Mica redress scheme did not meet expectations, says Fine Gael TD

Joe McHugh said that the scheme announced on Tuesday did not meet the expectations of local people.
Mica redress scheme did not meet expectations, says Fine Gael TD

Vivienne Clarke

Donegal TD Joe McHugh has appealed to the Government to “finish” the work on the mica redress scheme and said that the sliding scale proposal was not going to work.

Speaking on RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show, the Fine Gael TD said that the scheme announced on Tuesday did not meet the expectations of local people.

Mr McHugh said that the sliding scale proposal was not fit for purpose and that there was “a piece of work to do here” and that a solution needed to be found. He said he would not stand over the scheme if people were excluded by cost shortfalls.

The Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien knew there was an issue, “he knows I have an issue with it, he knows my colleagues have an issue with it, and so we need to get it fixed.

“I want to know will it be fixed because it's not going to work.”

While it was a good scheme overall and “a massive scheme with massive changes”, added Mr McHugh, the Minister needed to give people an assurance before the end of December.

The sliding scale had been introduced “at the eleventh hour” and had not been on the table on Monday.

“It came from left of centre and makes no sense from a quantity surveyor or construction point of view,” Mr McHugh said.

As the scheme stood people would be excluded, he warned, if that happened he would not deviate from his position, which had been that he would resign from the party.

On the same programme another Donegal TD, Sinn Féin’s Padraig MacLochlainn said the redress scheme was a devastating blow for those affected, and he called for it to be reversed immediately.

There were over 2,000 households in Dublin and north Leinster that had received 100 percent redress for pyrite and that scheme had been managed “from start to finish” by a housing agency.

Families in the west of Ireland were being told to fend for themselves, a housing agency to look after the scheme would deliver much better value for money, he said.

Mr MacLochlainn said that the sliding scale had emerged from the working group, and it was aimed at “not allowing 100 per cent redress”.

Sinn Féin would introduce a €200 million “year-on-year” annual grant “which could go on for 10 to 15 years” as thousands of homes could need to be rebuilt, he said.

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