The government supporting Fianna Fáil party is welcoming the announced €10m investment by VistaMed in Carrick-on-Shannon. Sligo-based party TD Marc MacSharry says the move, which will create 150 extra jobs, is testament to the talent and skills of the workforce in the North West region.
However, concern is growing over the absence or lack of industrial investment in Sligo town and county, where many have fears about the future of the area’s economic and social development.
Although more and more young people are being forced to migrate, there is little evidence of any political urgency to arrest the decline in activity across key fronts.
The area has four TDs – McSharry and Eamon Scanlon, Fianna Fail, Tony McLoughlin, Fine Gael and Martin Kenny, Sinn Fein.
Vast amount of commercial property in Ireland exempt from tax.
Sligo News File Online
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has called on the government to amend the tax designation of non resident property funds who, he said, “hold a vast amount of commercial property in Ireland and are exempt from tax on their income here.
Deputy Doherty made the call after declaring that one such fund, Cedar Real Estate Investments Plc, is paid “€2.65 million per annum rent in relation to office space leased to the Central Bank and pay no tax on this income.
Deputy Doherty said in a statement:
“Successive governments have deliberately designed into our tax law a system that allows for foreign owned property funds to have no tax liability on the millions of rental income they receive here each year. Cedar Real Estate Investments Plc is just one of these funds and it receives €2.65 million in tax free rent from the Central Bank of Ireland each year.
“The company is structured as an Alternative Investment Fund that is regulated by the Central Bank and would be classified as an investment undertaking according to Irish tax legislation. As Minister Noonan confirmed to me earlier this year Irish “tax legislation provides a tax exemption to the (investment) undertaking itself and to certain investors, for example investors not resident in the State.”
“Cedar Real Estate Investment Plc is ultimately wholly owned by Starwood Property Trust Inc, an American vulture fund, and as such its owners are not resident in the State. This structure and ownership model allow for it, through Irish tax legislation, to be exempt from tax in the State.
“At a time when our ordinary families and squeezed with a cost of living crisis and public services are under resourced, these vulture funds are paying little or no tax, and now we learn the State is paying millions to at least one of them. Even more infuriating is that it is the very body that is tasked with regulating these funds, the Central Bank, that is paying them. The State’s policy on vulture funds is going from scandal to farce
“I have been calling the government out for some time now on the wholesale tax avoidance of regulated funds involved in property. These are not tax loopholes that need to be closed, but instead a deliberate government policy ended. Minister Noonan needs to act urgently to amend the tax designation of non resident property funds in the interests of fairness and the public purse.”
‘Towns and villages devastated by complete withdrawal of supports.’
‘€60 million annually taken from area payments of rural communities.’
Sligo News File Online
A €10 million rural Fund recently announced by Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Minister Heather Humphreys will do next to nothing for rural regeneration. That’s according to
the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association who have said that while the allocation is welcome “, further and on-going investment …is needed to keep the lights on in rural communities.”
Seamus Sherlock, chairman of the organisation’s rural development committee, said, “Anyone who travels the back roads of Ireland can see first-hand the devastation inflicted on towns & villages by the complete withdrawal of supports to these areas over the last decade.”
“To put it in context, the cut to the ANC (formerly Disadvantaged Area Payments) has taken over €60 million per annum out of rural communities,” he said.
“Our view is that we need to get more funding into rural areas as quickly as possible through as many routes as possible. Farmers are renowned for reinvesting their profits back into their farms, and this has a positive effect on local business & employment thus keeping rural Ireland alive,”
The ICSA, he said, is now calling for a full reinstatement of the ANC payment to previous levels as well as “a more worthwhile package for reinvigorating rural villages,”
Saolta says further work to be carried out on procurement process.
Sligo News File.
A bulletin from Tony McLoughlin suggests that there is little hope of the much promised cardiac catheterization laboratory seeing the light of day in Sligo any time soon.
The Fine Gael TD has circulated a letter in which the Saolta Hospital Group states that it cannot give a date as to when the tender for the service will be progressed, adding “…it will be the last quarter of 2016 at the earliest.”
There has been no comment from the current Fine Gael Minister for Health Simon Harris.
TDs elected to deliver for the area include McLoughlin; Marc MacSharry and Eamon Scanlon, both members of the government backing Fianna Fail party, and Martin Kenny, Sinn Fein. All four are currently on a three month holiday from the Dail.
Aurivo Co-operative is seeking planning permission for change of use of part of its vacant Sligo dairy facility at Barnasraghy, Strandhill Road.
According to the application, the proposed development includes:
(a) Demolition of existing compressor plant, pumphouse, buildings, gatehouse, loading bay, porta cabin, disused silo, reservoir tank, effluent tank and septic tank. (Gross Floor Area (GFA) c. 403 sq.m.); B) Change of use of existing reception building to ancillary offices (GFA c. 150 sq.m); C) Change of use of existing processing area to open plan office, conference room, two single occupancy offices, storage and staff facilities (GFA 525 sq.m). D) Change of use of external areas for storage of building equipment, machinery and plant; (e) Construction of new fence and gate to existing vehicular entrance on the southern end of the site. (F) Construction of new entrance foyer located at the North Elevation connecting proposed offices (GFA c, 40 sq.m); (G) Recladding of North, South and West elevations of existing cold storage unit. (H) Upgrade of existing treatment system and percolation area. (I) All associated ancillary development, including revised boundary treatment to front (west) of the site, hard and soft landscaping, signage, site works and
The submission has been ‘invalidated’ as ‘incompleted application.’
Concern as well over withdrawal of both Blue Flag and Green Coast Award from Enniscrone.
Sligo News File Online
Sligo is out of luck again after it was awarded only a minor allocation for job creation.
The government apparently could only find a paltry €40,00 to fund the development of new employment in the county.
Representatives of the main government party Fine Gael and government backers, Fianna Fail, will be greatly disappointed if they expect much public welcome for the trifling sum.
Meanwhile, concern is growing in the West of the county where, for the second year in a row, the Blue Flag has been pulled from Enniscrone after the beach failed to meet the bathing water quality requirements for the award. The resort has also lost its Green Coast award. The water quality requirements for the grant of the Green Coast Award are greatly lower than those for the Blue Flag.
Views abound about the source of contaminants feared to be affecting the waters of the bay, and the impact the loss that the flags is having on the area’s appeal and economic activity
The resort’s Ocean Sands is expected to reopen soon, following a fire at the hotel.