Dáil debates

Tuesday, 4 October 2022

Defective Concrete Products Levy: Motion [Private Members]


9:40 pm

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary, Independent) | Oireachtas source

I also support this motion. What about the perpetrators of the crisis, the quarries and concrete plants? This industrial sector is dominated and controlled by CRH plc, Ireland's largest company, which is number one in the US and the UK and is the world's third largest manufacturer of construction materials. CRH plc settled a price-fixing, market-sharing case taken in the state of Virginia for $101 million in October 2020. An Garda Síochána will not investigate CRH plc and neither will the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission or the Director of Corporate Enforcement. The Government will not investigate CRH plc; in fact, it protects the company and that is the shame of this. CRH has the resources to pay for all of the mica and pyrite if it was asked to do so by the Government but no, it is beholden to the company. CRH needs to be investigated to establish the extent of its control over the market. We know from reports in the Sunday Independentthat CRH plc controls a stable of secondarily-owned, so-called independent operators. It forced them out of business and took them over. It highjacked, banjaxed and squeezed the lifeblood out of many good companies in this country. The Fianna Fáil Party, founded by de Valera and Lemass, is in its pocket, as is Fine Gael. That is the fact of the matter.

Why pick on young Irish people and hard-pressed farmers by imposing such a penal levy? It is a tax. It walks like a tax and it is a tax. Why impose a tax on them when the culprits are getting away scot-free? Where is HomeBond in all of this? Why is the Government so beholden to these big companies, the corporates? It has reached a new low in trying to penalise the ordinary people who want to put a roof over their heads. It is disgusting, despicable and disgraceful. The cowardice shown by the Minister for Finance, Deputy Donohoe, who cobbled this together, and the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Deputy Eamon Ryan, who let CRH off scot-free, is shameful.


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