Dáil debates

Tuesday, 4 October 2022

Defective Concrete Products Levy: Motion [Private Members]


10:00 pm

Photo of Claire KerraneClaire Kerrane (Roscommon-Galway, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

If this was about the industry paying the price, of course, we would not be here this evening. It is, quite frankly, naive of the Minister of State to think that this will not be passed on to people building their first homes and to those forced to rebuild their homes. I listened to the response by the Minister, Deputy Donohoe, earlier on, much of which he spent justifying why the banks and developers could not possibly be asked to pay. He said that these are the people Sinn Féin always wants to go after, never mind the fact that they are the ones responsible.

Of course there is no such concern for ordinary people which reminds me, as others have referenced, of when Fianna Fáil wrecked the economy and the people were left to bail out the banks, and will continue to do so for generations.

The people did not cause that either but again, why would the Government ever hold those who are actually responsible to account?

I live in a rural area near a small village. There are two family homes being built on my road. They are the first family homes to be built by young couples since I was a child. Building a home in rural area is already massively expensive. Before you lay a block you spend hundreds on percolation, thousands on water and ESB connections and thousands on planning permission. You pay thousands in development fees and get nothing in return. It costs an awful lot of money because of inflation and every single type of building material increasing in price. We have a housing crisis that is getting worse and the Government's proposal is to increase the cost of building a home; you could not make it up. This proposal will punish people building their first home and punish those forced to rebuild their homes because everything they put into it is now crumbling around them. It will punish people for the Government's failure to regulate the construction sector. Rather than dealing with that lack of regulation the Government is instead looking at putting the cost on the taxpayer. This is despite the fact the defective block issue has not gone away. It is still happening. We still have quarries producing defective blocks. Developers have walked away or, as some Deputies have mentioned, are still building homes. This is embarrassing, people will see it for what it is and it must be removed.


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