Written answers

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Department of Finance

Tax Reliefs Availability

Photo of Gerald NashGerald Nash (Louth, Labour)
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36. To ask the Minister for Finance if he will include Drogheda and Dundalk, County Louth, in the living cities initiative in the Finance (No. 2) Bill 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47222/13]

Photo of Michael NoonanMichael Noonan (Minister, Department of Finance; Limerick City, Fine Gael)
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The Living City Initiative is a pilot scheme, designed to encourage people back to the centre of Irish cities to live in historic buildings and encourage the regeneration of the retail heartland of central business districts. The initial pilot will be a targeted scheme to enable an assessment to be made as to the effectiveness of the scheme.

The Living City Initiative was announced as part of Finance Bill 2013. I stated at the time that the proposed scheme would be subject to a full ex-ante cost benefit analysis and would require State Aid approval from the European Commission. The cost benefit analysis was recently presented to my Department and has been published on the Department's website. On foot of the recommendations contained in this independent report, I made an announcement in my 2014 Budget Statement that I was proposing to extend the Initiative to include designated areas of four other cities. I do not intend to extend the scope of the Initiative beyond the six cities identified.

Following the receipt of the report, an application for EU State Aid approval will be submitted shortly to the European Commission and the evidence presented in the cost benefit analysis will form part of this application.

The Initiative can not be commenced until EU State Aid approval is received.

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