Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Finance the position regarding his Department’s deliberations on the Living City Initiative in terms of maximising its uptake in Waterford and Limerick, and securing the necessary EU approvals.
Reply from Minister Michael Noonan: Finance Act 2013 includes a section on the Living City Initiative which introduces a scheme of tax incentives focusing on the regeneration of the historic centres of some of our main cities. The scheme which will be introduced by Ministerial order, will apply in the first instance on a pilot basis only to specified regeneration areas in Waterford and Limerick.
I indicated in my budget speech in December last year that I would examine proposals for a targeted incentive for already identified regeneration areas. The tax relief that will apply under this scheme will operate for five years from the date of commencement.
However, it is my intention that before it begins, the scheme will be subject to an ex ante cost benefit analysis and, subject to a positive outcome from the analysis, I will seek EU approval under State Aid rules for this initiative to be commenced for Limerick and Waterford cities.
Now that Finance Act 2013 is law, my department has been working on a request for tender document and I expect the tendering process for the cost benefit analysis project to begin shortly.