European funding for Port of Cork will support local economy – Buttimer

Tuesday, 30th June 2015

  • €12.7 million for the Port of Cork from EU’s Connecting Europe Facility
  • Funding to be used for phase one of Ringaskiddy Port Redevelopment Project

AerialRingaskiddy1The Port of Cork is a crucial to our economy and this funding from Europe will ensure that it continues to serve businesses in the Cork region and support job creation for years to come. This €12.7 million will be used to part fund the first phase of the Ringaskiddy Port Redevelopment Project which was given the go-ahead by An Bord Pleanala in May.

The redevelopment of the Port of Cork will ensure that future connectivity needs are met. We need a port that facilitates business and economic expansion, the plans that are in place will deliver on this front. It will enable the Port of Cork to continue as a vital regional and national port that plays an important part in the overall European transport network.

As well as benefitting the economy the development of an expanded container terminal will also create much needed direct employment. This will create new construction jobs as this project is developed benefitting many families in Cork.

For two centuries the Port of Cork has supported our local economy and provided an economic link to the world. The future plans for the Port and this funding will help to ensure that it continues to serve our local community for many more years to come.

ENDS

Posted under Carrigaline, Cork, Cork City, Development, Economic, Transport

Parliamentary Question: Mortgage Interest Relief Extension

Question to the Minister for Finance (Mr. Michael Noonan, TD)

To ask the Minister for Finance if he will consider a further extension to the tax relief for mortgage interest scheme for persons who bought during the period 2004 to 2008, as persons who bought during this period did so at a time of very high prices and are now repaying very large mortgages, and many of these persons are in negative equity, and it would be extremely beneficial, as it would assist them in keeping up full mortgage repayments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer

For WRITTEN ANSWER on 12, May, 2015.

REPLY

The Deputy will be aware that mortgage interest relief has been abolished for homes purchased since 1 January 2013. Up until 2018 however, tax relief continues to be available for interest paid on all qualifying home loans taken out on or after 1 January 2004 and on or before 31 December 2012, regardless of whether the individuals concerned are first-time buyers or non-first-time buyers.

This Government is committed to helping address the particular problems faced by those that bought homes at the height of the property boom between 2004 and 2008. In this regard, in Budget 2012, I fulfilled the commitment in the Programme for Government to increase the rate of mortgage interest relief to 30 per cent for first time buyers who took out their first mortgage in that period. This was the period during which house prices peaked. This 30% rate will continue to be applicable to these first-time buyers for the remaining years that mortgage interest relief continues to be available. In the absence of this change the mortgage interest relief available would have gradually reduced to a rate of 15%.

Single individuals, married couples and civil partners that are first-time buyers, qualify for mortgage interest relief for the first seven years of their mortgage up to a maximum ceiling of €10,000 and €20,000 respectively. Thereafter relief is restricted to ceilings of €3,000 and €6,000 respectively.

The system of mortgage interest relief is designed and targeted in such a way that the relief is of greater value in the early years of a qualifying loan where the interest represents a greater proportion of the repayment.  Mortgage interest relief is of lesser value to individuals whose repayments are made up of a higher proportion of principal than interest, as would generally be the case for those who move in to the eighth and subsequent years of their loans.

Given the additional relief already available to those that purchased their homes between 2004 and 2008, over and above that available to other qualifying homeowners and given that mortgage interest relief has now lapsed in terms of new qualifying loans, I am not convinced of the merits of revisiting the provisions at this stage.

Posted under Economic, Finance, Parliamentary Questions

Parliamentary Question: Competition Law

Question to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Mr. Richard Bruton, TD)

To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the circumstances in which it is permissible for wholesale suppliers to refuse to supply their products to certain retail outlets; if there are laws precluding such measures that aim to distort open competition; the remedies available to businesses affected by such practices; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer

For WRITTEN ANSWER on 21, April, 2015.

REPLY

Commercial relationships between firms at different levels of the supply chain, such as wholesalers and retailers, are governed in the first instance by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) Declaration in respect of Vertical Agreements and Concerted Practices and, more generally, under section 4 of the Competition Act 2002, which prohibits anti-competitive agreements between undertakings. Under competition law, wholesalers may refuse to supply retailers for a wide range of legitimate reasons and there is no general obligation under that Act whereby a wholesaler must, in all circumstances, fulfil supply requests from retailers. Legitimate refusals to fulfil such requests may benefit from the exemptions from competition law set out in the Declaration, and in section 4(5) of the Competition Act 2002. Refusals to supply, which arise pursuant to an agreement between competitors, or as part of a dominant firm’s strategy to remove a competitor from the marketplace, may give rise to concerns under competition law, although such cases are invariably very specific.

If the Deputy is aware of matters that may require investigation, he should refer any specific complaints directly to the CCPC. Investigations and enforcement matters generally are part of the statutory function of the CCPC and I, as Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation, have no direct role in the matter.

Posted under Economic, Parliamentary Questions