CELEBRITY builder Peter Finn has called for tax incentives to help BUILD support the construction workforce.
Star of RTE Rescue at home said there was great demand for jobs across Ireland but the industry was facing a number of challenges brought on by “a perfect storm”.
The construction entrepreneur also believes there should be a big incentive to refurbish vacant properties to help increase the country’s housing supply.
The latest figures show there are around 127,300 construction workers – about 6% of the workforce, well below the European average of 8%.
The combination of Brexit, Covid-19 and the high cost of living has HUGE the workforce in the industry – and Pete thinks the best short-term solution is tax incentives to incentivize workers to return.
The Dublin native explains: “We have a very irregular market right now which means there is a huge demand for the work to be done, but labor shortages and rising raw material prices are creating some challenge. It was a perfect storm.
“There needs to be an incentive to guide people towards building without a shadow of a doubt. It is a medium to long term solution. But in the immediate future, there should be tax incentives to encourage people to come back here to build.
“During the pandemic, we were one of the only countries in the world that actually closed and stopped construction. And when that happened, a lot of our foreign workers returned to their home countries.
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“The cost of living here is a significant barrier at the moment, and it has made working here less of a viable opportunity than we used to be. And even if they decide to come here to work, finding a place to stay is not easy.
“So we’re not an attractive country for construction workers to come here to make money – that’s clearly why they wanted to leave in the first place, to make more money to improve their lives. their.”
Pete, who runs Finn Flynn Construction, said he doesn’t believe the construction profession brings back the stigma it used to because people are “opening their eyes to many different aspects of construction”.
He added: “Construction is a very viable opportunity for those who want to start a business. We need young people looking at the construction sector to tell themselves that they want to get into it because it has a huge opportunity. ”
Commenting on the raw material cost crisis, Pete said the industry was dealing with an increase of more than 40% and added: “There are a number of individual products that have increased by 100 – 150% compared to 18 months ago.
“Obviously it’s the result of a combination of issues, Brexit, pandemic, transport issues, etc. Another thing is moving towards a more sustainable way of building.
“Construction is responsible for more than 40% of the world’s carbon emissions, so the industry is working to reduce those emissions, but obviously, that leads to increased costs for some manufacturers. and thus the cost of the product increases.
“It’s not sustainable for the planet the industry produces that carbon on, but it’s also not sustainable for the construction industry to have to pay existing costs for certain raw materials.”
However, the star of RTE’s home improvement program said he is confident that the costs associated with switching to greener building methods will eventually “stagger and then drop, but it will only take time”.
The country continues to suffer from a severe housing crisis and the outlook for the future is extremely bleak.
Housing experts have predicted rents in Cork will increase by 36% by 2028, while in Dublin the cost of rent is expected to increase by 50% to around €2,500 a month, for a one-bedroom apartment bedroom.
Discussing options to help increase housing supply nationwide, the builder has called for a major push to rejuvenate vacant buildings.
NEED TO BOOK ONLY
“We need to look at the buildings that are sitting there doing nothing at the moment and make sure they are replaced quickly,” he said.
“It’s not going to take 10 years, these decisions need to be made faster and there’s absolutely no doubt that there are plenty of buildings in town – and across the country – that could be refurbished. quickly again.
“And I’m not talking about quick fixes. I’m talking about retrofitting these properties properly, turning them into energy efficient and comfortable homes for people to live in. Done properly, this can really make a dent, but it takes commitment to properly transform empty buildings from empty shells into homes. “
The builder also feels the country is “stuck in our way of thinking about housing” and that we need to embrace a new way of life – such as modular homes – but emphasizes that These constructions do not affect comfort or quality.
‘HAVE A SAVING ATTITUDE’
“There needs to be a change in attitude,” he explains.
“There is a misconception that modular homes are tiny little boxes for people to live in, but a modular home can be exactly like the type of house we have at the moment, it just built in a different way. And people need to be more open to these types of homes.
“This is not a takeover or downgrade, these buildings are of excellent quality. They have a really good power rating and are built to the highest standards.
“We got stuck in our thinking about housing; that they have to be built in blocks, look and be made a certain way. There are so many different options out there right now, and we need to start opening our minds as a nation to new ways of living.
“We don’t have to do things the way we have for years. But again people need to be educated about this. People need to be able to see that these homes will be sustainable for them and will be a good investment and a good choice.”
Pete is gearing up for another busy couple of months when the new Family Rescue series kicks off production and the star appealed to applicants who want to “give your keys and let me and Roisin do the work.” us” to subscribe to Coco Television.
The home improvement star will also be looking to improve his production on the pitch for the over 40-year-old Dublin GAA team.
Last November, the Dublin Master’s players lost to Tyrone in the all-Ireland final – and Pete says he will have to try to lose weight over the Christmas season if he is to return to action this year. .
PLAY FOR DUBLIN
Discussing joining the Dubs, he said: “Playing for Dublin was an unexpected bonus for me later in life. It’s a great thing to be involved.
“We lost to All-Ireland before, pretty much, team Tyrone, the team that won all those All Ireland titles [in the ‘00s] with people like Stephen O’Neill and Ryan McMenamin and that sort of thing, so they’re a really impressive outfit.
“It was a great game, with two really good teams. It’s been a pleasure to be involved with the Dublin Masters, and the GAA Masters is a great initiative for Aul boys like me to be able to play and meet great players.
“I’ll have to see if I can lose weight for the holiday after Christmas and see if I can get back to working out.”
https://www.thesun.ie/news/8250701/rtes-peter-finn-tax-incentives-construction-workforce/ RTE celebrity builder Peter Finn calls for tax incentives for construction workforce after shutdown