Thursday, 29 September 2022
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
I thank the Deputy. I have heard suggestions or allegations that there are still quarries producing defective materials. If that is the case, it needs to be dealt with, but the relevant authorities will need evidence of that. I am not sure if that is being provided to the relevant authorities. As the Deputy knows, any criminal prosecutions are not a matter for Government. We are a democracy. We abide by the rule of law. That would be a matter for the Garda, not for the Government.
The truth is, and I know the Deputy knows this, that it is going to cost hundreds of millions if not billions of euro to repair the homes affected by mica. We need to do that for the 7,000 or 8,000 families affected. We are also going to need to do something to help people who live in apartments that are defective. There is no quarry or two quarries that are going to come up with that kind of money. We need to find a way to recoup some of the cost. It is not fair that the taxpayer should cover all of the cost. We believe that the cost should fall, at least in part, on the industry. I have heard people suggest other methods of doing that and we are open to suggestions if the Deputy has other methods. I have head the suggestion of putting an additional levy on the profits of the construction industry. That would be passed on, too. They would increase their prices and increase their profits to compensate themselves for the levy. No matter what we do, when we decide to socialise the cost of something, the cost has to be borne in the round by society.