Wednesday, 7 February 1996
Dáil Éireann Debate
24. Mr. Cullen asked the Minister for Finance the proposals, if any, that are currently being considered or prepared for the sale of shares in semi-State Bodies and/or the sale of State-owned assets; the criteria being used to assess their value in the commercial market; the purposes for which the proceeds are to be applied; whether capital or current expenditure is involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2542/96]
Minister for Finance (Mr. Quinn): As I indicated in the House last year, there will be a further securitisation operation this year of £50 million to pay for the balance of the arrears of equal treatment to social welfare recipients. This securitisation of local authority mortgage receipts will be on the same basis as the scheme last year which raised close to £140 million. Details of the scheme were  fully debated in the context of the passage of the Securitisation (Proceeds of Certain Mortgages) Act, 1995 last year.
The Telecom Éireann Strategic alliance process, which will involve the sale of up to 35 per cent of the State's stake in the company, is well under way and is expected to be completed by the end of the summer of this year.
The process is not fundamentally driven by financial considerations. It is concerned with finding a partner to make a long-term commitment to the transformation of the company to help it to compete successfully in a market which is becoming increasingly competitive.
Receipts from the sale of State assets are deemed capital items in the Exchequer's accounts. The structuring of receipts arising from the Telecom Éireann alliance, and consequential discharge of liabilities, is currently under active consideration.
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