Denis Naughten TD will again push for changes to the Finance Bill this week seeking the introduction of enhanced tax incentives for those who invest in business and job creation at the Bord na Mona workshops and the sites of the power stations at Lough Ree & West Offaly.
The Roscommon Galway TD said: “”hile the appointment of Mr Kieran Mulvey as the Just Transition Commissioner and the work of Government is welcome, we must also encourage private sector investment in our region to create long-term sustainable jobs by supporting existing companies to expand as well as new start-up companies.
“This region is competing with our cities for investment and unless we have targeted support for the areas which will be hit hardest by the loss of employment because of cessation of peat harvesting, then we will always be on the wrong side of any investment decision.
“The purpose of these amendments is to incentivise private sector investment on the peat production sites across the midlands, which could also leverage EU funds to create long-term sustainable jobs in the communities that have been directly impacted upon.
“The recent announcement by the ESB that it is to shut down its two power plants, Lough Ree and West Offaly, in 13 months’ time means that peat harvesting on our bogs has now ceased with the knock-on loss of thousands of direct and indirect jobs.
“As a result, we are now facing an economic catastrophe across the middle of Ireland in the coming month with the loss of both direct jobs and in those businesses dependent on the spend by ESB and Bord na Mona employees. Therefore, we need to take urgent and radical steps to support new employment in our region.
“My proposal was discussed in detail with the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, at Committee Stage of the Finance Bill and following his feedback that the proposed tax support needed to be focused, I’ve specifically identified 22 locations right across the region in Counties Galway, Roscommon, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath, Laois, Kildare and Tipperary.
“Enhancing the incentives for employment for the communities impacted most by the cessation of peat harvesting could provide the capital injection needed to create an alternative economy for our area,” concluded Denis Naughten.
Editors note: Report Stage Amendments to the Finance Bill 2019
Section 26 (a)
In page 30, between lines 15 and 16, to insert the following:
“26. The Minister shall, within 90 days of the passage of this Act, publish a report on options for the enhancement of the Employment Investment Incentive relief in the Midlands Peat Region for businesses established at Bord na Mona works at
Derrygreenagh, Rochfordbridge, Co Westmeath
Clonsast, Portarlington, Co.Laois
Lemonaghan, Ferbane, Co Offaly,
Bellair, Ballycumber, Co Offaly,
Boora, Leabeg, Tullamore, Co Offaly,
Monietta, Killeigh Tullamore, Co Offaly
Croghan, Mt Lucas, Co. Offaly
Blackwater, Shannonbridge, Co Offaly
Cuil na Gun, Coole, Mullingar, Co Westmeath
Clonfert, Ballinasloe, Co Galway,
Derryfadda/Ahascragh, Ballinasloe, Co Galway
Conburren, Athlone, Co Roscommon
Mountdillon, Lanesborough, Co Longford.
Ballyglass, Co Roscommon.
Cuil na Mona, Portlaoise, Co Laois.
Ballydermot, Rathangan, Co Kildare
Derringlough, Co Offaly
Littleton, Co Tipperary
Blackwater, Co Offaly
Ballycon, Co Offaly.
Section 26 (b)
That the Minister for Finance shall within 90 days of the passage of this Act publish a report on the extension of the relief under section 268 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 to the industry which has the potential for significant job creation in Clonifeen Townland, Co Offaly, AghamoreTownland, Co. Longford and Lanesborough Townland, Co. Longford.