Dáil debates

Tuesday, 4 October 2022

Defective Concrete Products Levy: Motion [Private Members]


9:40 pm

Photo of Danny Healy-RaeDanny Healy-Rae (Kerry, Independent) | Oireachtas source

I thank Sinn Féin for the opportunity to speak on this important motion, which I support. Our group was the only one that did not congratulate the Minister on this levy in the Dáil when it was announced on budget day. This concrete and concrete block levy will add at least €5,000 to the costs for every young man or woman who is trying to build a house. It will also add millions to the cost of the Government's public works and social housing building.

The price of concrete products and concrete blocks has already gone up by 30% in the last nine months. The €80 million will be a lot more if the young fellas can continue building one-off houses, for which it is hard to get planning permission in places around Killarney. All types of housing materials have gone up in price. I was amazed that the Minister for Finance and his advisers thought that they were smart by asking where we will get the money to pay for the levy. Is there any fear that we have already paid for it and that we have paid over and above for it? People are being hit by taxes of every creed and description - carbon tax, VAT, income tax, property tax and any other tax the Government can think of. People have to pay up. There are humps on people with lorries and tractors trying to pay the extra VAT and excise duty on the fuel as they try to keep their vehicles going. They have already paid.

There was no regulation in the Twenty-six Counties. We hear that the same quarries that supplied these defective materials also sent materials into the North of Ireland but they were checked there. There was no problem in Derry, when they took their products across the Border.

The Government is giving grants to farmers for buildings and slurry storage on the one hand and then it is increasing the cost of concrete and concrete blocks on the other. That is not fair. What the Government is doing is wrong. It is hurting the ordinary young boys and girls that are trying to put a roof over their heads, which they are entitled to do. Instead of helping them, the Government is hurting them.


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