Thursday, 23rd February 2012
I welcome the Government announcement that one third of the proceeds from the asset disposal programme will be used for re-investmed in the Irish economy in order to help create jobs.
I believe this to be a genuine opportunity to reinvest and modernise some of our State assets. That some of the revenue from the sale of State assets can be used for reinvestment purposes represents a significant change of position from the initial EU/IMF Programme agreement which stated that revenue generated in this way could only be used for debt reduction. This re-affirms our Governments continuing efforts to secure the best possible outcome while providing a stimulus for job creation.
I have always maintained that developing a proper forestry plan is hugely important in dealing with the effects of climate change. Coillte’s role would be central in this respect. We need to encourage a low carbon economy and the sensible management of this vital resource in such a way as to maximise tourism and recreational potential.
I welcome that this programme does not involve the sale of any Coillte land and I believe that we need to look at successful international models such as the one in New Zealand when considering how best to manage our forestry programme.
A guiding principle of this agreement is that there will be no fire sales of State assets. This sends a strong signal to prospective buyers and demonstrates that a considered approach will guide negotiations in this regard.
Taking a strategic approach in the sale of these assets will allow the opportunity to-reinvest one third of any money raised to both re-structure & rebuild our state assets and in turn, maximise their economic potential and develop a more modern economy.