Thursday, 22 October 2020

Questions (47)

Brendan Howlin

Question:

47. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Finance his plans to extend the Living City Initiative to further large towns such as Wexford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32113/20]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Living City Initiative is a very specific tax incentive, established in compliance with the Department of Finance’s Tax expenditure Guidelines, with the aim of encouraging businesses and home-owners back to the centre of Irish cities in order to preserve historic buildings in special regeneration areas. I do not believe that it is a suitable vehicle for broader application beyond its original policy goal and I have no plans at present to extend the scheme along the lines mentioned by the Deputy.

An extension of Living City would amount to s. 23 type relief. These types of reliefs were, with good reason, ended a over decade ago. Also, a proposal to extend would have the potential for increased Exchequer costs and would give rise to state aid concerns. Ireland’s past experience with tax incentives in this sector strongly suggests the need for a cautionary stance.