Building industry in need of stimulus

Local construction firms could reap the rewards of a VAT cut, according to Seamus Butler of Longford Chamber of Commerce. Photo: Shelley Corcoran
Mounting conjecture government leaders plan to introduce a new construction stimulus package in next week’s Budget could be just the impetus scores of firms have been crying out for.

Mounting conjecture government leaders plan to introduce a new construction stimulus package in next week’s Budget could be just the impetus scores of firms have been crying out for.

Longford Chamber of Commerce President Seamus Butler said by bringing VAT rates in line with the hospitality and tourism sector’s nine per cent quota, the chances of generating additional revenue and creating employment would increase.

Mr Butler equally played down fears of a new property surge, saying the move would likely lead to a growth in one off housing and small scale extension work.

“We are far, far away from another (building) bubble, there isn’t even a hint of shampoo at the minute,” he joked.

“Certainly we won’t be getting back to the heights of the 2000-07 period, but it’s (construction) an industry that’s been so depleted and weakened, it needs some sort of stimulus.”

It’s rumoured the Government remains keen on boosting the construction industry, getting workers off the Live Register and providing extra grants to improve energy efficiency in homes.

Whether that comes to pass or not, only time will tell.