Concrete levy should lead to more timber frame homes, says Eamon Ryan

Mr Ryan said that homebuyers were actually picking up a much larger tab for the mica and pyrite redress schemes – through the tax system
Concrete levy should lead to more timber frame homes, says Eamon Ryan

Vivienne Clarke

Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan has said that the concrete levy introduced in Budget 2023 on Tuesday should lead to the building of more timber frame homes.

The levy, from which it is expected to raise €80 million towards the mica and pyrite redress schemes, will mean a 10 per cent increase on concrete products from next April.

Mr Ryan told Newstalk Breakfast that he hoped the introduction of the levy would lead to better controls and regulations of the building industry. When asked if the levy could lead to less use of concrete in building, the Minister said that more timber frame homes was "where we need to go".

"We have the raw material here, we've a potential industry developing in it. We can't just keep going business as usual in that industry (construction), it does have to change."

The mistake had been in allowing defective products to be used in the building of houses in the first place, he said. "There also has to be a message to the industry, and reform of that industry, so we don't just write a multi-billion euro blank cheque and say 'It doesn't matter, you don't have any responsibility'."

Mr Ryan said that homebuyers were actually picking up a much larger tab – through the tax system. "The several billions we're going to have to actually spend now is public money. It's not as if the tab disappears - where does it land? It is landing unfortunately in the lap of the Irish people."

Mr Ryan added that he thought it appropriate that a small portion be paid by the construction sector.
Later on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, the Minister said that it was appropriate that the construction industry be better regulated and a levy would set some control and introduce regulations that were much needed.

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