The Government hopes to pass new laws lifting height restrictions on residential buildings by the end of the year, according to Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar.
His colleague, the Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, has already signalled that the Government plans to remove the restrictions, seen as a barrier to tackling the Republic’s housing crisis in its cities. Addressing the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) annual conference in Dublin on Thursday, Mr Varadkar confirmed that his administration intends lifting the restrictions in city centres and along key transport routes.
Such a move will require the Government to introduce legislation and the Oireachtas to pass it. “Any changes we want to make, we want to make them by the end of the year and then see how they are working out,” Mr Varadkar said. He also told the gathering that the Cabinet was likely to follow the federation’s suggestion and establish a new construction industry group, with representatives from the sector itself, the public service, State bodies and the Government.
CIF president, Dominic Doheny, said that it was vital that the group was established before work begins on the national planning framework. “Our industry will transform Ireland by 2030, 2040 and beyond,” he said. “This time we have a unique opportunity to do this in a sustainable way.” Mr Doheny pointed that the sector has been caught in a boom and bust cycle through its history, with the downturns often overshadowing the good work that it has done.
Mr Varadkar also said that the Government hoped to take more workers out of the higher tax bracket in future budgets and to ensure that those on higher incomes paid less of their tax at the higher rate.