Thursday, 24 January 2019

Questions (85)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

85. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance his views on a proposal (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3458/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

Decisions on taxation matters are made in the context of the annual Budget process, and the Deputy will understand that I cannot give any indications of my plans for Budget 2020 at this time.

However,  I should add that policy in relation to the matters the Deputy raises are, in the first instance, matters for the Minister for Rural and Community  Development. "Realising our Rural Potential: Action Plan for Rural Development" contains a detailed list of actions and priorities with a view to revitalising rural Ireland generally. This effort is being led by the Minister for Rural and Community Development in conjunction with Ministers and officials from other Departments, as well as the Local Authorities and a range of other stakeholders. A variety of actions included in this plan aim to assist in improving rural towns and making rural Ireland a better place to live. 

Furthermore, the Department of Finance Tax Expenditure Guidelines, published in October 2014, set out guidelines for best practice in ex-ante and ex-post evaluation of tax expenditures and is used by my Department when considering whether or not to introduce a new tax expenditure, or in reviewing an existing measure. These guidelines provide that tax expenditures should only be used in limited circumstances of demonstrable market failure, and where a tax based incentive is likely to be more efficient than a direct expenditure intervention.

Finally, EU State Aid rules make it difficult to introduce tax reliefs that target specific geographic areas while excluding others. In this regard, the Deputy may be aware of the difficulties that my Department encountered in obtaining state aid approval from the European Commission for the Living City initiative.