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Taoiseach says details on controversial cement levy still ‘to be worked out’ as Sinn Féin tables motion to scrap it

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Taoiseach Micheál Martin at launch of the iCommunity project today (Pic credit: Gareth Chaney/ Collins Photos)

Taoiseach Micheál Martin at launch of the iCommunity project today (Pic credit: Gareth Chaney/ Collins Photos)

Taoiseach Micheál Martin at launch of the iCommunity project today (Pic credit: Gareth Chaney/ Collins Photos)

The Taoiseach has defended the new concrete levy, amid claims it would add around €3,000 to €4,000 to the costs of an average three-bed semi-detached home.

Micheál Martin doubled down on retaining it, but said the Finance Bill would deal with the issue “in terms of fleshing out the proposals.”

It raises the possibility that the levy may be applied with some new exceptions. It is intended to raise €80 million a year, according to Budget figures issued last week.

“I've made the point already that the expenditure around fixing the pyrite and mica issues, and apartment defects, amount to very significant expenditure – and it is desirable to have some revenue stream,” he said.

This was not intended to match the State’s outlay, he said, but “to show people that where there is massive expenditure going on that there has to be some revenue stream.”

But he said the details “would be worked out.”

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.

One Fine Gael TD told the Irish Independent that 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.

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Sinn Féin has tabled a private members’ motion against the concrete levy for debate in the Dáil this week.

But Government sources pointed to Sinn Féin comments in the recent past calling for such a move.

Donegal SF TD Pádraig Mac Lochlainn in June 2021 said: “The Government must also ensure that those responsible for the manufacture of defective blocks are held to account, and that industry contributes to the overall cost of remediating defective properties.”

His constituency colleague, the party’s finance spokesman Pearse Doherty, said at the same time that the Government “must ensure that those who are responsible — that is, the developers, builders and suppliers — are held to account with a contribution extracted from the industry towards the remediation.”

Sinn Féin’s housing spokesman, Eoin Ó Broin, also called on the Government “to ensure that those responsible for this scandal are held to account and that the industry contributes to the overall costs of fixing this.”

He repeated this view in July this year, saying “while initial funding for this scheme, like the defective block redress scheme, will come from the Exchequer, industry must also make a contribution.”


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