Written Answers. - Venture Capital Scheme.

422.

asked the Minister for Finance if he considers that the conditions governing the venture capital scheme, announced in the 1984 Budget with the aim of fostering private investment, require amendment if the scheme is to attain its objective of making available funds for the expansion of small manufacturing concerns; if, in this regard, he considers that the severity of the restrictions on unit trusts militates against venture funds being set up as investors fear the possibility of coming under unit trust legislation; and if he will consider taking the necessary legislative steps to ensure the scheme operates as envisaged.

The relevant legislation, which is contained in Chapter III of part I of the Finance Act, 1984, provides that no claims for tax relief may be allowed before 1 January 1985. It is therefore, too early to come to any conclusions about the scheme.

The legislation also provides (section 27) for designation of investment funds by the Revenue Commissioners. Designated investment funds contemplated under section 27 at present come within the definition of a unit trust for the purposes of the Unit Trust Act, 1972. Since these investment funds will be required to operate in a different manner to a normal unit trust scheme, the provisions of this Act are inappropriate to such funds. The Minister for Industry, Trade, Commerce and Tourism proposes to introduce new legislation to remove investment funds from the scope of the 1972 Act in the near future.