Dáil debates

Tuesday, 4 October 2022

Defective Concrete Products Levy: Motion [Private Members]


9:50 pm

Photo of Thomas PringleThomas Pringle (Donegal, Independent) | Oireachtas source

This is a further punishment for the victims of the mica scandal. That is what is really shocking about this debate. It is a further piling on of wrongdoing on top of them. The victims of the mica scandal are still waiting for the redress scheme to be announced, yet the costs they face will be increased by the levy the Government is proposing in the budget. That is completely wrong, but it is typical of what the Government is about and the lazy way the Government does its work.

What can be said about this levy is that it is, at best, extremely lazy. The Government will introduce a levy, knowing it will be passed on to the costs of the people who have to pay for building work. They will pay the levy, and the Government can dress it up as a levy on the building industry when in fact it is actually a levy on the people who pay to get work done in the building industry.

What would be wrong with levying the profits of the building sector? Rather than putting it on the work the building industry carries out, it could be put on the profits announced every year. We could tell such companies that their profits will now be X minus Y, and that will be the levy. At least then there would be some semblance of the Government actually wanting to go after the companies rather than going after the individuals and citizens of the country. The reality is that all citizens are paying for redress because all citizens will pay for the redress scheme.

The Government is forcing people who are trying to build houses to pay on the double, because they will be paying through their general taxation and the Government is now forcing them to pay a levy. That is typical of the light touch regulation that has been founded and espoused by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael over many years. That was highlighted by other Deputies in this debate. The Labour Party identified what the Minister of State's former colleagues were doing. The fact is the Labour Party and Green Party continued on their merry way afterwards. When they came out of power, they moved on and said it was nothing to do with them.

The reality is this is what the Government has forced on people and what it is going to do at all stages along the way. That is shocking. In this country, we seem to follow slavishly everything that is happening in England. We introduce something a couple of years after it has been introduced in England. Earlier, we heard about a levy that is being implemented in the UK but there is no mention of that being implemented here because it will go after the Government friends, the builders, and that is the problem.


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