Tag Archives: Paschal Donohoe

Then Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, at the Public Services Card Centre, D’Olier House in Dublin after he registered for a Public Services Card (PSC) with the Department of Social Protection on September 8, 2016

This morning.

Cianan Brennan, in The Irish Examiner, reports that Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe was briefed on Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon’s interim report on the Public Services Card a year ago.

This is despite him telling RTÉ last Friday that he had been briefed by his officials on the report’s “key points” that morning.

Ms Dixon’s report found that there is no legal basis for anyone to have to present a Public Services Card in respect of any transaction between a person and a public body outside the Department of Employment and Social Protection.

She also ordered that the supporting information that the 3.2 million card holders had to hand over in order to get their card – such as utility bills, proof of ID, etc – and held by the department must now be deleted as it was unlawfully held.

It’s interesting to note comments made by Mr Donohoe after he apparently saw the report:

On September 25, 2018  he said:

“During 2017 and over the course of this year, my Department and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection have worked with a number of specified bodies to integrate the PSC and MyGovID, into their processes in order to improve access to and the security of public services.

“Currently, the PSC and MyGovID underpin access to social welfare entitlements, first time adult passport applications, citizenship applications, Revenue services, SUSI grants, driving licence and driver theory test applications.

During the rest of this year and 2019, access to more public services will be underpinned by the PSC and MyGovID. My Department along with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is engaging with the relevant Departments to assist with the transition of services in line with the schedule set out in the eGovernment Strategy 2017-2020.”

Also, on October 24, 2018, he told the Dáil:

“I listened to Deputy [Éamon] Ó Cuív’s comments about the need to simplify the tax code and the sharing of information between Departments, which is what underpins the public service cards.

“I agree with his point that if a citizen supplies information to the State, particularly when it is created by the State in the first place and then made available to the citizen, it should not be the case that the citizen must supply the same information to multiple agencies.

“It is a fair point and it is why the work is under way in the SAFE 2 process, where citizens who must provide information to the State receive a single digital identity which, once it is has been provided, is used by the State to ensure information is available to all Departments more quickly than it is now.”

Meanwhile, separately, before Mr Donohoe would have seen the report, on March 22, 2018, Mr Donohoe told the Dáil the following:

“I want to reiterate to the House that we have the highest level of protection in place to ensure that citizens’ information and private data are safe, secure and stored and regulated in accordance with data protection law.

“I am aware of the issues of concern that were raised in the second half of last year. That is why we have published the document I referred to a moment ago on the website of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

“It explains to citizens how we are handling the various issues of concern. We have responded, and will continue to respond, to any matters of public concern and any observations or views that the Data Protection Commissioner may have.

“We are dealing with matters of concern for the public, and that is why we have tried to communicate what the benefits are.

At a time when there are such legitimate concerns about how we protect our digital identity and make sure information that people share is securely protected I would have thought that the rationale for the public services card has actually grown rather than been diminished.”

Donohoe was briefed on investigation into public services card last year (Cianan Brennan, The Irish Examiner)

Transcript: Kildarestreet.com

Rollingnews

Previously: Your Card Has Been Declined

House Of Card

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe

Fiona Reddan, in The Irish Times, reports:

On the back of rising incomes, Revenue estimates that more than 28,000 earners will start paying income tax, at the standard rate of 20 per cent, for the first time in January 2020, unless Mr Donohoe widens the bands on October 8th.

Similarly, a further 26,800 taxpayers would be pushed into the 40 per cent tax bracket next year, unless bands are similarly widened. This would result in an increase in the proportion of taxpayers paying tax at the higher rate, up from 21 per cent in 2019 to 22 per cent in 2020.

…On the USC, Revenue estimates suggest that 18,700 people would pay the top rate of 8 per cent next year, while 39,300 would be pushed from the 2 per cent rate to the 4.5 per cent rate. In addition, some 1,100 taxpayers will start paying USC for the first time.

More than 100,000 set to pay more income tax (Fiona Reddan, The Irish Times)

Rollingnews

From top: Larry Goodman at Dublin Castle for the Beef Tribunal in 1991; Solidarity–People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe

Yesterday.

During a meeting of the Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach.

Solidarity–People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy asked Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe about a story which appeared in The Irish Times yesterday concerning the Goodman Group established by Larry Goodman,

Journalist Colm Keena reported that nine companies in the group made a profit of €170 million last year and had assets worth more than €3.45 billion – with the “bulk of the profits” booked in Luxembourg and “largely untaxed”.

Mr Goodman was at the centre of the Beef Tribunal in 1991, where it was eventually revealed that, under the then Fianna Fáil government between 1987 and 1989, his companies benefited from financial concessions, special arrangements and a change in the tax law to protect their income.

Mr Murphy and the minster had this exchange yesterday:

Paul Murphy: “In the papers today is the Goodman Group making a profit of €170million last year reportedly and paying, effectively, zero taxes through filing accounts in Luxembourg.

“The double taxation agreement that appears to still be operative with Luxembourg is from 1972 so it was written, it was agreed a couple of years after the one with the Netherlands. Is that an agreement you’re looking at revising or adjusting or think that, certainly from this vantage point, it would seem to be a problem if someone can make, or a corporation can make such amount of profits and be enabled effectively to pay zero tax on it.”

Paschal Donohoe: “So, as I said in relation to another question earlier on [from Labour TD Joan Burton], I’m not going to comment on the tax affairs of any particular company or individual.

“But in answer to your other question, in relation to our DTA [Double Taxation Agreement] between Ireland and Luxembourg, we will be updating that via use of the multi-lateral convention.”

Watch back in full here 

Nine Goodman companies made largely untaxed profit of €170m (Colm Keena, The Irish Times)

Top pic: Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews

Yikes.

Earlier today.

The Dáil was suspended when Kerry Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae claimed Fine Gael Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe told a “lie” and that he wasn’t asked to join Government in 2016.

The row took place during a discussion about the tourism VAT rate.

Healy-Rae denies being asked to join Government: ‘I was not asked to dance’ (Marie O’Halloran, The Irish Times)

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe at the Harvard Kennedy School and Irish Tax Institute’s Global Tax Policy Conference at Dublin Castle

Serious reservations have been expressed by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe over a move amongst some OECD members to advocate a minimum effective corporate tax rate.

Speaking at that Irish Tax Institute Global Tax conference, Mr Donohoe noted that the proposal for a minimum rate, which could range between 15 and 18 per cent, was problematic.

Paschal Donohoe concerned over OECD move to minimum corporate tax rate (Peter Hamilton, The Irish Times)

Leah Farrell/Rollingnews

UL Student Life tweetz:

Is Direct Provision Apart Of Ireland 2040?

Our Student Officers organised a silent demonstration against the direct provision system today to greet An Taoiseach @leovaradkar & Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform @Paschald

Students wore duct tape on their mouths to symbolise those that live in direct provision’s fear in speaking up in case it would negatively affect their asylum application.

Meanwhile, inside the university…

Junior Housing Minister Damien English’s planned speech can be read here

Yesterday: You Are Cordially Invited

Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal O Donohue TD and Chief Economist John Mcarthy presenting revised macroeconomic and fiscal forecasts for the period 2019-2023

This afternoon.

Government Buildings, Dublin 2

The revisions reflect a deterioration in the main markets that Irish firms export to, particularly the UK due in large part to Brexit uncertainty and the euro area where the economic cycle has peaked sooner-than-expected.

It also points to a softening in US growth in the short-term as the impact of fiscal stimulus there fades.

Some domestic indicators have also moderated in recent months, it says.

Government cuts economic growth forecast for this year (RTÉ)

Sam Boal/RollingNews

Stop that.

This afternoon.

Government Buildings, Dublin 2

Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, and Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty with Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, Kevin Boxer Moran (top left) speaking to the media following the publication of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) data by the CSO show “continued momentum” in the labour market.

Leah Farrell/RollingNews

From top: Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe; Latest family homless figures

Yesterday evening.

The Department of Housing published the homeless figures for October.

They show there were 5,999 adults, 1,709 families and 3,725 children – a total of 9,724 individuals – staying in State-funded emergency accommodation in the final week of October.

In September, there were 5,869 adults, 1,753 families and 3,829 children – a total of 9,698 individuals.

This means the number of adults accessing emergency accommodation has increased by 133, the number of families has decreased by 44 and the number of children has also decreased by 104.

The official Department of Housing homeless figures do not include the number of people who are sleeping rough across Ireland.

This morning.

On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe was asked about the latest homeless figures and he said they represented “a great personal challenge” for everyone in Government and it’s something they know “they need to do better on and we challenge ourselves every day to see how we can do it”.

He added:

“I know what the new figures are for the number of people who are homeless. I’m aware of the fact that we’re above 10,000. As against that, we have additional money going this year into our homeless hubs, homeless services and, next year, we’ll be spending the highest amount we ever have on housing.

“We are seeing more homes being built, we’ll deliver around 18,000 to 19,000 homes this year and I’ve made available a further €60million towards the end of this year to invest in services. It’s something that is a really solemn responsibility for us all on, to do better on and we’re working to do that.”

Listen back in full here

Rollingnews