Irish government 'will not abandon' plans for concrete block levy
The Irish government will push ahead with its plan to introduce a controversial levy on concrete blocks, Tánaiste (Irish Deputy Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar has said.
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He said the measure would help to pay the repair bill for the thousands of Irish homes caught up in the mica scandal.
It was announced as part of the Irish budget on Tuesday.
Critics have said the 10% levy will see house prices rise by more than €3,000 (£2,640) , Irish national broadcaster RTÉ reports.
Mr Varadkar said the cost of repairing homes corroded by the minerals mica and pyrite would run into billions of euros.
He said the taxpayer alone cannot foot the huge repair bill.
"We believe that the cost should fall, in part at least, on the industry, so no matter what we do when you decide to socialise the cost of something, the cost has to be borne in the round by society," he said.
Mica and pyrite are minerals that absorb water - that causes buildings to disintegrate and plastering to crack.
Up to 5,700 houses have been affected across counties Donegal and Mayo.
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