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Civil partnership tax provisions 'to be introduced by end of July'

A third Finance Bill of 2011 will be published in the coming weeks and enacted by the end of July, Michael Noonan says.

Barry Dignam and Hugh Walsh became the first male couple in Ireland to avail of the provisions of the Civil Partnership Act.
Barry Dignam and Hugh Walsh became the first male couple in Ireland to avail of the provisions of the Civil Partnership Act.
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

A FINANCE BILL is to be brought before the Dáil in the coming weeks in order to grant people in civil partnerships the same taxation privileges as married couples, Michael Noonan has confirmed.

Responding to a parliamentary question from Labour backbencher Dominic Hannigan, Noonan said the Finance Bill (No. 3) 2011 – which will amend previous tax legislation – will be published shortly.

The Bill would be rushed through the Dáil and Seanad, Noonan added, with the Bill ideally ready to be enacted before the Oireachtas breaks for its summer recess towards the end of July.

People in civil partnerships provided for by the Civil Partnerships Act, signed into law last summer, are currently not entitled to the same taxation treatment as those in traditional marriages.

High-profile supporters of civil partnership, including Senator David Norris, had threatened to vote against the Act when it was passing through the Seanad last year in protest at the Act’s failure to afford tax equality.

Then-Justice minister Dermot Ahern assured, however, that legislation correcting the omission would be brought as quickly as possible, and had been delayed only because it would amend a complex taxation law.

81 couples applied to enter a civil partnership in the first week of January, when the new laws came into effect.

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Gavan Reilly

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