Tuesday, 20 May 2008
Dáil Eireann Debate
592. Deputy Tom Sheahan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the reason the former salmon drift net licence holders who availed of the hardship payments did not get a tax break from the Government unlike other schemes, that is, the decommissioning of the white fish fleet, where serious tax exemptions have been afforded to applicants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19566/08]
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Eamon Ryan): The treatment of payments made from the Salmon Hardship Fund for tax purposes is a matter for the Revenue Commissioners in their assessment of each individual’s liabilities.
I am advised, however, that the Revenue Commissioners have indicated that payments from the Salmon Hardship Scheme, which is quite different in nature from the whitefish fleet decommissioning referred to by the Deputy, will be taxable on recipients as income in the year of receipt. Therefore, commercial fishermen will have to include any payment received under the scheme as a receipt in their accounts. That part of the payment which relates to six times the value of the 2006 licence fee will not, however, be liable to tax. I understand that Bord Iascaigh Mhara, which is administering the scheme, has identified that element of the payment separately for recipients so that they can exclude the amount from their income tax returns.
593. Deputy Tom Sheahan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if it is intended to repeal, review or in any way revise the Fisheries Acts 1959 to 2006 in light of the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry who was penalised in an arbitrary fashion when they and their family were preoccupied with family ill health and having particular regard to the concern amongst fishing industry supporters at such arbitrary action; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19567/08]
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Eamon Ryan): I have no proposals to make changes to Section 25 of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1999 as inserted by Section 3 (b) of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 2000. Under the Fisheries Acts, primary responsibility for the management, conservation, protection and development of the inland fisheries resource rests with the Central and Regional Fisheries Boards.
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