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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 388-395
 Header Item Forestry Sector
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals
 Header Item Tax Code
 Header Item Forestry Sector
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Payments
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 786 No. 1

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Written Answers Nos. 388-395

Forestry Sector

 388. Deputy Paschal Donohoe Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if a decision has been taken by his Department and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to sell 1,100 acres of forestry land in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55277/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney My Department is not selling the forestry lands indicated by the Deputy. The bulk of the State’s forestry estate was vested in Coillte, in accordance with the Forestry Act 1988, upon the company’s establishment in 1989. Day-to-day operational matters, such as the sale and acquisition of land which take place regularly, are the responsibility of the company.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals

 389. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding a derogation appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55280/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The appeal of the person named was recently forwarded to the DAS Appeals Committee for consideration; immediately that Committee has adjudicated on this appeal, the person concerned will be notified of their decision, in writing.

Tax Code

 390. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the tax implications, if any that exist in circumstances (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55285/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The tax implications of the transaction depends on a number of factors. There may be several factors involved in individual cases and I would advise anybody in a similar situation to seek professional advice, including advice from the Revenue Commissioners and Teagasc.

Among the possibly relevant tax issues are: 100% Stamp duty relief on the 1% stamp duty that is normally payable; 90% agricultural relief in relation to Capital Acquisitions Tax; Capital Gains tax that may be applicable to the person making the transfer.

Forestry Sector

 391. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the way he can protect existing open access and recreational amenities on Coillte lands if he intends to sell the forest assets and have private operators manage the estates; his views on whether it is preferable to ensure that the resource is maintained for the benefit of the people. [55290/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Further to the Government decision that a concession for the harvesting rights to Coillte’s forests be considered for sale, Coillte Board and management have been actively engaged in recent months with NewERA, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and my Department to examine the financial and other implications of developing the potential of Coillte’s forest assets.

The process is at an advanced stage and, aside from the valuation of the forestry assets, a number of issues have been identified in relation to the possible harvesting rights concession. These include, inter alia, the possible impact on the timber industry, implications for the company and levels of employment, environmental and social impacts, and public access to recreational land and the protection of the recreational amenities. These issues, and the measures, if necessary, to address them, require detailed consideration.

I am aware that Coillte’s forests provide a range of recreational opportunities for the general public continuing a long tradition of open access to state owned forests. I am also conscious that such recreational facilities are very valuable resources as tourism attractions in the various regions. In view of the importance of such recreational opportunities for citizens for ongoing recreation and for visitors during their stay in Ireland the issue of public access to recreational land forms part of the overall analysis.

Single Payment Scheme Payments

 392. Deputy Pat Breen Information on Pat Breen Zoom on Pat Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when payment of single farm headage will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55301/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Following validation of the 2012 Single Payment Scheme application of the person named, issues arose on two of the parcels declared. However, following consultation with the person named, these issues have now been resolved and the case has been cleared for payment, which will issue shortly.

However, payment under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme has not yet issued as, at this stage, the holding concerned has not yet satisfied the Scheme minimum stocking density requirements for 2012. Immediately the holding concerned is confirmed as having met these requirements, the case will be further processed with a view to payment at the earliest possible date thereafter.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 393. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a person (details supplied) in County Galway will be paid a 2012 disadvantaged area payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [55302/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney While the person named submitted an application for derogation, supporting documentation to further process the application was requested by my Department. Immediately the documentation in question is received, the application in question will be reviewed and the person named notified of the decision, in writing.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals

 394. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a person (details supplied) in County Galway will be paid a 2012 disadvantaged area payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [55303/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named is one of a number, their derogation application having been unsuccessful, who were offered the option to appeal to the independently chaired DAS Appeals Committee. To date, this option has not been availed of. Should the applicant choose to appeal, it will be referred to the DAS Appeals Committee.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 395. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a person (details supplied) in County Galway will be paid a 2012 disadvantaged area payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [55304/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Payment under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme has not yet issued as, at this stage, the holding concerned has not yet satisfied the Scheme minimum stocking density requirements for 2012. Immediately the holding concerned is confirmed as having met these requirements, the case will be further processed with a view to payment at the earliest possible date thereafter.


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