House builders have called for tax cuts to stimulate construction of family homes

The property industry has called for a cut in the valued added tax (VAT) rate on the construction of homes to be dropped from 13.5pc to 9pc for a limited period.

Property Industry Ireland, which is part of employers’ body IBEC and whose membership includes builders, surveyors and engineers, said in a pre-budget submission that 5,500 new social homes could be built if the Government sold off surplus state properties.

Such a sell-off has the potential to raise €250m over a five-year period, director of PII Peter Stafford said.

The property industry also wants the rules that require builders to provide some social housing as part of each development to be relaxed.

“We will build fewer than 10,000 private houses in 2014, less than half the required amount. A lack of supply in the private sector further increases prices and rents, but also puts more people in danger of homelessness,” Dr Stafford said.

Tanaiste Joan Burton said recently the Government wants to see a tripling of the number of houses built to 25,000 a year by 2020.

Source: – Charlie Weston