Reasonable Living Expenses – Public Consultation 2021
The ISI is required by section 23 of the Personal Insolvency Act 2012 (hereafter ‘2012 Act’) to prepare and issue guidelines as to what constitutes a reasonable standard of living and reasonable living expenses (RLEs). The guidelines are intended to help Approved Intermediaries (AIs) and Personal Insolvency Practitioners (PIPs) in assessing, for relevant provisions of the 2012 Act, what may be considered ‘reasonable’ in the context of a standard of living and living expenses.
The Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice (VPSJ) publish an annual report setting out the Minimum Essential Standard of Living (MESL) for households in Ireland and their research forms the basis for the ISI RLE calculations. In 2020, the VPSJ published the outcomes of an extensive project to review and rebase the MESL figures. This entailed examining the composition of the MESL baskets for each household type and making changes where necessary.
The purpose of this consultation which runs to Tuesday, 24 August 2021 is to:
- Inform all stakeholders of changes following the VPSJ’s review and rebase project and the 2021 annual update
- Obtain submissions on the composition of RLE set costs figures and feedback on the approach to practical implementation of changes to set costs
- Consider some additional items allowed for in the MESL figures but not previously included in the ISI figures
The public consultation paper can be accessed here.
Personal Insolvency Consultation
In early 2017, the Department of Justice sought the views of interested parties on the operation of Part 3 of the Personal Insolvency Acts 2012 - 2015.
Part 3 of the Personal Insolvency Acts provides for the definition and operation in practice of the three protected debt resolution processes for insolvent individuals which were introduced in 2012:
Debt Relief Notices,
Debt Settlement Arrangements, and
Personal Insolvency Arrangements.
Part 3 also provides for:
the insolvent person to appoint a personal insolvency practitioner to assist and advise them,
statutory rules on the protection of debtors and of creditors in case of personal insolvency,
the legal effects where a proposed arrangement is agreed by the necessary majority of creditors,
review by the courts in certain cases where a personal insolvency proposal which includes mortgage arrears on a family home is refused by creditors,
offences if a person seeks to abuse these processes,
registers of insolvency arrangements, and other matters.
Further amendments were enacted in 2013 and in 2015, including changes, in Part 3, to the Debt Relief Notice and the new Court review in certain personal insolvency cases.
The consultation took place in response to section 141 of the Personal Insolvency Act 2012, which requires the Minister for Justice (in consultation with the Minister for Finance) to review the operation of Part 3 and to report on its outcome to both Houses of the Oireachtas. This consultation was intended to give stakeholders an opportunity to make known their views on the operation to date of Part 3.
Submissions were specifically invited on the thresholds and processes under Part 3 for Personal Insolvency Arrangements (including for insolvent persons who are unincorporated small or medium entrepreneurs) and on whether these should be changed. The Government had committed to review this issue, under the Programme for Partnership Government.
The closing date for submissions was Friday 30 June 2017.
A copy of the submission by the Insolvency Service of Ireland is available here
Consultation on Insolvency Directive
In early 2017, the Department of Justice and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation ran a joint consultation seeking views of interested parties on a recent proposal by the European Commission.
The proposed Directive seeks to harmonise, for the first time, substantive provisions of national laws and frameworks across Member States in the area of business insolvency. It covers both company debts, and the debts of an over-indebted person who is or was carrying on a trade, business, craft or profession. Each Member State also has an option, under the proposal, to extend the proposal’s application to over-indebted persons with non-business debts.
The proposal would affect Irish personal insolvency and bankruptcy law, as well as company insolvency law (including examinership).
The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice also sought the views of the Insolvency Service of Ireland on this matter.
The Insolvency Service of Ireland submissions are set out below:
Further details of the proposed Directive are below: