Dáil debates

Tuesday, 4 October 2022

Defective Concrete Products Levy: Motion [Private Members]


8:40 pm

Photo of Thomas GouldThomas Gould (Cork North Central, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

The price of an average three-bedroom semi-detached house in Cork has risen to €350,000. That is the latest figure from a survey by Real Estate Alliance. People cannot afford an extra 10% in money payments, because in money terms, that is €3,000 to €4,000 added to the price of their new home. These are people who are trying to get on to the property ladder to buy for the first time.

The reality is that this Government is putting this concrete block levy on them. We have repeatedly told this Government that its policies increased the price of houses. House prices are now at an all-time high in the history of the State and that has happened under the watch of this Government. Once again, instead of tackling developers and people who have profited from these homes, the Government wants to put this tax back on ordinary people. This is just like in the good old days of the bank bailout when ordinary people were left behind.

The Government tells us that this needs to funded. We agree but we disagree on the way it should be funded. That is what we are saying today. There are other ways of doing this instead of putting this levy on the people who cannot afford it.

We put it on the people who have profited. That is the fundamental difference between Sinn Féin and this Government. Big banks, developers and speculators have all profited and the Minister just stood there and talked about the duty to the taxpayer.

I find it astounding that the Minister announced last week in the budget a new vacancy tax which comes in at 0.3%. Today, I listened to one of his Government colleagues tell us about what is being done in Vancouver and how all of the vacant properties are being used in Vancouver due to the levy there. The levy in Vancouver is 3%, ten times more than what Government Deputies are coming in here to say we should be doing. If we had our way, it would be a lot more than that. There are 100,000 properties lying idle in this country. When it comes to it, they look after the land hoarders, the speculators and the developers, and, once again, the ordinary people suffer. Those are the facts.


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