I refer the Commission to answer E‑006482/2011, which states that tax exemptions on income arising to stallion and stud greyhound owners in Ireland was terminated in July 2008. The Commission referred Ireland to the European Court of Justice in November 2010 over Ireland’s application of a 4.8 % reduced VAT rate for supplies of horses and greyhounds that is not in line with the provisions of the VAT Directive (2006/112/EC) and distorts the market. Can the Commission give me an update on the progress of any infringement proceedings in this case?
The Commissioner also refers to Ireland’s ‘approved or block exempted state aid schemes for animal breeding, in particular for equines’ and writes that ‘there is also the possibility of granting support in line with de minimis rules for breeders or for operators in the horse and greyhound racing industries’. What is the nature of Ireland’s state aid schemes, and what other support could a Member State grant to breeders or operators in the horse and greyhound industry?
Furthermore, with regard to the investigation into the funding of prize money to greyhound owners and trainers, grants to greyhound racetrack owners and funding of greyhound stadia, when will this investigation be complete and will the Commission publish details of the outcome?