I have spoken to the Minister, Deputy Noonan, with regard to how we can broaden out the home improvement scheme. I understand that people can claim back the VAT paid against their income tax. Perhaps he might given consideration to a particular cohort, namely, those senior citizens who may have money coming in from other sources. The amount of money involved would not be classified as income or would not be sizeable enough to attract income tax. Would it be possible to allow those to whom I refer to write that money off against some of the DIRT they are obliged to pay? Will the Minister give consideration to this proposal?
With regard to the capital gains tax for innovators and new companies starting up, I wonder if the Minister would look at the position in the United Kingdom, our main competitor, whose capital gains tax rate on that is 10%. Perhaps he could indicate whether he will make provision for a step process in the coming years in order to allow the capital gains tax rate to be reduced to 10%.
I wish to make two other points. I welcome what the Minister has done in the context of those who had shares in Standard Life. He allowed this matter to be dealt with using a mechanism similar to what which applied in the case of Eircom and I very much welcome that. I have spoken to him on a number of occasions about this and I am delighted that a suitable provision has been included in the Bill.
Finally, I have a point on farmers who have forestry on their land. Such farmers harvest their trees in one go and they are liable for a considerable income tax bill at that stage. Would the Minister consider allowing them to harvest it in one year and spread the tax payment out over a number of years in order that they would not be liable for the entire amount in one go?