Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Export Tax Reliefs.

3.

asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the precise context and implications of his statement at the ministerial meeting between Ireland and the European Communities on 19th October, 1971, to the effect that the question would arise of commitments previously entered into in connection with the export tax incentive system and that these commitments would have to be honoured; and if he will state the annual cost involved to the Exchequer.

4.

asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will indicate precisely where in the text of the proposed Protocol concerning Ireland, dated 19th October, 1971, or in the introductory statement by the Community delegation on the Economic and Industrial Development of Ireland, dated 19th October, 1971, there is contained the agreement of the Community to the retention of the export tax reliefs for the remainder of their statutory life, that is, up to April, 1990.

With your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 3 and 4 together.

I set out in my reply to a question by Deputy O'Hara on 28th October the outcome of the negotiations in so far as the continuation of our scheme of export tax reliefs is concerned. The position which has been clearly established—that the export tax reliefs are necessary for our economic and industrial development and that we can continue them—is based on my intensive discussions with the Community on 19th October, the understandings reached then and the agreement on the text of the proposed Protocol.

As regards the reference in my statement to the Community on 19th October to commitments in relation to export tax reliefs, the position established is that firms in respect of which commitments had been entered into at the time of the completion by the Commission after accession of its examination of our industrial incentives, will continue to benefit from export tax reliefs for the full period of entitlement under existing legislation.

Would the Minister in relation to Question No. 3 where I asked the annual cost involved, say whether there will be any cost devolving on the Irish Exchequer in relation to the commitment referred to by Deputy Dr. Hillery which would have to be honoured? I am merely seeking clarification.

This does not arise at all. Until there is any change in the system all firms that under the existing legislation have come in here will be able to avail of the tax incentive provision until 1990. Therefore, there will be no charge devolving on our Exchequer regarding such matters.

What is the position in regard to firms coming in between now and the date of accession? They, presumably, on establishment will have the benefit of the current scheme.

That will continue until 1990.

5.

asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will circulate to Members of both Houses the detailed memorandum on our export tax relief system presented to the European Economic Community on 7th June, 1971.

As the memorandum is a confidential conference document, I regret that it would not be possible to make it available to Members of the Oireachtas. However, I have made available the text of my statement to the Community of 7th June last on export tax reliefs which summarises the case presented in the memorandum.

Is it likely that the data contained in the memorandum will be contained in the Government White Paper which is coming out soon?

Much of it will be in it.