Breen welcomes extension date for applications to the Mid-Shannon Corridor Tourism Investment Scheme.

May 15th, 2009 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen has welcomed the extension deadline for applications to the Mid-Shannon Corridor Tourism Investment Scheme.   Deputy Breen claims that the Scheme has the potential to bring significant employment along the Shannon particularly in East Clare and the surrounding areas through the development of many different Tourism projects and that the extension to the deadline will give promoters a second chance to review their plans and submit their projects for approval.    However, Deputy Breen is warning the Government that while the extension to the deadline for applications is welcome that they need to do more to deal with the difficulties which many small and medium enterprises are experiencing namely the “lack of access to capital from the Banks”.   

The Finance Bill which was published on Thursday last includes an amendment which extends the period during which applications for this Scheme can be made to 31 May 2010 and the period within which expenditure must be incurred for capital allowances is also being extended, to 31 May 2013.

“The scheme commenced in June 2008 and when problems were first brought to my attention I raised the matter with the Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan T.D. and urged him to extend this deadline as I was concerned that the entire Scheme was been put in jeopardy.   I welcome the fact that the Minister has now taken on board my concerns and has included an Amendment in the Finance Bill to address this.”

“The new Scheme has been dogged by delays and it has already taken over a year to have the Scheme approved at EU Level and then the Credit Crisis hit home.”

“The success and benefits of the scheme can only be assured if the promoters can get the support from our Banks and in the current environment this is not at all certain.   That it why is so important that the Government gets to grip with the Banking Crisis,   Many small and medium enterprises are being paralysed by the lack of access to credit  and the Government should get on with the businesses of dealing with this as the seriousness for many businesses cannot be overstated.”

“Tourism is and will continue to be one of most important industries in this County and in particular alongside the river Shannon in East Clare.    This Scheme is aimed at stimulating and encouraging sustainable investment along the River Shannon Corridor and while East Clare has so much to offer in terms of its tourism product from Angling, Watersports, Golfing, Cruises in Lough Derg, Holy Island, Art & Crafts, Walking etc.there is huge potential for development. “

“This decision will now afford a second change to promoters to re-view and re-submit their plans and it is imperative that good projects are strongly supported by the Government and the Banks.”

See Parliamentary Reply Underneath.

 To ask the Minister for Finance the number of projects which have been received for inclusion under the mid-Shannon tourism investment scheme; if he will extend the 1 June 2009 deadline for this scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.- Pat Breen.

*    For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 24th March, 2009.

Ref No: 11253/09

 

 

REPLY

 

 

Minister for Finance ( Mr Lenihan) :   

 

The approval and certification of projects under the Mid-Shannon Tourism Infrastructure Investment Scheme is a matter for the Mid-Shannon Tourism Infrastructure Board in accordance with guidelines issued by the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism in consultation with the Minister for Finance.

 

The Review Board of the Mid Shannon Tax Incentive Scheme and the executive teams within Fáilte Ireland and Shannon Development have undertaken extensive promotion of the scheme since its inception.  Briefings have been held with industry groups throughout the targeted region, and local authorities have also been engaged to ensure their support for the scheme and  projects that might result from it. Whilst the executive teams have received many enquiries and expressions of interest among industry practitioners and engaged with them in developing their thinking, to date there have been no formal applications to the Board.   

 

Any proposals to amend the scheme like all proposals for new tax or expenditure  measures, will fall to be considered in the context of the ongoing development of budgetary and economic policy.