Cabinet to sign off on €2.7bn mica redress scheme

Thousands of mica protestors gather for a rally in Dublin city centre. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Gabija Gataveckaite

The expanded mica redress scheme, which will now include Clare and Limerick, is set to cost a further €500m.

Senior Cabinet ministers will tomorrow sign off on legislation on the defective block scheme.

Initial estimates last November showed that the scheme would cost €2.3bn.

However, further input from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) on labour costs as well as increased inflation, and the addition of the two counties, has brought up the redress by €500m.

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien will tomorrow bring legislation underpinning the defective concrete blocks scheme.

While final estimates for the cost of the scheme are now €2.7bn, a senior Government source emphasised that this may still not be the final figure, depending on take up of redress.

The scheme will be mainly aimed at households affected by mica, a sponge-like mineral which is found in concrete blocks.

Homeowners will be able to avail of up to €420,000 per home. Around 7,000 houses are affected by mica in the northwest of the country.

This causes a crumbling effect on homes after a number of years, with homes crumbling around the country, mainly in Donegal.

The Government came under sustained pressure last year to act faster and put in place 100pc redress following high level protests in Dublin.

Following Tuesday’s sign off, the legislation will be passed through the Dáil before the summer and the Government hopes that it will be in law by the autumn.