Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle: Latest ‘enhanced’ redress scheme does not go far enough

Pringle: Latest ‘enhanced’ redress scheme does not go far enough

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, has again asked the Taoiseach if Government will ensure redress does not leave mica-affected families with exorbitant costs, saying latest redress reports still do not go far enough.

Addressing the Dáil today during Leaders’ Questions, Deputy Pringle said: “There’s no doubt this scheme is an advance, but the problem is that it doesn’t go far enough. And families are in the same situation now as they were – they couldn’t afford the last scheme and they can’t afford this scheme, and that’s the reality of the situation.”

The deputy said that the minister had stated today that the sliding scale will be €110 per square foot after the first 1000 square feet.

Deputy Pringle said: “This means, as has been outlined earlier, that for the average 2,300 square-foot house in Donegal there will be a deficit of €45,000 still to be met by the homeowner. This is almost 15 per cent of the costs. So it’s not a 90-10 scheme.”

He said: “It’s time, Taoiseach, to be honest. You are not delivering 100 per cent redress, and you can dress it up whatever way you want. The mica-affected homeowners won’t be hoodwinked again.”

He said he had planned to cautiously welcome the revisions, but said after watching Minister O’Brien’s press conference he was shocked at what was emerging.

The deputy said: “It appeared on some levels that you have finally listened to victims of Government failures of oversight and regulation, and intend legislating for this, but we’ll have to keep a watching eye over that as well.”

Deputy Pringle said: “There’s a touch of the ghost of Christmas past here, as when the previous iteration was cobbled together just prior to the last general election, it was sold by your government TDs in Donegal as being much more than it was. And it appears to me that Donegal families are facing the same again, despite this morning’s fanfare of leaks from your cabinet.

“Many of Donegal’s mica-affected homeowners are still not sure if they can see a Christmas future under the new scheme,” he said.

He asked the Taoiseach: Are you going to have a proper scheme that’s going to compensate the families properly so that they don’t have exorbitant costs to meet for the cost of that scheme?”