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Turf cutters don't want compensation offered by Finance Bill - TD

Luke Ming Flanagan said that the country “is on its knees” and turf cutters aren’t looking for the tax breaks offered in yesterday’s Finance Bill.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

TURF CUTTERS ARE not interested in the compensation offered to them in the Finance Bill, Luke Ming Flanagan has said.

The Finance Bill 2012 published yesterday said that turf cutters who give up their right to cut in certain areas of conservation will not have to pay capital gains tax on their compensation.

“This country is on its knees,” Flanagan told RTE Radio One’s Morning Ireland this morning. “Turfcutters do not want compensation. We’re not looking for compensation at all”.

Flanagan said that the government should look at “reasonable proposals” from turf cutters about relocating and redesignating bogs.

Turf cutting is not allowed on 31 bogs around Ireland for conservation reasons.

“For those who want compensation, this is an improvement,” said Flanagan. However most turf cutters have never asked for compensation.

“You could offer some of our members a million euros for their acre of bog and they wouldn’t give it away. People like going out saving their turf, they like bringing it home, they like being out on the bog with their family in the summer time, and it’s part of their tradition – and people don’t want to give that up,” the Roscommon- South Leitrim TD said.

The Finance Bill (PDF) states:

“No chargeable gain shall arise on the receipt of an amount of compensation whether in money or money’s worth under the Cessation of Turf Cutting, Compensation Scheme administered by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht relating to the cessation of turf cutting on raised bog Special areas of Conservation or Natural Heritage Areas”

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