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Construction industry becoming the dysfunction industry under Labour and FGs watch – Tóibín

17 December, 2014

Speaking in the Dáil this morning Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín questioned the Jobs Minister on the myriad of challenges facing the construction sector, which are exasperated by government failure to address the fundamentals of supply side problems and growing industrial unrest across the industry, all of which has an impact on Ireland’s competitiveness. 

The Meath West TD said:

“Spiralling house prices, glacial supply side solutions, increased industrial unrest and falling wages are all undermining the potential growth of the construction industry and its accompanying job creation. Ultimately this failure will damage Ireland’s competitiveness. 

“My exchange with Richard Bruton in the Dáil this morning provided further evidence of the lack of joined up thinking amongst government Ministers. Rapidly rising houses prices in urban centres due to a lack of supply into the market has a direct impact on the expansion of existing businesses and entry of new enterprise into Ireland. There is little point seeking out foreign investment if we then price ourselves out of the commercial and residential markets.  

“Growing industrial unrest across the construction sector is becoming a real problem and the sharpest practices by employers are happening right under the government’s nose. There are widely reported abuses of the Relevant Contract Tax system, the national minimum wage and construction sector rates of pay on publicly funded construction projects.

“Government’s failure to ensure compliance and enforcement of pay related provisions contained within public works contracts is creating an uneven playing field, and it’s not just workers who are losing out. 

“Decent contractors whose tenders for public contracts are based on adhering to their statutory and contractual obligations are losing out to unscrupulous competitors who reduce costs by engaging in sharp practices.” 

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