Tuesday, 2 November 2021
Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters
As I mentioned, this is possibly the first Government to have a comprehensive approach to the issue of defective housing. The working group is examining all options, including tax. Famously, with the issue of mica, it is direct expenditure which is being looked at and not tax relief because the latter would not be sufficient for the campaigners. The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, including when he was a Member of this House, has been a champion for people affected by pyrite. We have a Minister who has huge experience in trying to address the difficulties that arise in this regard. Indeed, this is a huge issue in my constituency. The matter the Senator has raised is an issue in certain areas. Pyrite in general has been a significant issue for the past number of years. As such, we are well aware of all of this and we really want to see what can be done across Government in respect of the matter. I am sorry the Minister for Finance cannot be here today but the Senator will also understand there is a range of different Ministers here who will be giving consideration to all these matters, especially the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage. We are concerned about the position people find themselves in through no fault of their own. This really is a matter of concern to everybody across this House. The entire Government supports the process the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage has put in place through the working group.
Tax expenditures are one thing, and consideration should be given to them, but other ways of dealing with this are also being examined. Fiscal decisions will be taken in a budgetary context, but this is something the Government is very committed to and is working on. I hear what the Senator is saying. I know families in my constituency that have been affected by these issues. When the shelter a family has suddenly turns out to not be fit to shelter them, which is the basic requirement we have, it is possibly the worst thing that can happen to a particular family. I will take that back to the Minister for Finance and will continue to advocate, as I think all of us will, for families in these situations.