Dáil debates

Tuesday, 4 October 2022

Defective Concrete Products Levy: Motion [Private Members]


9:20 pm

Photo of Seán CanneySeán Canney (Galway East, Independent) | Oireachtas source

This levy will be on concrete blocks and other concrete products and it will be paid for by the taxpayer, be it through public works contracts that will increase in price, by farmers who are trying to upgrade their slurry facilities to meet environmental demands or, most importantly, by anybody trying to buy or build a house.

The SCSI have put €4,000 of a price tag on the additional cost for a house. That has been ridiculed by Government, yet the same Government has used the SCSI to help it formulate the costs for the implementation of the mica redress scheme. They are independent and they will give it as it is. I think the figure is correct.

Furthermore, with regard to additional concrete products, to put a levy of 10% on precast concrete products is to put a levy of 10% on materials other than concrete that go in to make up these components, and that will drive up costs even further. A levy at this time will further fuel inflation when the construction industry is battling monthly to try to cope with the cost increases coming with every kind of material. It is ill-judged and ill-timed and should be deferred until we get things right. It will raise €80 million per annum, but that does not deal with the redress schemes that have to be put in place or their cost. It is just tokenism. I cannot understand why it is even being talked about.

In addition, the apartment blocks that have to be remediated are not concrete, so why should this levy on concrete and concrete blocks be used for all these remediation schemes, as the Taoiseach said last week when I questioned him in the House on this?

We have had three major incidents in which defects have arisen in buildings as a result of the lack of implementation of regulations. Until we get building control right in this country, we should not touch any levies.


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