Written Answers. - Local Improvements Scheme.

506.

asked the Minister for the Environment if the PLV system is still being used by local authorities in the determination of the amounts of contributions liable to be paid by participants in applications for local improvements scheme improvements; and if so, the proposals he has to introduce a more equitable and just form of contribution assessment.

The administration of the local improvements scheme is the responsibility of local authorities subject to annual guidelines from my Department. The scheme in 1984 is being confined to farm road projects eligible for EEC aid under the western package. EEC regulations require that a minimum contribution of 10 per cent of the cost of individual projects must be met by the beneficiaries involved. Subject to this requirement local authorities already have a very wide discretion in determining the amounts of the contributions of individual beneficiaries. In this connection, in order to facilitate the acceptance and administration of projects, it is open to local authorities to offer beneficiaries the opportunity of having the amounts of their contributions determined on the basis of average land valuations, in effect using the valuation system as a guide for assessment of the amount of local contributions under the local improvements scheme. It is open to local authorities to submit proposals for alternative arrangements in future years.