Calls for concrete levy to be deferred until construction sector 'settles down'

TD for Galway East Sean Canney said now was not the right time to add to the cost of building
Calls for concrete levy to be deferred until construction sector 'settles down'

Vivienne Clarke

An Independent TD has called for the concrete levy proposed in Budget 2023 to be deferred until “things settle down” in the construction sector.

TD for Galway East Sean Canney told RTÉ Radio's Morning Ireland that now was not the right time to add to the cost of building, as the State is in the midst of a housing crisis.

It was accepted that any time levies were imposed it was ultimately the consumer who pays, he added, with the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) estimating that the additional charge on concrete products will add between €2,000-€3,000 to the cost of new homes.

Outlining the budget on Tuesday, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said the levy would raise €80 million annually, which will go towards the payment of the Mica Redress Scheme. However, Mr Canney described the measure as "ill-timed".

Stating the levy would not fund the redress scheme, Mr Canney suggested that the €80 million should instead go towards a new building control scheme which would be independent and ensure building regulations were met on all new builds.

The underlying problem, he said, had to be addressed which was why building control regulations needed to be funded.

“Look at the redress schemes that are costing billions,” he added.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar defended the levy on Wednesday, describing it as “the least worst way” to raise funds for building redress schemes.

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