Tax Code

Ceisteanna (64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

64. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Finance the estimated cost of introducing a new rate of capital acquisitions tax of 20% on the first €100,000 over the existing group A threshold in order that the first €335,000 is exempt, the next €100,000 is charged at 20% and then a further increase is at the existing 33% rate. [52510/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Peter Burke

Ceist:

65. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Finance the estimated cost of introducing a new rate of capital acquisitions tax of 20% on the first €200,000 over the existing group A threshold in order that the first €335,000 is exempt, the next €200,000 is charged at 20% and then a further increase is at the existing 33% rate. [52511/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Peter Burke

Ceist:

66. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Finance the estimated cost of introducing a new rate of capital acquisitions tax of 20% on the first €300,000 over the existing group A threshold in order that the first €335,000 is exempt, the next €300,000 is charged at 20% and then a further increase is at the existing 33% rate. [52512/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Peter Burke

Ceist:

67. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Finance the estimated cost of introducing a new rate of capital acquisitions tax of 20% on the first €400,000 over the existing group A threshold in order that the first €335,000 is exempt, the next €400,000 is charged at 20% and then a further increase is at the existing 33% rate. [52513/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Peter Burke

Ceist:

68. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Finance the estimated cost of introducing a new rate of capital acquisitions tax of 20% on the first €50,000 over the existing group A threshold in order that the first €335,000 is exempt, the next €50,000 is charged at 20% and then a further increase is at the existing 33% rate. [52514/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Peter Burke

Ceist:

69. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Finance the estimated cost of introducing a new rate of capital acquisitions tax of 20% on the first €150,000 over the existing group A threshold in order that the first €335,000 is exempt, the next €150,000 is charged at 20% and then a further increase is at the existing 33% rate. [52515/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 64 to 69, inclusive, together.

I am advised by Revenue that the estimated full year cost of reducing the current Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) rate of 33% to 20% on specified amounts over the current Group A threshold amount of €335,000 is shown in the following table.

Specified Amount

€50,000

€100,000

€150,000

€200,000

€300,000

€400,000

Annual Cost

€12.5m

€21.2m

€27.6m

€32.9m

€40.5m

€45.7m

The Deputy may also wish to note that the estimated cost of other changes relating to CAT are published in the Revenue Ready Reckoner at link;

https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/information-about-revenue/statistics/ready-reckoner/index.aspx.

Tax Code

Ceisteanna (70)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

70. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Finance his plans in respect of future changes in the rate of DIRT. [52516/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

As the Deputy may be aware, the rate of DIRT will be 33 per cent as respects the year of assessment 2020 having been reduced by 2 per cent per annum from 41 per cent in Budget 2017 and Finance Bill 2016.

As is the case with all taxes, any possible future changes to the rate of DIRT are considered in the context of the Budget and Finance Bill processes.

Tax Reliefs Abolition

Ceisteanna (71)

Tom Neville

Ceist:

71. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Finance the estimated cost of abolishing the disregard in respect of tax relief on tuition fees for full and part-time students. [52522/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

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 for 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 the proposed abolition of the disregard amount, as outlined by the Deputy.

Property Tax

Ceisteanna (72)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

72. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Finance when the refund of RPT will be made in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52546/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

This matter was previously addressed in reply to Question No. 41543 on 10 October 2019. I am advised by Revenue that following the Deputy’s previous Question, Revenue issued a letter directly to the individual concerned outlining what was required to resolve the matter.

The individual in question has not replied to the letter, has not filed a statutory LPT return and has not provided the documentation requested in support of his claim.

I understand that Revenue is continuing to liaise with the Deputy’s office on this matter but Revenue cannot determine the status of the property until the required documentary evidence is received.

Coastal Erosion

Ceisteanna (73)

Brendan Ryan

Ceist:

73. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on the need for a permanent extended scheme (details supplied) in view of the destruction of properties, public amenities and the dune system at the location in recent months; and if funding will be approved for proposals which are due to be submitted by Fingal County Council. [52469/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I am advised, in respect of coastal erosion at the Burrow, Portrane, County Dublin, that Fingal County Council is leading on this issue, as it is a matter for local authorities in the first instance to assess and address problems of coastal erosion in their areas. Where necessary, local authorities may put forward proposals to relevant central Government Departments, including the OPW, for funding of appropriate measures depending on the infrastructure or assets under threat.

In 2018, in response to serious coastal erosion problems at The Burrow, Portrane, Fingal County Council implemented temporary interim emergency measures to protect properties at risk. Funding of €456,464 was approved under the OPW Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme for these works.

Since then, Consultants appointed by Fingal County Council are currently assessing options for a longer term permanent solution for the Portrane Peninsula / Rogerstown Outer Estuary area. Fingal County Council have advised that the assessment of options will be followed by extensive public consultation, and environmental assessment and consent processes, which are likely to take several months to conclude. The Council has confirmed that it is probable, therefore, that the study, and the associated approved plan for the peninsula, will take at least until the middle of 2020 to complete.

OPW continues to co-operate and assist Fingal County Council and accordingly met with Fingal County Council and their consultants on 5 November 2019 to receive an update on the progress of the study.

If a viable option is identified, the Council may submit a further application for funding to the OPW or other Government Departments as appropriate.

National Development Plan Funding

Ceisteanna (74, 75, 76)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

74. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the capital allocations in each of the years 2020 to 2027 under the National Development Plan 2018-2027. [52196/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

75. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the capital allocations by Department in each of the years 2020 to 2027 under the National Development Plan 2018-2027. [52197/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

76. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the capital allocation of his Department in each of the years 2020 to 2025; and the areas to which funds will be allocated in each year. [52216/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 74 to 76, inclusive, together.

An extract from Table 3.1, published in the National Development Plan (NDP) in 2018, is set out below for the Deputy’s information. The table sets out the Exchequer investment of €91 billion over the period of the NDP out to 2027. The Exchequer resource allocations are based on projected nominal growth rates in national income (GNI*) averaging 4% over the period 2022 – 2027.

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

5.8

7.3

7.9

8.6

8.9

9.4

10.0

10.5

11.0

11.6

Multi-annual investment allocations were published in Budget 2020 for each Department covering the period 2020 – 2022. These allocations will be verified in the Revised Estimates Volume which will be published next week. A copy of the table is set out below. Allocations beyond 2022 have not yet been fixed by the Government.

2020

2021

2022

Total

€ million

€ million

€ million

2020 - 2022

AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND THE MARINE

274

265

275

814

BUSINESS, ENTERPRISE AND INNOVATION

632

640

715

1,987

CHILDREN AND YOUTH AFFAIRS

31

32

33

96

COMMUNICATIONS, CLIMATE ACTION AND ENVIRONMENT

372

517

611

1,500

CULTURE, HERITAGE AND THE GAELTACHT

81

80

110

271

DEFENCE

113

120

125

358

EDUCATION AND SKILLS

922

1,006

1,100

3,028

EMPLOYMENT AFFAIRS AND SOCIAL PROTECTION

15

16

17

48

FINANCE GROUP

22

18

19

59

FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE GROUP

13

13

14

40

HEALTH

854

880

880

2,614

HOUSING, PLANNING, AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

2,230

2,269

2,280

6,779

JUSTICE AND EQUALITY GROUP

265

208

216

689

PUBLIC EXPENDITURE AND REFORM GROUP

219

223

232

674

RURAL AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

150

152

175

477

TRANSPORT, TOURISM AND SPORT

1,943

2,613

2,424

6,980

TOTAL GROSS CAPITAL EXPENDITURE CEILINGS*

8,136

9,052

9,226

26,414

UNALLOCATED RESERVE

109

109

218

*Rounding affects totals

With regard to capital expenditure by my Department, due to the nature of its role, my Department has no State Infrastructure projects funded through its own Vote. The main purpose of capital projects and associated investment undertaken by my Department is to support greater effectiveness and efficiency across the Civil and Public Service through investing in ICT.

Garda Stations

Ceisteanna (77)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

77. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on a matter regarding a Garda barracks (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52220/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

As part of the Programme for a Partnership Government, the Office of Public Works (OPW) was requested not to dispose of any closed Garda stations pending the outcome of two reviews of closed Garda stations.

Following the conclusion of both reviews, it was confirmed in May 2019 by An Garda Síochána that particular properties remained surplus to its requirements. The Office of Public Works recommenced the process of identifying alternative State use, in line with the OPW’s disposal policy on surplus vacant property.

The OPW policy with regard to non-operational (vacant) State property, including the former Garda station at Moyvane is to:

1. Identify if the property is required/suitable for alternative State use by either Government Departments or the wider public sector.

2. If there is no other State use identified, the OPW will then consider disposing of the property on the open market if and when conditions prevail, in order to generate revenue for the Exchequer.

3. If no State requirement is identified or if a decision is taken not to dispose of a particular property, the OPW may consider community involvement. This is subject to a detailed written submission that demonstrates that the community/voluntary group has the means to insure, maintain and manage the property and that there are no ongoing costs for the Exchequer.

The OPW is in discussion with Kerry County Council who have expressed an interest in acquiring the property.

If Kerry County Council decide not to proceed with the acquisition and there is no other State requirement identified, the Commissioners of Public Works will then consider the business plan submitted by the Community Group.

Garda Stations

Ceisteanna (78)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

78. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will address a matter regarding a Garda barracks (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52222/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

As part of the Programme for a Partnership Government, the Office of Public Works (OPW) was requested not to dispose of any closed Garda stations pending the outcome of two reviews of closed Garda stations.

Following the conclusion of both reviews, it was confirmed in May 2019 by An Garda Síochána that particular properties remained surplus to its requirements. The Office of Public Works recommenced the process of identifying alternative State use, in line with the OPW’s disposal policy on surplus vacant property.

The OPW policy with regard to non-operational (vacant) State property, including the former Garda station at Moyvane is to:

1. Identify if the property is required/suitable for alternative State use by either Government Departments or the wider public sector.

2. If there is no other State use identified, the OPW will then consider disposing of the property on the open market if and when conditions prevail, in order to generate revenue for the Exchequer.

3. If no State requirement is identified or if a decision is taken not to dispose of a particular property, the OPW may consider community involvement. This is subject to a detailed written submission that demonstrates that the community/voluntary group has the means to insure, maintain and manage the property and that there are no ongoing costs for the Exchequer.

The OPW is in discussion with Kerry County Council who have expressed an interest in acquiring the property.

If Kerry County Council decide not to proceed with the acquisition and there is no other State requirement identified, the Commissioners of Public Works will then consider the business plan submitted by the Community Group.

Office of Public Works

Ceisteanna (79)

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

79. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if a disused oil storage tank on a site (detail supplied) will be decommissioned as a matter of priority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52323/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Office of Public Works administers real property matters of dissolved companies on behalf of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, in consultation with the Chief State Solicitor's Office.

The OPW became aware of the disused oil tank on 22nd October 2019. The property is registered to a dissolved company. The Chief State Solicitor's Office has recently written to one of the stakeholders with a view to finding a solution.

Departmental Expenditure

Ceisteanna (80)

Niall Collins

Ceist:

80. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of credit cards issued to Ministers and officials working in his Department; the amount spent on credit cards in each year since 2016; the bank interest paid on credit cards in each year since 2016; the controls in place to monitor the issuing of and the expenditure on the cards; the controls in place in each agency to monitor expenditure on personally held credit card bills that are subsequently used to recoup work-related expenses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52407/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The number of credit cards in operation in my Department, the amounts paid by credit card for goods and services and the bank interest charged is set out in the table below.

I would highlight for the Deputy that in 2019, for example, 94% of the expenditure by credit card was by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) paying for ICT services online. The OGCIO delivers cross-government ICT services, infrastructure, support and development.

At present, neither Minister of State O'Donovan nor I have a Department of Public Expenditure and Reform credit card or purchase card.

2016

2017

2018

2019 *

Number of Credit Cards in operation

10

10

10

8

Goods, Services and ICT costs paid by Credit Card

€30,306.42

€40,586.20

€43,048.14

€70,608.38

Bank Interest paid on Credit Cards

€80.19

None

None

None

* excluding Purchase Cards

The issuing and expenditure thresholds and the monitoring of Departmental credit cards is governed by an Office Notice on "Application and Guidelines for use of Official Credit Cards".

In relation to controls in place to monitor expenditure on personally held credit cards to recoup work related expenses, officials in my Department must use the National Shared Service’s Office’s Travel and Subsistence system to seek reimbursement for costs incurred by them while travelling for work. The daily and overnight subsistence rates that can be claimed by officials for the purpose of work travel are set out in the Department’s circulars. Any use of personally held credit cards for other work purposes only occurs in exceptional circumstances and the official in question must supply the receipt or invoice for the goods or services procured on behalf of the State on their own card for reimbursement. In relation to the controls in place in this regard in bodies under aegis of the Department, I wish to advise the Deputy that a deferred reply will be issued to him in respect of this aspect of the Parliamentary Question, in line with Standing Order 42A.

Finally, the Deputy may also be interested to note that my Department is in the process of closing its traditional credit card accounts in order to modernise how it pays suppliers. It is currently replacing these with a purchase card system, which utilises enhanced payments technology in its daily operations. This is a new way of working for my Department that is enhancing staff productivity as this system is safely eliminating cumbersome manual processes for low value invoices, thereby freeing up staff time to be spent on the Department’s core public service mission.

Capital Expenditure Programme

Ceisteanna (81)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

81. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if the target of achieving a spend of 4.1% of GNI* in capital expenditure by 2021 and maintaining it thereafter as envisaged in Project Ireland 2040 will be achieved. [52499/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I should first clarify that the National Development Plan projected that public capital investment would reach 3.8% of Gross National Income (GNI*) in 2021 and 4% by 2024. Government intends that public capital investment will be maintained at approximately 4% of GNI* for the remainder of the period of the National Development Plan.

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the Government has exceeded its forecast and Gross Voted Capital Expenditure will reach 4% of GNI* in 2020.

The NDP sets out the planned spending envelope, out to 2027. While all forecasts are subject to some degree of variation, and factors such as the capacity of the construction sector to deliver will need to be monitored, current indications are that the planned level of spend will be in line with the broad intention to maintain spend at approximately 4% of GNI*.