Government backbenchers worried about concrete tax – The Irish Times


Government backbenchers have increasingly criticized the levy announced in the budget on the sale of concrete products to help defray the cost of repairing homes affected by mica.

The move was announced by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe on Tuesday and is expected to bring in €80million a year, but Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael backbenchers have warned it will only drive up the cost of building houses.

The Ministry of Finance confirmed on Wednesday evening that the total cost of the mica compensation scheme should amount to 2.7 billion euros, which has already been included in the state accounts for this year, in accordance to the rules of the European Union.

The new tax was heavily criticized at the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting last night, while TDs who spoke to The Irish Times earlier also expressed concerns.

Cork North Central Fianna Fáil TD Pádraig O’Sullivan said: “At a time when house prices are already inflated I don’t think this is an appropriate measure as in all likelihood builders and developers will pass on the costs on consumers.

“It’s one of the few regrettable things in the budget and I think it should be reconsidered.”

Limerick City TD Willie O’Dea said the measure “should be postponed to a minimum”.

Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill said he supported the idea of ​​a concrete block levy but raised concerns about the timing.

Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal Alan Farrell said he wanted to wait to see details of the levy but “I have my concerns about the proposal”.

Former Minister of State and Fine Gael TD for Carlow-Kilkenny John Paul Phelan has joined the Department of Finance – where his party colleague Paschal Donohoe is Minister. ‘Only in Ireland will we introduce a concrete tax in a housing shortage crisis and think it’s right,’ he said. “Classic Finance Department ‘cutting their noses to spite their faces’.”

Fine Gael TD for Mayo Alan Dillon said he was “very surprised to see it included”.

In the Dáil, regional independent TD Seán Canney described the tax as untimely and misguided, saying it would penalize young people trying to build or buy their first home as well as local authorities trying to build social housing.

Labor Party leader Ivana Bacik also criticized the concrete tax, saying her party was instead in favor of a tax on construction company profits to help fund repairs to housing defects.

The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland said the levy would add up to €4,000 to the cost of a new semi-detached house and “call into question the viability and affordability of new homes”.

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has hinted that the €500 annual rent tax credit introduced in the budget will be increased in coming years.

He said at the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday evening that his party had “provided the tax credit for tenants which is now integrated and we have a platform to take advantage of it from next year. “.

Both parliamentary party meetings drew widespread praise for the budget, with the Fianna Fáil meeting being described by one participant as “the most positive in years”.

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