Mica action group and Donegal TDs criticise government redress scheme 8 months ago

Mica action group and Donegal TDs criticise government redress scheme

"How can anyone say we got a 100% redress scheme today?"

Mica action group representatives and Donegal TDs have criticised the government for their implementation of a sliding scale as part of the mica redress scheme.

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Homeowners affected will be entitled to €145 per square foot on the first 1,000 feet of their property, with the figure then to fall to €110 per square foot for the next 1,000.

A sliding scale will then apply to all square footage after that.

"The grant calculation methodology will be based on the cost per square foot of rebuilding the existing home with costings to be set by my department in consultation with the Society of Chartered Surveyors in Ireland," said Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien.

Representatives for affected homeowners, however, feel that the scheme does not go far enough to recuperate the costs of demolishing and rebuilding affected homes.

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According to the Mica Action Group, the average home size affected by mica is around 2400 square foot, which could leave homeowners having to find an additional €65,000 t0 rebuild the house.

"The problem is that there's a model here that's not going to work. So Charlie (McConalogue, Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal North-East) can say 'we're gonna review the SCSI figures come February time or April time' or whatever time they do it, that's fine," said Michael Doherty from the Mica Action Group on the Tonight Show on Virgin Media TV.

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"So if they change the number upfront from €145 to €160, and they still apply this sliding scale, which is conducted by the Housing Department, it's still not gonna work.

"It's not going to work now, it's not going to work in February, it's not going to work next year, it's not going to work in 10 years time, because what it does is cost the average homeowner in the region of €65000, which is completely unattainable.

"So how can anyone say we got a 100% redress scheme today? There's one problem and one problem only; remove the sliding scale that should never have been there, and we have something we can work with," he concluded.

Independent TD Thomas Pringle shared his support for campaigners, tweeting that the scheme "does not go far enough".

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"MICA affected families are in the same situation now as they were – they couldn’t afford the last scheme and they can’t afford this scheme. That’s the reality," he wrote.

In a joint statement, Sinn Féin TDs Pearse Doherty and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said that the government "needs to remove the 'sliding scale' provision of the Mica redress scheme".

"The government needs to go back to the position that was articulated to families this morning and then pulled from under them - that there would be no 'sliding scale' provision," they said.

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"The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland calculator makes no mention of a sliding scale, so where this provision was plucked from we do not know.

"The Mica Action Group has made it very clear that the 'sliding scale' provision must go.

"We support them 100% in that stance."