Tag Archives: Paschal Donohoe

From top: Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe with RTE Director General Dee Forbes; Sean O’Rourke and at a press conference following his Today show post-budget  broadcast

This morning.

Radio Centre, Donnybrook, Dublin 4.

Via RTÉ:

A caller aged 68 is unhappy at recently losing his and wife’s eligibility to a medical card and seeing that in yesterday’s Budget over 70s have had the income threshold limit for medical cards increased to €1,050. He asks why under 70s didn’t have a threshold increase. Mr Donohoe says he had to make changes affordable to the funds he had available. He added that he would like to make further changes in the future when funds are available.

Meanwhile

Mr Donohoe has defended the decision to make €16.8 million available for the greyhound industry. He was asked on Today with Sean O’Rourke why this money could not be ringfenced for carers. Mr Donohoe said that €1.4 billion overall had been put aside for carers.
He told a caller that Ministers Shane Ross and Michael Creed have looked to put significant changes in place to deal behaviour that he believed was “utterly unacceptable in the greyhound industry”.

Budget 2020: Reaction and Donohoe takes questions (RTÉ)

Rollingnews

This afternoon.

Government Buildings, Dublin 2

Minister for Finance Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe presents his Budget 2020documents before addressing the Dail..

In the event of No Deal, €650 million is to be made available to support the Agriculture, Enterprise and Tourism sectors and to assist the most affected citizens and regions.

Of this, €220 million will be deployed immediately in the event of a No Deal.

From this, €110 million for enterprises has been identified for the first wave of funding for targeted new interventions to help vulnerable but viable firms adjust to a No Deal Brexit….

More as we get it it.

Update:

€2.5bn will be allocated to the Housing Programme in 2020, according to Minister Donohoe. A further €20m will go to homeless services

Budget 2020: Minister announcing measures in Dáil (RTÉ)

Earlier: The New Green Hard Brexit Budget 2020

Rollingnews

Meanwhile…

Anyone?

Via Political Irish

Today.

At 1pm.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe is scheduled to present Budget 2020 in the Dáil.

Watch live in the link above.

Meanwhile, via RTÉ News:

The Budget had been expected to be a package worth €2.8bn, but it is understood that the increase in carbon tax and changes to other taxes, such as the dividend withholding tax, could push it closer to €3bn.

Minister Donohoe concluded his discussions last night with a Fianna Fáil delegation, following talks with the Independent Alliance on its key concerns.

It is understood that some of both parties’ key budgetary demands were met.

An expansion in the medical card scheme for the over 70s and other health and social welfare spending increases are expected.

Donohoe says absolutely no surprises in Budget 2020 (RTÉ)

Budget 2020 preview: ‘No chocolates, some smarties’ in €1bn Donohoe budget plan (Irish Examiner)

Budget 2020: Here’s what to expect (RTÉ)

Then Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe on the Today with Seán O’Rourke show in October 2016

This afternoon.

“On Wednesday next, the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will be here taking your calls on Budget 2020.

“Whether it’s carbon tax, income tax, social welfare, the price of a pint or a packet of cigarettes or something else entirely – this is your chance to put your question directly to the minister on air.

“Email your question to todaysor@rte.ie – leaving a contact number.

“That’s the Budget Phone-In next Wednesday at 10am. We look forward to hearing from you.”

RTÉ journalist and broadcaster Seán O’Rourke speaking in an ad just played on RTÉ Radio One.

Previously: A Phoney Phone-In (2015)

Standard Practice (2015)

Meanwhile In Montrose (2016)

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 PSC in 2016

Yesterday evening.

In the Dáil.

Sinn Féin deputy leader Pearse Doherty raised Cianan Brennan’s article in yesterday’s Irish Examiner with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe.

Mr Cianan reported that Mr Donohoe’s department ordered the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to drop a secondary method for parents to apply for National Childcare Scheme subsidies – ensuring that the only way parents can apply for the subsidies will be through MyGovID, for which one needs a Public Services Card.

Mr Doherty yesterday evening asked Mr Donohoe twice why the department ordered for the second method to be dropped and, twice, Mr Donohoe failed to give a reason for the move.

From their exchange:

Pearse Doherty: “The new national childcare scheme opens for applications on 29 October. No parent can apply for this scheme without a public services card.

“This is despite the Data Protection Commissioner’s decision that there is no legal basis for this requirement and it being deemed illegal by the commissioner.

“Parents who do not have a public services card will have no choice but to wait until January when written applications can be made. Why did the Department interject when a secondary method to apply for this scheme was to be provided for parents?

“At the insistence of the Department, this proposal was dropped by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

“Will the Minister explain this, given that the Data Protection Commissioner has deemed that there is no legal basis for leaving parents with only one option as regards the form of identification they can use to apply for the scheme?”

Paschal Donohoe: “My good colleague, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Deputy Zappone, is working on ways to ensure that families and parents will be able to access the national childcare scheme.

“The Deputy referred to me being in the dock on this matter. I fully understand the views of the Data Protection Commission, an institution which I take seriously. In each of the budgets that I have introduced, I have made more resources available to the commission because it is an important organisation for the management of information, both for the private sector and Government.

“I have taken a different view on the role of the public services card following legal advice that has been made available to me. The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Deputy Regina Doherty, and I did not take lightly the decision we made to offer a differing view from that of the Data Protection Commissioner.

“This was done after we obtained legal advice on where we stood, which left me satisfied that the card has robust legal standing and that the appropriate course was to make clear that we take a different view from the commissioner on this issue. I know the commissioner has spoken to the Oireachtas about the issue and indicated the course of action she is likely to take.

Doherty: “Will the Minister outline why his Department insisted that a second form of access to the national childcare scheme be dropped, leaving parents with only the public services card as a means of accessing this scheme?”

Donohoe: “We believe that we are on solid legal foundations in using the public services card as a way to help citizens to access services efficiently. Encouraging greater use of the public services card over time will lead to more convenient and efficient ways in which families and citizens can access public services.”

Doherty: “It is not very convenient for parents.”

When the Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon appeared before the Public Accounts Committee last week – on foot of her examination of the PSC and her finding that it was unlawful for the State to require people to have a card in order to obtain any services beyond those offered by the Department of Social Protection – Ms Dixon said the following about the National Childcare Scheme and the PSC stipulation:

“The only alternative option that appears to be offered is a manual, paper-based application that will not be ready until the new year and will not provide back payments. Clearly, this is completely at odds with the findings of our report and the directions we have issued.”

Read back in full here

Yesterday: Card Shark

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone; clip from RTE Investigates: Creches – Behind Closed Doors which was broadcast on July 24 last

On Wednesday, July 24 last, RTÉ’s Investigates broadcast a report about the standards of care at the Hyde & Seek Childcare company.

The report, called Creches – Behind Closed Doors, exposed failings in the standard of care provided to children in a number of the company’s branches across Dublin.

A Garda investigation into some issues raised in the report was launched after the broadcast.

Further to this…

Aoife Hegarty, of RTÉ, reports today that concerns about the company were raised with the Minister for Children Katherine Zappone more than a year ago.

Ms Hegarty reports:

Correspondence obtained by Fianna Fáil TD Anne Rabbitte shows Minister Zappone received a copy of a complaint forwarded to the Child & Family Agency TUSLA from a parent regarding the Hyde & Seek crèche at Glasnevin on Dublin’s northside.

The new purpose-built facility operated for 14 months without registration.

…The complaint from the parent, which detailed a series of issues with child-to-staff ratios and other safety concerns, was first shared with Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue, who subsequently forwarded it to Minister Zappone.

Minister Zappone acknowledged the crèche was not registered with TUSLA, but said it would be inappropriate for her to interfere in the agency’s ongoing investigations.

Zappone alerted to concerns at Hyde & Seek Childcare more than a year ago (Aoife Hegarty, RTE)

Watch the RTE Prime Time investigation back in full here

Yesterday: Misleading Survivors And The Dáil

UPDATE:

A day after the RTE Investigates documentary was broadcast…

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe

This morning.

It is understood Mr Donohoe will tell his Cabinet colleagues that Budget 2020 will be based on the working assumption that there will be a no-deal Brexit.

This is likely to mean that many tax cuts and spending increases on public services would have to be stalled.

Instead, the €700 million or so extra that would have been available for these purposes will be set aside to deal with the fall-out from a disorderly Brexit.

Budget 2020 drafted on assumption of no-deal Brexit (RTÉ)

Rollingnews

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