The SCSI’s Pre Budget Submission 2016 ‘ Building for Growth’ which was issued to Government is available to download here.
The report contains a range of recommendations across Property (residential and commercial), Land and Construction to support the development of a more sustainable sector and help maintain our international competitiveness.
The SCSI recommendations arose from member surveys, stakeholder roundtables, SCSI research and wider industry feedback. The recommendations include:
- The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government’s (DECLG) building and development design standards should be the required standard in each planning area.
- Development levies should be reformed both to reduce their cost and phasing of payment and reviewed every 3 years.
- The tax regime for providers of private rented accommodation should be reformed to make investment activity more attractive to encourage more professional investment in the sector.
- The VAT rate should be reduced from 13.5% to 9% on new housing units up to a selling price (excluding V.A.T) of €300,000 for a temporary period of three years to ensure the commercial viability of house building at the lower end of the price range.
- Increase infrastructural finance from the Exchequer to local authorities to ensure zoned land has the necessary servicing and infrastructure to facilitate the provision of new housing.
- Through its various programmes and policy instruments Government should make commercially priced finance available for lower priced housing developments where new bank credit rules prevent this.
- Consideration should be given to offering ‘micro-finance’ at commercially attractive levels for SME builders, particularly at a regional city level, to renovate existing schemes and for the provision of rental accommodation where there are significant stock shortages.
- Streamline the planning process to reduce delays in processing applications for housing developments in strategically important areas using delivery models such as SDZ’s.
- Introduce interventions to increase the supply of development land for housing at the lower priced end of the market.
- Introduce a ‘Build to Rent Scheme’ to support the funding of developments comprising rental accommodation.
- The Government should focus on increasing the supply of residential properties and no attempt should be made to control rental levels.
- Reform the Residential Property Price Register to support more real time transactional data analysis on the property market.
- Introduce low cost modular housing on a temporary basis to provide accommodation for those in need of social housing support.
- Increase the provision of development finance at more attractive commercial rates for viable developments.
- The IDA should underwrite the rent for office buildings, in certain strategic locations, until they are let, to advance the construction of commercial buildings in targeted locations.
- Increase the availability of finance for the provision of up front infrastructure and services in strategic locations.
- Streamline the planning process and extend the SDZ model to other targeted areas.
- Extend the Living Cities Initiative to incorporate other vacant property built after 1915 to encourage further renovation and supply.
- All vacant property should be provided with 100% relief from commercial rates for 1 year.
- Reform the Commercial Lease Database.
- Introduce a Commercial Sales Database.
- Support the conversion of unused commercial units (i.e. empty units over shops etc), in urban and regional areas, to provide more residential accommodation and to maximise the potential of vacant stock where there is demand.
- Taxation allowance for the transfer of property from a parent to a child should be increased to €400,000.
- The threshold for retirement allowance should remain at €750,000 after the age of 55 and a reduction of the relief could be brought in on a sliding scale so that the highest taxation relief will be made available to those that transfer the property sooner.
- Reintroduce roll over relief to support farm restructuring and CPO’s.
- Ensure consistent investment in public capital projects based on a GDP ratio of 5%.
- Accelerate social housing construction, particularly via the support of partnership approaches to the delivery of social housing through special funding models.
- Extend the Home Renovation Incentive (HRI) scheme beyond 31 December 2015.
- Prioritise initiatives and provide investment to address construction sector skills shortages such as Government incentivised employer backed apprenticeship schemes.
- Promote further use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in public capital investment projects to promote more cost effective construction and life cycle cost management.
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