Budget 2016 is economically positive overall, but it does not go far enough for the Construction Sector

The Construction Industry Federation are broadly supportive of Budget 2016 announced today, which sets Ireland on a positive path for economic growth and recovery.  However, further actions are needed in order to kick start growth in the construction sector, which currently employs more than 125,000 people.

It is essential now that we see follow through on the plans set out in the public capital programme in order to ensure critical infrastructural projects take place across the country.

CIF Director General Tom Parlon stated “there are a number of positive initiatives announced by the Government, including the extension to the Home Renovation Grant, the increased provision for social housing, and measures to assist self-employed.  However, while we welcome the provisions that NAMA can provide 20,000 houses between now and 2020, this will only deliver to 4,000 units per annum, which equates to only 25% of broadly acknowledged annual national demand.  There are no proposals to address the issue of costs of providing new homes, the availability of affordable development finance, or the availability of mortgages.  We are concerned that this may be a lost opportunity to support the construction of much needed additional homes to meet sustainable demand.”

The Budget appears light on detail on the exact measures mentioned by the Minister in relation to the housing market / NAMA. The CIF are going to need to see much more detail to know whether this will have any impact on the construction sector or on the housing market.