Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael TDs remain opposed to the Budget’s 10pc levy on concrete to fund mica compensation amid ongoing concern that the €11bn giveaway Budget has not boosted either party’s popular support.
But the leadership of both parties remain adamant that the levy must stand despite fears in the main Coalition parties that the measure will not raise substantial funds and only further antagonise young home buyers with higher prices.
At the same time backbenchers in both parties remained sanguine about their respective parties’ failure to gain much traction in the latest opinion poll following last Tuesday’s epic giveaway Budget.
The Ireland Thinks survey for the Sunday Independent put Sinn Féin on a record high of 37pc popular support. Fine Gael remained unchanged on 21pc, while Fianna Fáil gained just one point on 17pc, with the Green Party gaining two points to return to 4pc.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin made light of the survey findings, insisting polls did not very effectively predict future election outcomes.
But unlike Fine Gael, Mr Martin also refused to rule out the prospect of going into government with Sinn Féin after the next general election due in spring 2025 at the latest.
Mr Martin said Fianna Fáil’s “door is always open” to working with parties whose policies align with their own, but conceded this was not the case with Sinn Féin in recent years. However, he refused to rule out the possibility of a Fianna Fáil-Sinn Féin coalition.
Backbenchers in both the main parties said they had ongoing concerns about the mica concrete levy which is aimed at subsidising a multi-billion euro compensation scheme for home owners stricken by defective concrete products.
One Fine Gael TD said the 10pc levy amid a housing crisis appeared counterproductive.
“It is projected at best to raise €80m per year – a drop in the ocean compared to what is required. It may come at a high political price,” one Fine Gael TD said.
But Fianna Fáil welfare spokesman, Willie O’Dea, said he would wait and see how it will work as announced in the Finance Bill.