The State has a role to play in remediating home effected by construction defects but the construction industry will also have to “step up to the mark”, Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath has said.
It was revealed this week that repairing homes affected by Celtic Tiger-era building defects such as a lack of fire safety material, structural defects and water ingress could cost the State up to €2.8 billion.
A working group established by Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien has found more than 100,000 apartments and duplexes built between 1991 and 2013 are impacted by issues such as these.
Speaking at an event in East Cork on Friday, MrGrath said “we acknowledge that in the resolution of this issue, the state does have a role to play”.
“Minister O’Brien set up a working group well over a year ago and I understand that their report is nearing completion but it hasn’t yet been furnished to government – when it is, it will be carefully considered.
“We acknowledge that in the resolution of this issue, the state does have a role to play but it cannot solely fall on the state to resolve the issue and when it comes to, for example the cost of looking after, families in Donegal and Mayo and elsewhere, who have Mica in their homes and whose lives in many cases have been devastated, the government has already made a decision that the industry will have to make a contribution and so we are prepared to support home owners living in apartments and duplexes who are facing significant costs.
“The State definitely has a role to play to assist them as well but it cannot solely fall to the state and the industry will have to step up to the mark as well in order to meet the overall costs which are still unquantified, the government has not yet received the report – we look forward to receiving it and will consider it carefully.”
Meanwhile, the Minister dismissed suggestions that there will be a heave against Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin when he steps down as Taoiseach later this year under the Programme for Government deal with Fine Gael and the Green Party.
Mr McGrath said he had no doubt that Mr Martin was the best person to lead Fianna Fáil when he becomes Tánaiste in December.
“I think Micheal is the best person to provide leadership - he has demonstrated that over the last two years as Taoiseach, providing outstanding leadership through Covid, through the war in Ukraine and now through the cost-of-living crisis.”
Mr McGrath played down any suggestions of party discontent despite an Irish Times/Ipsos opinion poll showing support for Fianna Fáil had dropped, while Mr Martin’s popularity rating had also dropped along with government rating.