The Minister for Housing has warned the Minister for Finance that Fianna Fáil TDs and Senators have serious reservations about the 10% concrete block levy that was announced in the Budget.
In the letter from Darragh O'Brien to Paschal Donohoe, which was seen by RTÉ News, Mr O’Brien told his Cabinet colleague that "these concerns were particularly acute in the context of inflammatory pressures on the building sector and (the) need to boost housing supply."
The correspondence, described as "urgent", followed a meeting of a sub-group of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party last Tuesday, which was chaired by Dublin South West TD John Lahart.
Minister O'Brien assured Minister Donohoe that his party colleagues supported the principle of a levy to contribute to remediation costs for defective homes, but they were concerned about its "timing, format and application."
Yesterday the Taoiseach said the Government has listened to concerns about the levy and the detail would be "fleshed out" when the Finance Bill is published on Thursday.
When asked about the concrete levy earlier today, Mr O'Brien said those who created the problem should pay.
"We're not leaving any stone unturned to see if we can go after those who created the issue," he said.
Mr O'Brien said he agrees with the principal that the sector should contribute.
"We'll work through the real application of that what it looks like who would pay it and that type of thing with Cabinet colleagues and with Government colleagues in advance of the Finance Bill," he added.
Earlier this month, during a Dáil debate on a Sinn Féin motion calling on the Government to immediately scrap the levy, Sinn Féin's housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin appealed to the Government to abandon what he termed a "badly designed levy" that would "punish" first-time buyers and also push small building contractors "over the edge".
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Industry warning over cost impact
The Director General of the Construction Industry Federation has said the proposed levy was a very blunt instrument that would result in substantial increase in costs.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Tom Parlon said it was not very well thought out, and a regulatory impact study should be carried out.
"Clearly the impact of the levy would have substantial increases in costs of first time buyers, in terms of any commercial build projects, all farm investment, and even the mica homes that they're setting out to address - the cost of rebuilding those is going to go up substantially," he said..
Mr Parlon added that builders are dealing with rampant inflation and it is a very dangerous time for builders to be tendering for projects.
Additional reporting Dyane Connor