I am calling on the Government to defer the implementation of the proposed Concrete levy.
I am calling for the deferral as the Department of Finance and Revenue are now including Precast Concrete Products in the levy which was never the intention of the levy.
The Department and Revenue are confirming that the legislation applies to the “concrete ingredient” of precast concrete. I consider this to be a blatant reneging of the Minister’s commitment to exclude precast from the levy in the first place.
The levy will increase the cost of precast products and it will damage the competitiveness of Irish precast exporters on the UK market.
Additionally, the fact that there is no levy on the precast product itself, means that there is no provision in the legislation to apply a levy to imported precast concrete products from Northern Ireland (as is provided for in relation to readymix concrete imports). This obviously immediately confers a competitive advantage to Northern Irish precast manufacturers on the ROI market. Its worth noting that the two largest precast manufacturers on the British Isles are based in Northern Ireland!
Precast Concrete suppliers are contract bound on fixed priced contracts up till the middle of 2025 and therefore have no scope to recoup the levy despite assurances from Minister Paschal Donohue that precast concrete would be excluded from the levy.
The levy now as being implemented applies to products such as bridge beams, cattle slats, roof tiles, paving, ornamental concrete, garden furniture and many more products.
Due to the conflicting take on the levy between officials, revenue and the Ministers and Government the only solution is a delay in the implementation of the levy and a change to the legislation to allow the legislation so that it can be implemented the way the Government intended.
See quotes below from Minister Paschal Donohue at the time of the introduction of the levy all of which has been lost in translation.
“I acknowledge the value of Ireland’s pre-cast concrete sector, and therefore I have removed pre-cast concrete products from the scope of this levy”- Oct 18th 2022.
“And I’ve also excluded precast items that are very important for exporters of concrete products, so I believe the balance is struck,” – Morning Ireland Oct 21st 2022.
“Paschal Donohoe also announced that the levy will not apply to pre-cast concrete products, in an effort to ensure that jobs in this export-led sector are protected “– Irish Examiner, 18th October.