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RIAI Statement on Proposed VAT Reduction on New Builds as Part of Government Formation Talks

Published: Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The RIAI welcomes media reports that a temporary VAT reduction is being tabled as one element to stimulate house building to address the current housing crisis but urges further consideration of other key pillars of RIAI’s pre-election manifesto which the Institute believe are crucial for any new Government to implement to address the current housing crisis.

Carole Pollard, President of RIAI said: “The RIAI proposed a number of practical and workable solutions to the current housing crisis including VAT reductions to help stimulate building and provide housing for those who need it as part of a comprehensive pre-election manifesto. While a VAT reduction would be a step in the right direction more needs to be done to address the critical issue of housing and the RIAI urges those involved in Government forming negotiations to commit to the principles of improved planning and a better built environment. Beyond the pressing need to provide housing for those who need it, the RIAI believes that implementing the recommendations in its election manifesto will lead to increased FDI and job creation as well as more efficient use of public expenditure and ultimately more sustainable communities for all.”

The RIAI’s pre-election Manifesto advocated five key policy pillars:

1. A dedicated Government Minister and Department of the Built Environment: Ireland has suffered from relying on short-term planning which has sown the seeds of the challenges that we now face today. We need to learn from our mistakes and focus on co-ordinated long-term planning under the direction of a dedicated cabinet Minister.

2. Delivery of quality homes: To resolve the current housing crisis and boost the delivery of quality homes across the country RIAI advocates a suite or measures such as:

  • Maximising use of existing built stock in towns and cities by expanding and improving ‘Living over the Shop’
  • Stimulating employment by extending the Home Renovation Scheme to 2020 and abolishing VAT from professional fees for renovations
  • Speeding up delivery through a more efficient, streamlined procurement process replacing the current system with different approaches from each Local Authority and requirements to file multiple forms of the same documentation
  • Revising social housing procurement criteria that would allow a broader range of architectural practices across the country to be in a position to tender for work, providing more choice to Local Authorities.

3. An architect responsible for every town to ensure the principles of good design and planning are implemented at a local level that will ultimately help increase the levels of outside investment, generate new business, improve quality of life for inhabitants, grow tourism and resolve infrastructural difficulties.

4. Delivery of a Spatial & Infrastructural Strategy for the 21st century: To secure purposeful and appropriate built environment, establish parameters for future development and ensure the sustainability of communities.

5. Government Policy on Architecture 2016-2021: To implement a new policy promoting high standards in design and construction and recognising architecture as an integral part of our national identity.

The RIAI Housing Policy is available to download (PDF 8.3MB) on this LINK


For media enquiries:
Niall Quinn, The Reputations Agency (01) 661 8915 or (086) 827 4829
Dr. Sandra O'Connell, RIAI Communications Manager, (01) 6761703

Categories: Housing | Press Releases | RIAI Press Release

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