Co. Kilkenny

Poddle River, Dublin City and Co. Dublin

Portarlington, Co. Laois

Portmarnock, Co. Dublin

Portumna, Co. Galway

Rahan, Co. Offaly

Raphoe, Co. Donegal

Rathbraghan, Co. Sligo

Rathcormack, Co. Cork

Rathdowney, Co. Laois

Rathkeale, Co. Limerick

Rathmelton, Co. Donegal

Rathmullan, Co. Donegal

Roscommon, Co. Roscommon

Roscrea, Co. Tipperary

Sandymount, Dublin City

Santry, Co. Dublin

Schull, Co. Cork

Shannon, Co. Clare

Skerries, Co. Dublin

Springfield/Clonlara, Co. Clare

Sutton & Howth North, Co. Dublin

Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny

Thurles, Co. Tipperary

Tralee, Co. Kerry

Wexford Town

Whitechurch Stream, Co. Dublin

Wicklow & Ashford, Co. Wicklow

Youghal, Co. Cork

State Claims Agency Data

Ceisteanna (103)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

103. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the amount paid by each delegated State authority into the State Claims Agency in each of the years 2010 to 2019; the methodology used to calculate the amount to be paid by the delegated authority; the amount received from scheme funds in the same period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51015/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The amounts paid by each delegated State authority and the amounts received from scheme funds are not matters for the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. These are matters for the delegated State authorities that make the payments and receive the funds cited by the Deputy.

The methodology used to calculate the amounts to be paid by the delegated State authorities may be a matter for the State Claims Agency so the Minister for Finance will provide a response directly to the Deputy in relation to this request. If possible, the Minister will seek to collate the available data from the State Claims Agency in order to answer the remainder of the Deputy’s questions.