Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle: Homeowners left to carry the cost of Government light-touch regulation

Pringle: Homeowners left to carry the cost of Government light-touch regulation

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, said homeowners are left to carry the cost for building defects while Government, with its light-touch regulation, are to blame.

Addressing the Dáil on Tuesday evening, Deputy Pringle said: “I think it is very apparent who the winners and the losers of the Celtic Tiger are. We are sadly reminded of it over and over again through issues such as building defects.

“Sadly, the public are still paying the cost today, more than a decade on, and will continue to do so long into the future under a Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael government.

“There has been continuous fallout from the reckless building boom in this country during the Celtic Tiger years. Unsurprisingly, the public didn’t get a cut of the astronomical profits that were made by developers, investors and bankers, but they are of course expected to pay for the debts, and the mistakes and the greed.

“Because that’s Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael way: privatise the profits and socialise the losses,” he said.

The deputy was speaking on the Sinn Féin motion re Building Defects.

Deputy Pringle said: “The report of the Working Group to Examine Defects in Housing is a devastating but unfortunately not a shocking read. It reports that up to 100,000 homes could be affected by building defects and that the cost of remediating these defects could be as high as €2.5 billion. 

“There is nowhere in the country that has not been affected by building defects.

“My constituents in Donegal have been waiting for years for legislation to address the deleterious materials in their concrete blocks which are causing their houses to fall down. The government made sure to rush legislation through the Oireachtas before the summer break, allowing little time for scrutiny, as Minister O’Brien claimed the legislation had to be passed urgently so that ‘the enhanced scheme can open for applications as soon as possible.’”

The deputy said: “Six months later and still no sign of the scheme being implemented; homeowners are stuck in limbo and their applications won’t even be processed until the new year. It will be a long time after that affected homeowners see any benefit from the scheme.

“It has now been revealed that fire safety defects have been uncovered even in the Phoenix Park Racecourse in Dublin, the largest development in the State. So what’s going to happen with that, Minister?

“Homeowners and tenants are not to blame for building defects. This government, with its light touch regulations, are to blame and the homeowners will have to carry the cost,” he said.