Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ceisteanna (289, 290)

Willie Penrose

Ceist:

289. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the criteria applicable for receipt of endowments under the immigrant investor programme; if there is a specific criteria which indicates that the said endowment has to be applied to a capital programme rather than to the running costs whereby a project that is already in existence for the past 15 years requires an endowment will continue to be sustainable subsequent to the said funding being invested; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20823/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Willie Penrose

Ceist:

290. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if it is possible for the beneficiaries of the endowment to meet with the evaluation committee in the context in which an application under the immigrant investment programme is refused to ascertain the criteria involved in the programme which would enable them to submit a new or fresh application under the programme. [20824/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 289 and 290 together.

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) was introduced in April 2012 to encourage inward investment so as to create business and employment opportunities in the State.

The programme provides investors with the opportunity to invest in Ireland. Key to the programme is that the investments are beneficial for Ireland, generate or sustain employment and are generally in the public interest. There are currently four options for investing, one of which is the endowment of €500,000 (or €400,000 where a group of 5 or more combine to make a large endowment) towards a project of public benefit in the arts, sports, health, cultural or educational field.

Any endowment proposed should be regarded as a philanthropic contribution with a clear public benefit and investors will receive no financial return or recoupment of the principal. The evaluation of an endowment project examines how the project proposes to utilise the funds made available and where the funds are to be spent on salaries and overheads it is deemed not to have met the IIP criteria. Any successful endowment project must provide a benefit to the public that is enduring and not one that is no longer sustainable once the endowment funding ceases.

The independent evaluation committee is not available to meet individual project proposers or applicants. However, officials of my Department who administer the programme and provide secretariat to the committee have met with project proposers to explain applicable criteria. This can be arranged in this case if requested.