Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Questions (81, 83)

Paudie Coffey

Question:

81. Deputy Paudie Coffey asked the Minister for Finance the number of applications that have been made under the Living City initiative in counties Limerick and Waterford since its introduction in budget 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45052/13]

View answer

Pearse Doherty

Question:

83. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if the European Commission has approved the Living City initiative announced in budget 2013 and extended in budget 2014. [45087/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 81 and 83 together.

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. Certain other technical amendments would also be proposed in the forthcoming Finance Bill.

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 and so no applications have yet been received.