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Finance | Extent to which the Living City Initiative is being implemented and exemplifying success

To ask the Minister for Finance the extent to which a review of the Living City Initiative has been undertaken by his Department and the extent of engagement, if any, with local authorities in respect of same with particular reference to Dublin City Council and the effectiveness of the scheme as currently implemented; if he or his Department has in mind any further plans to enhance  this scheme in the near future; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


The Living City Initiative, provided for in Finance Act 2013 and commenced on 5 May 2015, is a tax incentive aimed at the regeneration of the historic inner cities of Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick and Waterford. The scheme provides income or corporation tax relief for qualifying expenditure incurred in refurbishing/converting qualifying buildings which are located within pre-determined Special Regeneration Areas.
During Committee Stage of the 2021 Finance Bill, I gave a commitment to review the initiative. This is being done at present in line with my Department’s Tax Expenditure Guidelines and before its scheduled sunset date at the end of this year.   I am informed that it is expected to be completed shortly.
I would further inform the Deputy that it is not proposed that the review will incorporate consultation with local authorities at this time.
As the Deputy will appreciate, proposals for the amendment of tax reliefs must be assessed in accordance with my Department’s Tax Expenditure Guidelines. These make clear the importance that any policy proposal which involves tax expenditures should only occur in limited circumstances. In particular, they provide that a tax-based incentive should only be considered where it would be more efficient than a direct expenditure intervention.
Furthermore, any decisions regarding taxation measures are made in the context of the annual Budget and Finance Bill processes, at the appropriate time, and having regard to the sound management of the public finances.



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