Getting some aspects of the building industry back up and running should be a priority following May 5, when the current lockdown restrictions come to an end.
Fine Gael TD Colm Burke said that some sites could be opened up “whether it’s commercial or whether it’s residential”, even if a partial lockdown remains in place after that date.
He said that each case will, however, have to be judged individually to assess the level of safety.
“That’s something that we’re going to have to look at very carefully, and how we can do that and move forward. An awful lot of people who are self-employed at the moment are really feeling the pressure,” Deputy Burke told.
The Cork North Central TD also said that while there are many self-employed in the construction industry, independent garden centres often rely heavily on trade in April in particular also and are facing huge losses in revenue and stock due to the restrictions currently in place.
“I have had a number of garden centres on to me. One of them said that they’re already going to lose stock by May 5 because normally planting season is this time of the year,” he said.
“If there is a total lockdown of garden centres again beyond May 5, the year is gone for them. They will end up dumping an awful lot of plants because they won’t be able to continue to fund feeding them.
“We’re going to have to look closely at how we are going to accommodate garden centres. It’s a crucial area we need to start looking at,” he added.