The CIF has warned that underspending of the capital budget will undermine economic recovery as industry reports drop-off in public sector project commencements at today’s budget. Recent research by Construction Information Services found that the value of public sector projects in Q2 and Q3 2021 was down by approximately 40% and 30% respectively from the same period in 2020.
CIF Director General, Tom Parlon: commented: “Now is the time to capitalise on historically low-interest rates to support companies in delivering increased housing, the national retrofit scheme and critical economic and social infrastructure. The €165 billion committed by central Government in the NDP can yield huge returns to the State but this can be undermined by inefficiencies in the system. Planning, public-sector procurement, and complications with utilities all add significant costs and delays in advance of the construction phase of housing and infrastructure. The CIF is working extensively with the Government to modernise its public procurement system with a view to the more widespread adoption of more effective contracts such as NEC. This reform is necessary to ensure that we meet the ambitious social housing targets outlined today and in the Housing for All strategy and in the commitments outlined in the NDP. Equally, the commitment to increase Irish Water’s operating budget by €1.6 billion will not have the impact on housing delivery and our water infrastructure unless it is tied to changes in how IW engages with contractors on the ground.”
James Benson, CIF Director of Housing, stated: “To ensure housing delivery, zoned land tax must only be applied to any land when the viability of building is allowed for and considered. Placing tax on land that is unviable in terms of homebuilding will be counterproductive. The tax must only apply where it is viable to build and the land is serviced with essential infrastructure including water, roads and other utilities. These issues render much zoned land unviable in terms of homebuilding in the past and these issues much be addressed before the tax of 3% should be levied. Anything else will have the unintended consequence of removing available zoned land from that available for homebuilding. The Irish Homebuilders Association welcomes the continuation of the Help to Buy scheme but again requests that the scheme, which has enabled the building of thousands of starter homes, to be placed on a permanent footing for at least three years.”
- Building the Infrastructure for Ireland 2040
- Housing our Growing Population
- Cultivating People, Skills and Capacity
- Transitioning to a Climate Resilient society & Enhancing Productivity