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Written Answers. - Departmental Charges.

Thursday, 17 October 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 555 No. 4

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 102. Mr. R. Bruton Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton  asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Information on Dermot Ahern Zoom on Dermot Ahern  the revenue from charges related to public services which his Department approves to be raised by agencies under his aegis, which are not included in appropriations-in-aid for 2000, 2001 and 2002. [18727/02]

Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources (Mr. D. Ahern): Information on Dermot Ahern Zoom on Dermot Ahern The following list sets out the revenue categories generated by the non-commercial state bodies – which might fall within the definition of agencies – under my aegis in situations where the moneys are not included in my Department's appropriations in aid. Revenue categories where Departmental and-or ministerial approval for increases is required are identified in the table, but in these cases the revenue is not earned from charges related to public services, but in most cases arise from fees, permits, licences and industry levies. I also include for information a table listing the subhead items under appropriations in aid, from 2000 to 2002 inclusive, for the Deputy's information.

There is a further revenue category, which might be of interest to the Deputy in this context. [1194] Charges at the fishery harbour centres are subject to ministerial approval and, while they are not included in my Department's appropriations-in-aid, the receipts are credited against expenditure under the fishery harbour centres fund. For this reason, while these receipts do fall within the category of charges related to public services, they are not raised by an agency under my aegis.

Apart from the agencies under my aegis, there are cases in the Departmental commercial state sector where revenue is generated from charges related to public services and included in the relevant company's accounts and therefore not included in my Department's appropriations-in-aid, viz. electricity and gas charges. However, the Commissioner for Energy Regulation, approves any increases in electricity and gas charges. Also in the case of RTE, receipts from TV licences are included in my Department's appropriations in aid and Departmental and-or ministerial approval for increases is required.

Revenue categories of non-commercial State bodies under the aegis of the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources: BIM – sales of ice, interest on loans, training fees, trade show charges, laboratory fees, aquaculture grant administration; central and regional fisheries boards – contracts, including FÁS, [1195] licence fees*, permit fees, fish and gear sales, fishery rates*, dealers licences*; the Loughs Agency (North South Implementation Body FCILC) – licence and permit fees**, fines and costs recovered; Marine Institute – research vessel and other contracts; Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board – fees for licence appeals*; National Council for Forest Research and Development (COFORD) – publication sales; Commission for Energy Regulation – levy on electricity industry; Director of Telecommunications Regulation – telecommunications administration levy, postal administration levy, cable and MMDS and radio communications licensing; National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) – NORA levy on sales of certain oil products.* The National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) acts as the agent of the Minister in maintaining national emergency oil stocks in accordance with Ireland's international obligations in relation to security of supply. Its activities are funded by a levy on sales of certain oil products which has been held at 0.476 cent (0.375p) per litre since the agency's establishment in 1995.

*Requires ministerial approval.

**Require joint approval of Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources and the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development in Northern Ireland.


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