Electric.ie Magazine Nov - Dec 2019

ELECTRIC.IE • The Magazine & Website for the Irish Electrical Industry • 29 Industry News CIF is calling for an extension of the Help to Buy scheme as a top priority in their recent Pre-Budget 2020 Submission M ƒ› Š‘—•‡„—‹Ž†‡”• Šƒ˜‡ ”‡’‘”–‡† –Šƒ– „‡–™‡‡ ͜͠τ ƒ† ͤ͜τ ‘ˆ Š‘‡• •‘Ž† –‘ Ƥ”•– –‹‡ „—›‡”• ƒ”‡…—””‡–Ž› ‡ƒ„Ž‡† „› –Š‡ ‡Ž’ –‘ —› …Š‡‡Ǥ Š‡ ‡ƒ•—”‡ ‹• …‘•‹†‡”‡† –Š‡ ‘•– ‡ơ‡…–‹˜‡ ‹–‡”˜‡–‹‘ „› ‘˜‡”‡– „› ”‹•Š Š‘—•‡„—‹Ž†‡”• ‹ –‡”• ‘ˆ ‡ƒ„Ž‹‰ Š‘—•‹‰ •—’’Ž›Ǥ ‘ ƒ”Ž‘ , CIF Director General, •ƒ‹†ǣ “Housing completions are increasing on average 35% year on year between 2014-2018 expanding from 5,500 to 18,000 annual output in that period. The Help to Buy scheme has had a huge impact in driving this growth in annual output. Before the measure was introduced, young people are excluded from purchasing a home and were forced to rent, live at home and apply for social housing. Currently, the Central Bank guidelines make it impossible for the average couple to secure mortgages. We’re proposing a shared equity scheme whereby the Government take a small stake in newly built houses to reduce the level of deposit required to secure a mortgage. We’re looking for other sensible and sustainable measures such as recognising rent history as proof of ability to repay mortgages. There are myriad issues delaying the delivery of housing across Ireland. For example, statutory planning densities mandating extensive apartment building in rural and regional towns make it impossible –‘ •‡…—”‡ †‡˜‡Ž‘’‡– Ƥƒ…‡ ˆ‘” homebuilders to build housing. Allowing homebuilders to respond to changing consumer demands ™‘—Ž† ‡ƒ„Ž‡ –Š‡ –‘ •‡…—”‡ Ƥƒ…‡ and deliver housing developments that meet planning densities, regulations and standards. Delivering infrastructure more ‡ƥ…‹‡–Ž› ‹• ƒŽ•‘ ’ƒ”– ‘ˆ –Š‡ solution to Ireland’s housing crisis. However, our public sector procurement system is wholly inadequate in terms of delivering strategic infrastructure. Improving –Š‹• •›•–‡ ‹• –Š‡ ‘•– •‹‰‹Ƥ…ƒ– step the Government could take in reducing project delays and cost overruns. Infrastructure delivery is key to the success of Project Ireland 2040. Unfortunately, large scale projects, particularly outside the GDA, are delayed or stalled at a time when our regions are slipping back and facing a rough Brexit.” The CIF budget submission also highlighted several measures to ensure enough skilled labour in the industry to deliver essential housing and infrastructure over the coming decade. A key challenge is increasing the numbers of young people entering the industry. Recent CAO applications show that an additional 643 students selected third level courses in engineering, architecture and ‹…‘•–”—…–‹‘ ƒ• –Š‡‹” Ƥ”•– ’”‡ˆ‡”‡…‡ ‘ơ‡”…‘’ƒ”‡† ™‹–Š last year (12,484 in 2019 versus 11,841 in 2018; this represents an increase of 5%). Apprenticeship registrations are recovering from a very low basis. However, recently CIF showed that 40% of parents would dissuade their children entering the construction industry. The CIF is suggesting that the Government review the funding model for apprenticeship to enable SMEs to take on apprentices in larger number and to reinstate state ’ƒ›‡–• ˆ‘” ‘ơ –Š‡ Œ‘„ –”ƒ‹‹‰ that were removed in 2014 from the €70million National Training Fund. The construction industry is undergoing a strong recovery with investment expected to reach €41billion by 2023. The concern is to ensure growth is sustainable and the industry is insulated from the volatility that has beset construction in the past. The concentration of activity in the Greater Dublin area should be of concern to the Government. The CIF’s recent crane count highlighted the fact that Dublin has over 120 cranes compared to only twelve in Cork, two in Limerick and two in Galway. This disparity of activity should be of grave concern considering that Cork, Galway and Limerick must grow at twice the rate of Dublin if Project Ireland 2040 is to succeed. CIF has recommended to Government that consideration is given to the various budgetary recommendations as set out under the themes People, Infrastructure, Housing, and Climate Action. These recommendations are focused on achieving the greatest return on investment from existing and planned expenditure in terms ‘ˆǣ • enabling a better quality of life and improved wellbeing for all citizens; • improving Ireland’s economic competitiveness and climate resilience; and • addressing capacity constraints across the economy and the built environment. To see the full list of recommendations and to view the CIF Pre-Budget 2020 Submission go to www.cif.ie