TAOISEACH Micheál Martin has sidelined tax incentives for developers, insisting existing programs and a new rapid-build home program be used to increase supply.
r Martin spoke amid growing concerns about housing availability after a report by the Banking and Payments Federation found Ireland’s population is growing at three times the rate of new homes.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has hinted that the government could introduce tax incentives for developers to boost supply when he takes over as Taoiseach in 11 days.
But at the EU-Western Balkans summit in Tirana, Albania, Mr Martin said Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien was considering changing planning laws to facilitate the development of social and affordable fast-build homes on public land.
“I think we should use the most important intervention that we could make in the next few months to create the capacity and accelerate the possibilities for rapid construction by using advanced manufacturing technologies in the construction industry more effectively, perhaps than it is the case was,” said Mr Martin.
“In other words, we should do it more in domestic housing. A similar debate is also taking place in Europe and the UK in relation to the rapid build space.
“I do think the minister is already looking at social and affordable housing on public land to introduce planning legislation that would speed up the provision of such housing from a planning perspective, because we need to build more houses faster, that’s the bottom line.”
He said the slowdown in housing starts was a result of the war in Ukraine and the “exponential increase” in the cost of building materials.
“So we need to look for other ways to ramp up those starts again in the first half of 2023,” he said, acknowledging that Ireland’s population has grown “very substantially” since 2016 and there is a need to “get more houses faster.” to build”.
Asked if tax incentives for property developers could be part of this, Mr Martin said there were “a number of measures already in place”, citing the Croí Conaithe scheme, a €450m fund to support the development of apartments in cities.
“We’ll be keeping an eye on everything, but I think we still have a lot of work to do in terms of the different plans and programmes. I’m just saying we have to deliver, you know, the Land Development Agency is there,” he said.
“It is now working through Project Tosaigh and other initiatives to work with those who wanted to do build-to-rent projects, but there are issues with some volatility in build-to-rent projects due to rising interest rates.
“So the Land Development Agency is looking at taking on some of these developments and moving forward with them and as I said, rapid construction. Those are the more effective things we can do in the short term.”
He said that while everything is being reviewed, the Croí-Conaithe program is the “mechanism” chosen to bridge profitability. “So we need to take some time to see how Croí Conaithe works,” said Mr Martin.
He was speaking on the way to the day-long summit of leaders from the 27 EU member states and the six Western Balkans countries taking place in the Albanian capital on Tuesday.
Mr Martin said he was in favor of speeding up EU enlargement. “Ireland benefited enormously from joining the European Union 50 years ago and I have always believed that we should make it easier for others in similar situations to join today, also in terms of accelerating economic growth and transformation,” he said.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/taoiseach-pours-cold-water-on-tax-cuts-for-developers-after-varadkars-hint-at-incentives-42198829.html Taoiseach throws cold water on developer tax cuts after Varadkar’s hint at stimulus