Call to levy all residential purchases to pay for social housing

A 1% levy on all residential property purchases would have a far greater positive impact on social housing provision than planning legislation.

The claim was made by Construction Industry Federation president, Philip Crampton at the organisation’s annual conference in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin yesterday.

Mr Crampton suggested that the levy would have created a fund of €60m for social housing in the last year — a far greater amount than would be raised by the ‘Part V’ section of proposed planning legislation.

The federation president also estimated that a further €75m would be raised this year.

“The Part V requirement also needs to be completely reevaluated.

“Part V requires up to one fifth of development land for a housing project be set aside for social housing, or its equivalent value to be paid to the local authority.

“It is a boom-time tax that has never worked, and we need to completely change the way funding for social housing is generated,” said Mr Crampton.

“Those who ultimately pay the price of Part V are new home buyers.

“It is a tax on those who wish to buy newly built properties.

“Providing social housing is an onus for all of society, and it is not fair or equitable that it should only be paid by those who opt for a newly built house.”

The removal of Registered Employment Agreements was also described as a serious threat to the construction industry which has created an additional 4,000 jobs this year.

The agreements, which governed construction sector workers’ wages and working conditions, were deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court last year on the grounds that there were insufficient limitations placed on the power granted to those creating agreements.

Mr Crampton called on the Government to expedite the process of new legislation allowing for new agreements to be created.

“Prior to the Supreme Court judgment, contractors could tender for work on a level playing field with regard to labour costs.

“This level playing field has now been removed, which has left contractors in a very difficult situation,” he warned.


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