Radio Clip: Joe Duffy “what government in their right mind would make people unemployed?” BC(A)R SI.9

by Bregs Blog admin team

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“The theme of this year is jobs jobs jobs. What government in their right mind would make people unemployable after 1st march?”  Joe Duffy askes some pointed questions in this radio broadcast.

In the following radio clip a number of self-builders and an experienced construction professional explore the adverse consequences of Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014).

link to clip: http://www.rte.ie/radio1/podcast/podcast_liveline.xml

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Comment: The self-builders have been  very vocal on the issues concerning their own sector due to BC(A)R SI.9. The current estimate is that almost 17% of house starts will be abandoned annually as a result of the extraordinary extra costs of SI.9. These are self-builder dwellings that otherwise would have been constructed if SI.9 had not been introduced. As confirmed by legal opinion obtained by the Irish Association of Self-Builders (IAOSB) self-building will no longer be possible after the introduction of SI.9 on 1st March 2014. Industry estimates the extra fees for employing established contractors on self-build residential projects will increase house build costs by over 12%, putting the possibility of home ownership for almost 1,800 families every year out of reach (IAOSB estimates). The remaining self-builds, 4,500 homes will, of course, need to employ established contractors and members of the CIF which will add to owners costs considerably. Quite a bit of extra work however for contractors and CIF members.

Later on in the segment an experienced construction professional highlights the difficulties for certain qualified persons with the new regulation. Under SI.9 no allowance has been made for those qualified as ‘technical’ experts who want to work as technical Certifiers but are not the designers. This unfair situation applies to both experienced architectural technologist members of the RIAI (the representative body for architects) and those who are not. This will have adverse consequences for many throughout the country, leading to unemployment for many as the contributor believes. In other countries architectural technologists are well-established practitioners in building control inspections and compliance.

The unintended consequences of SI.9 are not restricted to self-builders and technical experts. The cost impact on all sectors of the economy, from small residential works (qualifying), SME’s, small retail works and changes of use,  license applications, larger government capital projects, commercial non-residential projects and foreign inward investment are considerable.

The question we have been asking is why is this government promoting a regulation that could cost the industry and taxpayer €3bn over 6 years and by 2020 cost the economy 30,000 jobs? We hope this conversation continues today and for the remainder of the week in the media.

The above opinion piece was submitted by Maoilíosa Mel Reynolds on 25th February 2014.

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