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Taoiseach says new eviction ban being considered and hints at adjustments to concrete levy

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Czech prime minister Petr Fiala welcomes Taoiseach Micheál Martin at the Informal EU 27 Summit and Meeting within the European Political Community at Prague Castle. Reuters

Czech prime minister Petr Fiala welcomes Taoiseach Micheál Martin at the Informal EU 27 Summit and Meeting within the European Political Community at Prague Castle. Reuters

Czech prime minister Petr Fiala welcomes Taoiseach Micheál Martin at the Informal EU 27 Summit and Meeting within the European Political Community at Prague Castle. Reuters

The Taoiseach has said discussions were taking place with the Attorney General about a ban on evictions in the current economic crisis.

Micheál Martin also hinted that there will be adjustments to the concrete levy to assist homebuyers in the Finance Bill.

However, he kicked to touch on a suggestion that the concrete levy may not apply to first-time buyers, when asked about the controversy at a European energy summit in Prague.

“On the concrete levy, the detail of that will be fleshed out in the context of the Finance Bill,” Mr Martin said. “And we are taking soundings from members of our parliamentary parties as well [Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens].”

Many Government backbenchers have called for the scheme to be adjusted to cushion the blow to homebuyers, amid predictions it could add thousands of euro to the cost of a new build.

“Generally the detail of that, as the Minister for Finance has said, will be fleshed out in the Finance Bill,” Mr Martin said.

On a possible evictions ban this winter for tenant protection, the Taoiseach said: “We did have a ban on evictions during Covid-19. And there was a legal framework that underpinned that, because of the various restrictions that were brought into play - with people restricted in terms of the capacity to move, essentially,” he said.

“So we brought in an eviction ban on that occasion, because there are legal issues that have to be resolved to facilitate any such eviction ban.”

But he added: “I know that the Minister of Housing has had discussions on that issue and keeps it under ongoing review with the Attorney General.

Yet any such moves would have to be balanced “by making sure that we have supply in the market as well,” Mr Martin said, referring to private landlords.

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“We are concerned about losing landlords, and their leaving the market. We are going through a very significant energy crisis at the moment. Prices are very, very high. And that does provide a context,” he added.

“So we'll see how things evolve on that front.”


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