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Strong support for proposed tax measures to boost housing supply

Business group IBEC is strongly supporting proposals for new tax measures to boost the country’s housing supply.

A VAT reduction was among a number of measures backed by AIB bank at the weekend, in a bid to support developers and cut construction costs.

Fergal O’Brien, IBEC

IBEC’s Fergal O’Brien says the shortage of residential property is one of the biggest challenges facing our society.

"Some progress is being made but we need some fresh thinking around making housing more affordable and giving greater incentive for developers to go out there and deliver housing in the market," said Mr O’Brien.

"Things can be done in the tax system that will reduce the cost of residential property, that will encourage more supply and ultimately will improve affordability for people looking for a home."

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy is going to announce new housing delivery stats later.

Local authorities and housing bodies are expected to build 3,800 social homes this year.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy

But last year year the State supplied less than a thousand.

Architect Mel Reynolds says it will be hard for the Minister to make the 2017 figures sound good.

"Trying to put lipstick on a gorilla at the moment, the output is incredibly low at the minute," said Mr Reynolds.

"We know that the completions for the first nine months of the year are about 800 in total for social housing from all social housing builds from all sources.

"So, I think, 300 of those were built by local authorities. So I think he is going to try and put some kind of shine on what remains to be incredibly low output."