Written Answers. - Sale of State Assets.

Wednesday, 7 February 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 461 No. 2

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  24.  Mr. Cullen  Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen   asked the Minister for Finance  Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn   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): Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí 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 [451] 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.

As to the use of the receipts, the first priorities will be the company's development plan and the Exchequer's liabilities to the Telecom Éireann superannuation fund.

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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