Tuesday, 21 June 2022
Department of Finance
Defective Building Materials
165. To ask the Minister for Finance the steps that he has taken to date on ensuring a contribution from relevant industries to the funding for dealing with defective block and or future defective building remediation; if he will provide a list of all meetings to date; the dates when these meetings occurred; if he will provide a report from the meetings; and the plans on the issue of industry contributions at this time. [32021/22]
As the Deputy will be aware, it is the Government’s firm intention to find appropriate solutions for those ordinary home-owners who have been affected by the defective concrete blocks issue.
The Programme for Government reflects this commitment.
That commitment is further reflected in a Government decision taken on 30 November 2021 regarding the Defective Concrete Block Grant Scheme, which agreed a number of actions to help address the defective blocks issue. One of those proposed actions was that a levy on the construction sector was to be put in place to raise in the region of €80m a year, and it is that levy to which this question refers.
My officials, with the assistance of colleagues in other Departments and agencies, as well as from Revenue, have been working on identifying and evaluating a range of options in regards to such a levy. Once this work is further advanced it may be necessary to seek the views of relevant stakeholders, before I will be in a position to make any final decision on the proposed levy.
As work on this matter is an ongoing process, involving regular, sometimes daily, communications and meetings of all types, (i.e. not only formal meetings), and at all levels, I cannot provide the breakdown sought by the Deputy.
Nor, given the need for this policy development work to progress in a confidential manner, can I provide any indication of the progress or direction on this matter to date.
I can however confirm that I remain confident that I will be in a position to update the Dáil on how this matter has progressed at the time of Budget 2023/Finance Bill 2022.
Separately, and in line with a different Programme for Government commitment, the Minister for Housing, Heritage and Local Government, Deputy Darragh O’Brien established a working group to examine defects in housing. This working group has been meeting regularly since March 2021. The group’s terms of reference are focused on fire safety, structural safety and water ingress defects in purpose built apartment buildings, including duplexes, constructed between 1991 and 2013. The Minister
The Minister for Housing, Heritage and Local Government expects to receive the report of the working group in the coming months and will give full consideration to its contents at that time.