CIF Mid West Election Manifesto 2020

07 Feb 2020

It is estimated the construction sector in the Mid-West Region accounts for over 6% of the output of the industry and employs over 14,000 people. Construction is a major employer and provides the necessary infrastructure for the economy and society.

The National Planning Framework “Ireland 2040” aims to grow the population of Clare, Tipperary and Limerick by an average of 40% with the population of Limerick alone to grow by 50,000 people by 2040.

This predicted population growth means it is of upmost importance that the Government invests more in the construction of roads, cycleways, public transport, schools, hospitals, flood defences and many other types of public works in the Mid West.

It is vital that the required funding and commencement dates and project timescales are given for the following projects contained within the Governments various Capital Works Programmes:

  • Limerick Maternity Hospital
  • M20 Cork to Limerick Motorway along original route
  • Limerick Regeneration programme
  • Limerick Northern Bypass
  • Irish Water Upgrades (New Water Treatment Plants in Limerick, Lahinch, and Clonroadmore)
  • Shannon Crossing/Killaloe
  • Opera Project
  • N21/N69 Foynes Road / Adare Bypass

The National Planning Framework “Ireland 2040” recognises the need for greater investment in regional infrastructure projects. It is essential that projects in the Mid-West are not put at risk due to very large proposals in the Dublin region.

The Office of Government Procurement commenced a review of the Capital Works Management Framework in March 2019. It is of vital importance that amendments to the Public Works Contracts are made to ensure risk is allocated appropriately and inflationary costs are recoverable to ensure a more sustainable industry.

Challenges remain right throughout the Mid-West in relation to returning to a normal rate of construction activity. In the last 12 months only 1,169 new homes were built in the Region. (Limerick, Clare and Tipperary)

There is significant demand for starter homes aimed at first-time buyers in the region. The cost of delivery is limiting the construction industry’s ability to improve supply for first time buyers.

Most house building costs are fixed costs with limited ability to achieve reductions or savings. The construction industry will be able to deliver more affordable units in the Mid-West Region if the variable costs such as taxes and charges are reduced. Other costs are largely fixed.

Assist the construction industry to deliver more housing:

  • Reduce the high cost of Government taxes, development contribution scheme charges, VAT, Part V contributions and
  • Invest in Water and Wastewater infrastructure for Zoned lands by directly funding Local Authorities to service zoned
  • Allow appropriate housing densities to ensure that residential units can be Lower housing densities should be provided for in certain locations having regard to the character of particular areas and to provide for increased house choice.
  • Ensure there are no unnecessary restrictions in the availability of serviced and zoned lands by zoning enough land for development purposes. Unnecessarily restricting the amount of lands zoned for residential purposes increase the cost of land and in turn the cost of
  • Alter Waste legislation so that Construction & Demolition material can be
  • Expand low cost finance options for sustainable development initiatives such as through the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund or House Building Finance Ireland. Interest rate charges for finance are at prohibitive rates and the availability of finance to small regional builders at such costs is a significant impediment to recommencing residential construction
  • Enact the Housing and Planning and Development Bill 2019 to stop frivolous
  • Introduce a State-Backed Shared Equity Scheme (As outlined in detail in the CIF Irish Home Builders Association Manifesto)

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