The Construction Industry Federation has called for a range of measures to stimulate the construction industry and the Irish economy.

The CIF says the bank's €10 billion recapitalisation plan will provide a basis for the resumption of normal lending conditions once again. It says that in order to maximise the benefits of this move, the Government needs to act quickly to restart consumer spending.

The CIF wants the Government to introduce a moratorium on residential stamp duty until next year's Budget and it also calls for a first time buyer's grant to partially offset the cost of VAT when buying new homes.

In a letter to the Taoiseach, the CIF calls for the fast tracking of planning applications for one-off housing projects and greater promotion of the state's home loan choice scheme.

It also urges the reinstatement of all cancelled National Development Plan infrastructure projects and increased roads and public transport investment.

A new grant to encourage homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their homes is also proposed.

The CIF points out that there is at least €1.3 billion in VAT tied up in unsold new homes.

'Getting the housing market moving again is the surest way of jump-starting consumer confidence and increasing Government revenues,' commented CIF General Director Tom Parlon.