Brian Hayes MEP today welcomed the European Commission’s proposal for a new Euro-area Deposit Guarantee Scheme, saying that this was the crucial third pillar for a fully-fledged Banking Union.
“A European Deposit Insurance Scheme is the crucial third pillar in the completion of the EU’s Banking Union. It would follow the successful development of a Single bank supervisor and a single bank resolution mechanism.
“All Member States need to get on board this proposal. This will make our banks safer and will give deposit holders peace of mind.
“The absence of a common deposit insurance scheme could leave depositors open to vulnerabilities in the Banking system. A strong connected European banking model is something we should strive for; we need to have the right safeguards in place to ensure that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the financial crisis.
“The introduction of new supervisor, the SSM, has been key to establishing order and confidence in Europe’s banks. Providing proper EU financial scrutiny and control for the engines of future growth, the banks, is crucial to sustain growth.
“Stress tests conducted by the ECB have clearly identified banks that have a problem and have worked with the banks to develop restructuring plans to address capital shortfall. Permanent TSB was one of those banks and has since done extremely well to plug the capital hole.
“It is unfortunate that Germany has been clearly opposed to a Euro-wide Deposit Guarantee Scheme. This scheme is important for both big and small Member States. Risk-sharing is a key principle of the banking union and German banks face risks in the same way that other European banks face risks. We need to look at this proposal in the sense of boosting savers’ confidence in our banks.”
Hayes calls for a new pension tracking service where all workplace pension benefits can be seen in one online portal.
Speaking at an Association of Pension Lawyers conference at the Spencer Hotel in the IFSC Dublin this morning, Brian Hayes MEP said that the government should work with the Pensions Authority and the pensions industry to develop a pension tracking service which would help people track their pension benefits as they move through their career.
“When you move from one job to another, keeping track of your workplace pension benefits can be a logistical nightmare. The problem is only going to get worse given that our workforce is becoming more mobile and people change jobs more frequently. Without a proper pension tracking service, inevitably this will result in millions of euro of lost pension benefits.
“The situation is already serious. There is up to €500 million in lost pensions, according to the Pensions Ombudsman. I am calling on the government to work with the Pensions Authority and the pensions industry to come up with a national pension tracking service which can be accessed by anyone online.
“Such a service would be able to deal with real logistical issues where workers change address or companies go through a merger or acquisition.
“We should look at best practice in other countries. For example, in Britain the government took note of the problem of lost pensions and set up a national pension plan registry which allows workers to contact one source to trace a pension.
“In the Netherlands, a pension tracking service was set up in 2011 which has an online portal where members can view their accrued pension benefits online. The EU is currently examining through a pilot project how a European Tracking Service could be developed which targets workers who have moved between European countries.
“Ireland is one of the few countries in the EU which has a well-developed workplace pension system. We are still a long way behind countries like Denmark and the Netherlands which both have workplace pension coverage of over 90%. Ireland’s workplace pension coverage is just over 30% and we need to encourage more people to take up workplace pensions. The state pension is going to come under more strain as our demographics change. Our old-age dependency ratio is set to double by 2060.”
“There is real added-value in a pension tracking service – it will make workplace pensions more attractive to employers and employees alike. It could also reduce costs as pension providers would not have to deal with many administrative problems associated with tracing pension claimants when at pension age.”
Time to unwind emergency tax measures during lifetime of next Dail while broadening the tax base – Hayes
Speaking tonight (Thursday) in the Goat Pub, Goatstown, Brian Hayes MEP said that economic recovery and tax cuts should go hand in hand. Mr Hayes was speaking at a public meeting on the recent Budget organised by Dáil Candidate, Cllr Josepha Madigan.
“42% of all taxes come from income tax. Our taxation on work is too high. In 2002 the figure was 31% and amazingly was 27% in 2007. While we are not going back to that, we should be aiming that about one third of all taxes should come from personal income taxation. That will take some time to achieve, but we should work towards it in the next Dail.
“Taxation is an important part of the political debate ahead of the general election. Fine Gael has a very clear position on income taxation. We want to reduce the overall burden of income tax. We want to raise the threshold for entry to the higher rate of tax and to reduce the overall rates of income tax. Putting more money in workers’ pockets is the best stimulus possible to the domestic economy.
“If returned to government Fine Gael is committed to a policy of annual reductions in income tax and USC over a five year period. Other parties must also set out clear policies on income tax and the USC.
“Unwinding emergency tax measures should go hand in hand with the economic recovery. Reducing the overall levels of income tax is both fair and just. In the seven year period to 2014 most workers saw big falls in disposable income levels. As the economy recovers workers deserve a break.
“Of course there will have to be a close relationship between growth, sustainable government revenues and proposed tax reductions. EU Fiscal Rules will continue to apply.
“Tax cuts are also good for jobs; they keep the economy competitive by reducing pressure on wage levels. The Department of Finance estimates that a programme of reducing tax on incomes if continued at a steady rate would result in 20,000 extra jobs by 2020.
“Growing the economy, creating more jobs, broadening the tax base is all part of a prudent economic strategy. Taxation has a central role to play. Income tax as a share of the overall tax take is too high in Ireland because of the crash.
“As the election is now a matter of weeks away, we must hear from all parties and independents on their taxation policy. The populist nonsense that some mythical group are going to pay for everything must be exposed. The choice between tax cuts and better public services is a false choice. Creating a dynamic economy on a sustainable growth path will generate the revenues needed for better public services and a continuing programme of investment.”
Fine Gael MEPs have today voted against a final report produced by the European Parliament’s Special Tax Committee.
“It is absolutely right that all corporations should pay their fair share of taxes. Member States must ensure that taxes are paid in the country where economic activity takes place. That happens in Ireland and it should happen across the EU.
“While there are some positive aspects in this report, overall we believe that the Parliament is meddling in sovereign tax matters. Therefore, Fine Gael MEPs regretfully could not support the adoption of the final report. Taxation is a national competence and this is clearly not respected in the report. Furthermore, the Irish people were given firm commitments in voting for a number of EU referenda that tax policy would remain a national competence. The Commission and Parliament need to respect the decision of the Irish people.
“While the report recognises that setting of corporate tax rates is a matter for Member States, it also calls for tax consolidation through the CCCTB. The EU Treaties make it clear that corporate tax rates are not a Community competence, it is solely for Member States to decide.
“The report makes several prejudicial comments on the Commission’s ongoing State Aid investigations, including the case of Apple in Ireland. It is completely inappropriate for the Parliament to make judgements on cases that are currently ongoing and we need to allow the Commission to complete its work without interference.
“In recent years, the OECD has led the way in the BEPS project to ensure that profits are not shifted to tax havens. Ireland is fully engaged in this process. The Parliament’s tax report diminishes the work of the OECD and says that the EU must go further than the BEPS project. We cannot have a two-speed approach and we must ensure that all OECD countries act jointly on implementing the BEPS guidelines.
“Ireland has a transparent and clear corporate tax regime. We’ve made several changes in recent years. From getting rid of the double Irish and from introducing new rules on residency, Ireland has nothing to apologise for. Tax competition is important for Europe. We need to keep Foreign Direct Investment in Europe and Member States competing against each other, without it becoming a race to the bottom, is crucially important for a competitive Europe.”
Dublin MEP, Brian Hayes has today (Monday) said that the EU is set to provide €442,293 to former workers of PWA International which was based in Rathcoole, Co Dublin. In 2013, 108 workers in the aircraft maintenance business lost their jobs as part of a global trend towards locating maintenance repair businesses in Asia.”
“Under the EU Global Adjustment Fund member states can apply to the EU for funding to assist vulnerable workers who have been made redundant by the impacts of globalisation. The aircraft maintenance industry is one industry that has suffered. This is due to the increasing trend requiring the industry to relocate to areas where aviation is expanding such as Asia.”
“The PWA International application has been approved by the European Commission and includes measures to assist people under the age of 25 who are not currently in education, training or employment. It will be used to provide career guidance, access to education, allowances as well as arrange work placements and work experience.”
“Over the past seven years, Ireland has had nine successful applications for funding through the Globalisation Adjustment Fund. It has helped over 9,700 redundant workers, costing the EU in the region of €60 million. This is a good example of the practical support the European Union can offer its citizens. The financial support from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund is an acknowledgement that European solidarity is alive and well.”
“Following the approval of the application by the European Commission, the proposal will now go before the European Parliament and EU Council for final approval in the coming weeks.”
Dublin MEP, Brian Hayes has called on all Irish MEPs to back the Passenger Name Record Directive. The Directive requires passenger information collected by airlines to be shared with all EU police forces.
“In February Fine Gael MEPs supported a resolution in the European Parliament on anti-terrorism measures, specially calling for the PNR Directive to be implemented by the end of this year. Some Irish MEPs chose to oppose this.”
“The European Parliament has being foot dragging since 2011 on this Directive. The Directive requires airlines to share information they gather from passengers such as passport numbers, travel dates and baggage information. This would enable authorities to identify the movements of those suspected of serious crime or terrorism.”
“As things stand the use of PNR data is not regulated at an EU level. If the Directive was passed EU Member States would be required to implement a system for gathering PNR data from airlines.”
“Europe’s vulnerability was highlighted again in the Paris attacks. I am calling on all Irish MEPs to fast track and support this Directive. Now is the time for close co-operation and a single intelligence gathering system across Europe” concluded MEP Hayes.