Pyrite levy looms as insurers & builders disagree

Friday 28 September 2012 20.29
It found that there are 850 homes around the country in need of immediate rebuilding and a further 10,000 at risk
It found that there are 850 homes around the country in need of immediate rebuilding and a further 10,000 at risk

The prospect of a pyrite levy looms with the failure of builders, quarry owners and insurers to agree sharing the cost of remedial works.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan had told the different groups involved to reach an agreement by the end of September or face levies.

The Minister made the ultimatum last July following the recommendations of specially appointed Pyrite Panel.

It found that there are 850 homes around the country in need of immediate rebuilding and a further 10,000 at risk.

But it is understood that a meeting between the Construction Industry Federation, the Irish Concrete Association and insurers Homebond failed to come up with a joint plan.

The builders and quarry owners say they will submit their own proposals today, while homebond have not commented.

Both the Irish Insurance Federation and the Law Society refused to take part in the pyrite study and Minister Phil Hogan said last July that he wanted the insurance industry in particular to rethink their attitude.

The Minister says he will be studying proposals from the parties before commenting further.

There are also two Supreme Court appeals pending on the liability of the pyrite issue.

But Peter Lewis of the Pyrite Action Group says the Government needs to fund the cost of remedial works upfront as homes around the country are "crumbling".

Director General of the Construction Industry Federation, Tom Parlon has accused insurance companies of "playing hardball" in relation to the pyrite remedial works.

Mr Parlon said that there have been discussions between stakeholders but said he believes "the issue lies" with the insurance companies.