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Sale of Coillte harvesting rights shouldn't be contemplated following Peter Bacon report - Sinn Féin

28 January, 2013 - by Martin Ferris TD


Sinn Féin’s Agriculture spokesperson Martin Ferris TD has said the sale of Coillte's harvesting rights “shouldn't even be contemplated” following today’s publication of a report by economist Peter Bacon which found that the proposed sale “cannot be justified” and that the government’s rationale “no longer stands up”.

According to the report (see link below) the State would remain liable for costs of up to €1.3 billion following a sale of harvesting rights. To cover these costs, Coillte would need to sell at €78 per square metre, which is “well above current or recent prices.”

Ferris said:

“This report completely shatters the government’s only rationale for the sell-off of Coillte's harvesting rights. Sinn Féin has consistently called on the government not to sell off Coillte land and harvesting rights.

“The government has refused to live up to its pre-election commitment not to sell Coillte.

“However when an economist like Peter Bacon says that the sale ‘cannot be justified’ on economic grounds surely the government must listen.

“These lands belong to the people of this country and are only held in trust by Coillte. It no longer remains just a moral imperative to resist the sale, it is also an economic imperative.

“What this report says is quite simple: we cannot afford to sell these rights.”

ENDS

See report at: http://www.impact.ie/files/campaigns/saveourforests/ForestryFinalReport1.pdf

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