Strict new building control measures have been announced by the Department of the Environment.

Under the measures, assigned certifiers will inspect building works at key stages during construction.

The certifier and builder will then both certify that finished buildings comply with the rules.

The Department said the regulations set out to prevent poorly constructed buildings, pyrite damage and structures breaching fire regulations.

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan said: "This is all about restoring consumer confidence in construction as an industry."

Speaking on RTÉ's News At One, the minister also said there would be no option for homes on ghost estates, which have been deemed libel to pay the property tax, to appeal that decision.

He also confirmed that the Government is still planning to introduce water charges at the beginning of next year.

The minister said he hoped the amount to be charged will be known in the next two or three months.

He said the current water supply problems in Dublin accentuated why the planned water reforms were necessary.

Fianna Fáil said the introduction of water charges on 1 January 2014 could drive many families "over the cliff".

Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath said people would become liable on the same day for a full year's property tax.

He called on the Government to use the dividend from the Promissory Note deal to ease the burden on families, to give a breathing space for the economy to grow.