The Rural Independents group of TDs has again slammed the government over the concrete levy, saying that the decision to move ahead with the implementation of the levy last week “borders of the absurd”.
The levy came into effect last Friday (September 1), and is charged at a rate of 5% on concrete products, or the concrete element of precast products.
According to the group, the levy will inflate the “already exorbitant costs” of constructing homes, farm facilities, and vital infrastructure”.
Mattie McGrath, a member of the group, said: “Ireland grapples with a relentless housing crisis, characterized by a stark scarcity of homes. Builders continually bemoan the staggering construction costs stifling housing development.
“Yet, astonishingly, the government has elected to usher in a 5 percent levy on all concrete products, ostensibly to fund the remediation of mica-related building defects. This decision borders on the absurd.”
“While this levy won’t provide any meaningful support to those impacted by mica-related issues, its undeniable consequence will be the inflation of construction costs. The level of disconnect displayed here is nothing short of astonishing,” he added.
According to McGrath, the state could have funded the mica recovery scheme from “booming corporation tax receipts”.
The levy is expected to raise some €32 million from the public over the course of its implementation.
“Alarmingly, a significant proportion of this burden rests upon individuals who bear no responsibility for the mica issue, with up to 80% of this revenue arising from ready-mix concrete rather than concrete blocks.”
McGrath added: “This scheme is nothing short of preposterous and exemplifies yet another instance of ineffective and counterproductive government policymaking that brazenly disregards the concerns of ordinary citizens.”
The Tipperary TD claimed that the levy is a “tax on new homes, crucial infrastructure, and farming facilities”.
“At a time when homeownership is slipping beyond the reach of many and infrastructure costs are soaring, imposing additional financial burdens is not just heartless but also out of touch with the harsh realities ordinary people face,” he said.
“It is painfully apparent that the government’s approach to this levy on concrete products is poorly conceived and fundamentally flawed, with the consequences squarely times out upon already beleaguered homebuyers,” McGrath added.