As I have previously informed the House, none of the potential receipts from the State assets disposal programme are to be used as a means of achieving the budgetary targets set for 2013. Instead, it has been agreed with the Troika that all of the Government’s proceeds from the programme will be available, in one shape or another, to support job creating initiatives in the economy. Half of the proceeds will be available to fund employment enhancing projects of a commercial nature. The other half, while destined eventually to pay-down debt, will, in the first instance, be constituted as a fund to underpin additional lending into Ireland, for example by the EIB, in support of further investment in job-creating initiatives.
In framing its proposals on State asset proposals, the Government has also taken great care to protect the integrity of the industrial sectors affected: In the case of the electricity and gas sectors, the integral transmissions and distribution systems are to be retained in State ownership; In the case of forestry, it has been made clear that Coillte’s land holdings will not be sold; In the case of Aer Lingus, the Government has indicated that it will not support any offer that would significantly undermine connectivity or competitiveness for Ireland.
Question No. 161 answered with Question No. 19.