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Matthews welcomes new proposals to regulate building sector

Date: 3 February 2022

Deputy Matthews spoke in favour of the new Dáil Bill – Regulation of Providers of Building Works Bill 2022 that seeks to increase the regulation in the building sector by amongst other things creating a central registration body for building contractors in Ireland. Up to now this register has been voluntary but if enacted, this new bill would mandate all construction companies to register and comply with existing regulations, ultimately increasing accountability in the sector. Discussing the bill, Deputy Matthews said:

“This is very positive news for anyone having work done by building contractors as they will have the peace of mind that the work is being done by someone who is reputable, is fully registered with an official body and is answerable if their work does not meet required standards.

“This is not a criticism of the building sector, which I believe will also welcome this bill because it means that the vast majority of those who work in the industry who are honest, skilled workers are not thrown into the same bracket as the cowboy builder who walks away from unfinished or unacceptable work. We all know of someone who has been stung by such a scenario and this bill seeks to avoid that much in the same way that electricians were regulated many years ago. When this happened, it improved the overall standard of work being carried out and this bill just brings the construction sector in line with this best practice.

“A key component of this bill is that it will offer customers who have a grievance with any work carried out by a registered builder/ company to be appealed and complained to a central board and the work will then be independently inspected. This is about consumer protection and ensuring consumer confidence. We all know the risks and perils of allowing an industry to self-regulate and we need to avoid repeating the mistake we have made in the past.

“Directly related to this bill is the core commitment of this Government and long-term Green Party Policy – the huge increase required in retrofitting. We need highly qualified and skilled tradespeople to meet the required standard for insulation, solar panels, heat pumps and all other aspects of deep retrofitting. This new legislation is timely as we cannot afford the time or the expense in having any contractors involved in this work to be substandard, concluded Deputy Matthews.

“This Bill is currently making its way through the legislative process and I look forward to working with both my Green Party Colleagues and our Government partners to ensure that it is as strong as possible and offers the level of confidence that people will need in our building sector both as we ramp up housing supply and as we continue to retrofit our existing housing stock to the best standard, concluded Deputy Matthews.

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