Paying for the Mica Redress Scheme

 

Sir, – I am becoming forgetful as I age. I had no recollection of owning any banks until they collapsed and I got a share of the bill.

I had no recollection of building any houses from paper mache bricks until they collapsed and I got that bill too.

I don’t recall ever buying a cow, but other people’s private property is now the “national herd” and I am worried another bill is coming.

– Yours, etc,

FRANK NEENAN,

Tullow Road,

Carlow.

Sir, – In relation to the amount of grant available to reconstruct houses affected by the mica problem, surely it is not beyond the bounds of architects and designers to design possibly 10 house types, which could be constructed within the grant available.

Most, if not all, of the houses affected will already have sewage and water connections so that element can be disregarded. Agree the house types with the relevant planning authority thus avoiding the necessity for planning permission.

– Yours, etc,

GERRY BROUDER,

Blackrock,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – The loudest complaint from the mica campaigners is that the scheme will not cover all affected homeowners for 100 per cent of the costs.

We are told that the average size of the homes affected is 2,400sq feet (40 per cent larger than the average Irish home) and that the owners of such a property would have to contribute €65,000 to the cost of a rebuild.

Why is it unthinkable that those who are in a position to make a contribution to the cost of rebuilding their homes might do so? Some of the most basic services provided by the State are means tested. But here the taxpayer is being asked to take on a cost of billions of euro to repair damage to private property regardless of the extent to which the State bears responsibility – and without regard to the ability of the owners to contribute to the cost. Is that reasonable?

Finally, I note from the website of Donegal County Council that 51 per cent of residential properties in Donegal were valued for Local Property Tax at €100,000 or less in 2013 while 90 per cent of such properties were valued at €150,000 or less. – Yours, etc,

PAT O’BRIEN,

Mooncoin,

Co Kilkenny.

Sir, – I welcome the generous settlement proposed for the households afflicted by the mica scandal. That said however, I suggest that members of the Oireachtas should be acutely aware that the taxpayers, who are funding the estimated €2 billion payout, include the many young people who are unable to obtain the mortgages required to fund the purchase of extremely modest semi-detached houses in our cities and towns. – Yours, etc,

GERRY STAUNTON,

Dundrum,

Dublin 16.

Sir, – A member of the Mica Action Group says the mica compensation scheme “discriminates against bigger houses”.

He seems to believe this is a bad thing. – Yours, etc,

DENIS HEALY,

Salthill, Galway.