Wednesday, 17 October 2012
Dáil Éireann Debate
98. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide a list of all companies or persons providing an external professional service to his Department such as ICT, legal advice, advertising, project management and including any other external professional service not listed; the amount invoiced by each company to him over the past 12 months, in tabular form. [45331/12]
Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The information requested by the Deputy is contained in the following table and is in respect of the period 1 October 2011 to 30 September 2012.
Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The Betting (Amendment) Bill which was published in July provides for extended opening hours in Bookmakers. The extended opening hours will come into effect after enactment of the Bill.
100. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 189 of 9 October 2012, if he will confirm the amount of and reason for the refund payment made to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford on 15 February; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45364/12]
Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the person concerned submitted a claim of €226 relating to medical expenses for 2011. Relief is available at the standard rate of tax, which was 20% in 2011. Therefore the person concerned was entitled to 20% of €226, which amounts to €45 and this is the refund he received as per PAYE Balancing Statement that issued on 15 February 2012.
101. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Finance if he will confirm the amount of and reason for refund payment made to a person (details supplied) in Country Wexford on 14 February; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45365/12]
Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the person concerned submitted a claim of €613 relating to medical expenses for 2011 and also a claim of €200 relating to service charges. Relief is available at the standard rate of tax, which was 20% in 2011. Therefore, the person concerned was entitled to 20% of €813, which amounts to €162 and this is the refund he received on 14 February 2012.
102. Deputy Joe Higgins asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 77 of 4 October 2012, regarding Section 535 of theTaxes Consolidation Act 1997 and the CGT exemption, if payments for crash repairs which exceed the €1,270 threshold and have been paid by the insurer directly to the insured and not paid to the garage or shop, have a tax liability; if there is not also an outstanding VAT liability on the moneys paid by the insurer but not paid to the garage or shop and regarding the tax neutral aspect, the number of such claims requesting that a payment to be treated as tax neutral have been received by the Revenue Commissioners. [45368/12]
Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that a car used for the purposes of a trade or profession, which qualifies for capital allowances is a chargeable asset for capital gains tax purposes. Accordingly, any insurance recovery in respect of damage to that car is a disposal /part disposal for capital gains tax purposes. Where the car is damaged (but not a write-off) and the entire insurance monies (or all but an amount not reasonably required) are used to restore the car, the taxpayer can claim to have the proceeds not treated as a disposal at the time, in effect the gain (if any) is deferred pending the ultimate disposal of the car. Where a car used for the purposes of a trade or profession is written-off and the insurance proceeds are used to acquire another car, the taxpayer can similarly claim to defer any capital gains tax on the gain (if any) that arises. It is not readily possible to provide details of such claims. Where the proceeds of an insurance recovery are not used, as above, to repair/replace the car then the gain (if any) would be chargeable, subject to the annual exemption of €1,270 provided for in the capital gains tax code in the case of gains made by individuals.
A car used exclusively for private purposes is not a chargeable asset for capital gains tax purposes – it being regarded as a wasting asset. Accordingly any insurance proceeds received in respect of damage to such a car would not be subject to capital gains tax.
Vehicle repair and maintenance services are liable to VAT at the reduced rate, currently 13.5% and VAT is applicable to these services regardless of who pays for the services, that is, an insurance company directly or a VAT-registered trader or a private individual from monies paid out to them under an insurance policy. Insurance and reinsurance transactions, that is premium payments and insurance proceeds, are exempt from VAT. Therefore, there is no outstanding VAT liability on monies paid by insurers directly to those insured for the cost of repairs since the trader supplying the repair services is liable to account for the VAT.
103. Deputy Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Education and Skills the allowances and funding that are currently provided to local training initiatives by FÁS in relation to training for participants and grants for supervisors, materials and administration; the amount FÁS may allocate to a local training initiative to cover the audit fees, as an audit is required by the Revenue Commissioners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44995/12]
Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy Ciarán Cannon): The breakdown of the 2012 FÁS funding of €31.998 million for Local Training Initiatives is as follows: Training Allowances in lieu of DSP payments €18.505 millionGrants for Co-ordinator and asst. co-ordinator €9.221 million Materials & Administration; €4.272 million; Reasonable grants are available for running costs based on actual expenditure incurred and approved by FÁS. This may include audit fees where relevant.
104. Deputy John Lyons asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will detail his Department's involvement with the national tree day initiative; if he will consider a tree planting scheme in national schools for the event next year, possibly in conjunction with Coillte to further promote the importance of trees and the environment within our communities. [44966/12]
Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): The National Tree Day initiative is lead by the Tree Council of Ireland. Any consideration of my Department's role in this initiative has to take account of the very difficult budgetary context in which we must operate. In this regard, my Department's main focus is on maintaining, as far as possible,
105. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the DEIS has considered increasing the minimum number of teaching hours for lecturers employed in third level institutions from 16 to 18 and the projected savings that could be made to the third level budget from this change. [44975/12]
108. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the DEIS examined the benefits of introducing a third semester for third level institutions that would increase the teaching cycle from 24 weeks to 36 weeks a year and his further views that this would provide a much better training cycle for students and a possible 50% productivity increase with four-year degrees being completed in less than three years. [44978/12]
109. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills if consideration will be given to introducing a more robust and transparent system of performance evaluation for third level lecturers that focuses on evidence of changes made in teaching practice and the establishment of specific teaching standards to be reached. [44979/12]
Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): I propose to take Questions Nos. 105, 108 and 109 together.
Individual higher education institutions have autonomous responsibility for the management of staff resources. While teaching hours norms are specified under standard agreed contracts for academic staff in the institute of technology sector, in the case of the university sector there would be a variation of individual teaching loads as part of overall academic duties.
In the Institute of Technology sector, flexibility in the organisation of working hours means that lecturing staff are available to deliver an additional two hours lecturing per week. To date this has resulted in the delivery of in excess of 150,000 lecturing hours annually. Based on the most conservative figures for hourly pay rates, the total cost if these extra hours had to be paid for would be €13.25 million annually.
These arrangements, which have been fully implemented in both sectors since the start of the 2011/12 academic year, allow universities and IOTs to cope with the reduction in staff numbers while dealing with an increase in the student population. My Department is continuing to work with the higher education sector to ensure further efficiency gains within the context of public sector reform initiatives and the Public Service Agreement.
106. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide a breakdown of the total annual amount of VAT paid by primary and post primary schools in the 2011/2012 academic year. [44976/12]
Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): My Department does have data regarding VAT paid by primary and post primary schools, as requested by the Deputy.
107. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on implementing variable school capitation rates which reflect the annual maintenance and running costs of schools. [44977/12]
Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): My Department provides capitation funding to all recognised primary schools and post primary schools within the free education scheme. My Department provide funding to primary schools by way of per capita grants, subject to a minimum grant equivalent to 60 pupils and a maximum grant equivalent to 500 pupils. The funding arrangements made by my Department for post primary schools reflect the sectoral division of our second-level system. At the core of all arrangements is reliance upon capitation as the principal determinant of funding. My Department provides funding to Community and Comprehensive schools on a budget basis that is based mainly on pupil numbers, but also take into account additional factors which vary from school to school such as age of buildings, size of school etc.
With regard to the VEC sector financial allocations are made to VECs as part of a block grant. VECs are given a high level of autonomy in the management and appropriation of this grant and each is allowed to distribute its allocations in line with its priorities and perceptions of need. My Department provides funding to voluntary secondary schools by way of per capita grants. The Deputy may wish to note that Circular 48/2009 clarifies issues relating to the allocation of funding to voluntary secondary schools. The circular states that capitation funding provided for general running costs and funding provided for caretaking and secretarial services may be regarded as a common grant which the Board of Management can allocate according to its own priorities. I have no plans to amend the present capitation funding arrangements.
|Last Updated: 16/04/2013 14:07:47||Page of 91|