By Jonathan McCambridge, PA
The Taoiseach has said a compensation scheme for thousands of homeowners whose properties have been significantly damaged by mica will not be ready for next week’s budget.
Micheál Martin stressed that the Government wants to provide a “comprehensive solution” for homeowners, but it would take weeks to put together.
He was speaking in Belfast as thousands of protesters marched through Dublin to demand 100 per cent redress for homes affected by the mica scandal.
The Government has faced criticism for only offering 90 percent under the current scheme, leaving property owners with significant bills to repair or rebuild homes.
An estimated 5,000 homes in Co Donegal are affected by defective bricks, with thousands more understood to be in counties Sligo, Clare and Limerick.
A report found that the cost of a full compensation scheme could reach €3.2 billion.
Speaking to the media, Mr Martin said: “In terms of the mica redress, it will not be ready for the budget, but shortly after.
“It is a very substantive issue and there will be enormous resources required to deal with this appalling issue.
“The residents and homeowners have suffered unduly in terms of the integrity of their structures, their homes. The fears around that, the sense of their entire lives being blighted by what has happened.”
“We want to provide a comprehensive solution for the homeowners, but it will take some weeks to put that together.”