Tuesday, 4 October 2022
Defective Concrete Products Levy: Motion [Private Members]
Peadar Tóibín (Meath West, Aontú) | Oireachtas source
In the middle of the most damaging housing crisis in the history of the State, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens propose to introduce a levy to make it worse, which is an incredible situation. We have a record-breaking Government that has pushed house prices to their highest level in the history of the State, and in the budget the Government introduced a levy to ratchet them up even further. The people are aghast at the complete detachment and incompetence of the Government when it comes to housing. If a leaving certificate student of economics who knew nothing about the housing crisis surveyed its wreckage for even an hour, he or she would know that pushing up prices at this stage is absolutely the wrong thing to do. That is the issue, and this is important. The people really believe at this stage that Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens simply do not get it. They are so removed from the experience of real people in the housing crisis that they do not understand it. It is unbelievable that a government could think that this is the right thing to do in the middle of a housing crisis.
The mica crisis is a direct result of Fianna Fáil light-touch regulation. Fianna Fáil's friends from the Galway tent were allowed to produce dirt and sell it as a building material and were allowed to get away with it. It was not an isolated incident in any way. Fianna Fáil operated light-touch regulation across society. The banking crash was another example of that and of how much such regulation costs people. When the time comes to pay for this crisis, however, the mica catastrophe, Fianna Fáil does not turn to its old friends and to the cause of the crisis but, rather, seeks simply to make the victims of the housing crisis, the people who are suffering the most, pay for it.
The Minister should mark my words: the concrete levy is a tax on human misery and it will go. There is no doubt about it. The Government may stall and push against that but, in the end, it will not be able to fight the logic of getting rid of this levy and it will back down. I am confident of that.