Budget 2023 must provide tax relief for construction defects

28 July 2022
  • Construction Regulatory Authority needed to prevent this happening again

Labour has demanded a package of tax relief for owner-occupiers living in defective apartments to be included in Budget 2023. In anticipation of the publication of the report carried out by the Working Group to Examine Defects in Housing today, Labour leader Ivana Bacik said people in the process of being remediated right now must receive support from the State.

Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan said a Construction Regulatory Authority must be enacted to prevent issues occurring again.

Deputy Bacik said:

“It’s clear that throughout the country, many apartment blocks have serious fire safety problems and structural defects. Between 40% and 70% of the homes with defects may have fire safety failings, with water ingress affecting between 20% and 50% while structural defects are present in 5% to25% of properties.

“Vital safety work to address this must be undertaken on these homes without delay. To ensure this work can happen, Labour is demanding that Budget 2023 include a 100% refundable and retrospective tax credit for those who have paid, and are paying, levies for the remediation of defects in their apartments.

“With up to 100,000 apartments’ structural safety affected, Government must be fair in its response. With the report estimating vital safety works are costing €25,000 on average, Government needs to ensure financial support is available to the people affected. Deferring these works will cause unnecessary risk to the health and safety of tens of the thousands of peoples living in homes affected by construction defects.

“In the midst of this unprecedented cost of living crisis, those households in defectively built apartments have an additional fear of debt due to the cost of fixing the defects; they also fear increased insurance costs, and due to the ongoing cost liability, many are simply unable to sell their homes, even where their families have outgrown them. They need supports from Government and the introduction of refundable tax credits to cover the remediation costs already incurred or ongoing would be a step in the right direction.

“Of course, there are a wide range of issues that this report throws up. Ireland’s building control system and company laws will need to be examined in light of the scale of this problem. The reality is we have too many people living at real and genuine risk of fire in their own home and Government must provide them with peace of mind.

“Before the Dáil arose in July, the Tánaiste supported my call for these measures, acknowledging that Government will need to offer a response to the households affected so adversely by defective construction practices. This must be done no later than September’s Budget.”

Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan said:

“Just as with Mica, it needs to be a full redress scheme. The precedent has already been established through the scheme for pyrite. While such a scheme is being developed, we need to have tax reliefs brought in in this year’s budget. This has to be retrospective so that people carrying out work on their home now will continue to do so.

“Government must now explore a way to make sure this doesn’t happen again. There can be no further self-certification within the market, a strong and robust inspection process must be put in place. Labour is calling for the establishment of a Construction Regulatory Authority to ensure that people can be guaranteed that their home will be safe. If this doesn’t happen, we will have more scandals like this.

“The costs associated with owning a home in Dublin are already hard for so many to take, adding in costs to make the homes that many have worked so hard to buy safe to live in is not fair. These residents are already under enough stress, we need to ensure there are measures to alleviate costs.”

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