Written Answers. - Town Renewal Scheme.

Ivan Yates

Question:

445 Mr. Yates asked the Minister for Finance if, in relation to the town renewal tax designation scheme, it is anticipated that the EU approval for commercial developments will be granted; if so, when; when was this requested; if his attention has been drawn to the many projects being held up awaiting such EU approval; and the steps he will take to have this matter expedited. [19398/00]

My Department formally notified the EU Commission of the business elements of the new town renewal scheme on 19 July 2000 around the same time as the specific towns selected for this new town renewal scheme were announced by the Minister of State at the Department of the Environment and Local Government. The Commission responded on 6 September 2000 with a request for additional information. The matter was discussed in detail with the EU Commission at a meeting on 27 September 2000 and a reply to the Commission is currently being prepared. As things stand at present, it appears that it will take some more months before the business tax incentives elements of the schemes will be approved by the EU Commission. Such a delay is normal where EU Commission approval is concerned.