The Government’s estimate of a €3.2 billion bill for homes affected by Mica has been branded “disingenuous” by Sinn Féin.
Speaking to Newstalk, Eoin Ó Broin, the party’s housing spokesperson, said he believed the figure in the Mica report had been exaggerated in order to scare the Government away from offering full compensation to those impacted by the crisis.
“The figure of 3.2 billion I think is a bit disingenuous and my suspicion is that’s put into the report to try and scare the government away from 100% redress.
“And it is not clear in the paragraph that that figure is mentioned, where that calculation comes from.”
An estimated 7,000 homes in Donegal, Sligo and Mayo are thought to have been built using the defective building materials and many will need to be demolished entirely.
A redress scheme set up last year will offer homeowners compensation worth 90% of the value of their property - a figure campaigners want increased to 100%.
The report, delivered to the Government on Thursday, suggested taxpayers should cover the cost of remediation works, but not the full cost of demolition of homes.
It warns that over half of the households availing of the current Mica scheme have asked for their homes to be demolished entirely - something it cautions against becoming “the norm.”
Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien is due to discuss the report’s findings with the coalition’s party leaders before making a submission to the Cabinet.
Speaking in Wexford on Friday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the report was not the final word on the matter:
“I have spoken with the minister this morning and he said that the report is made up of the submissions made by the working groups and a record of meetings,” he said.
“It is not the final report that will come to us and certainly to the three party leaders and to Cabinet.
“So, we will meet with the minister and his officials in relation to this but suffice to say that significant progress has been made in terms of the original scheme.”
However, Eamonn Jackson from the Mica Action Group said that anything less that 100% redress will be unacceptable.
“If you are sitting at a home in Dublin €3.2bn may sound like a shocking figure; however, if you are sitting in Milford surrounded by what I am surrounded by – looking at people’s homes collapsing, the crumbling of the blocks, the mental state of people in the area deteriorating you know, it is not a case of looking at the €3.2bn,” he said.
“Any price to get our homes fixed is the important bit.”
Main image: Protesters in Dublin demand a 100% redress scheme for homes and properties affected by bricks contaminated with Mica. Picture by: PA