Thursday, 4 November 2004

Questions (73)

Jan O'Sullivan


55 Ms O’Sullivan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to recent reports that purchasers of new homes under stage-payment schemes are being charged an average of €7,000 for the construction industry practice; if he has plans to abolish stage payments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27335/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

I am concerned to ensure that house purchasers are not being adversely affected by any practices that might make it more difficult or expensive to access a home in certain circumstances.

A structured consultation process is now being initiated with key stakeholders to examine all aspects of stage payments, to identify the exact nature of the issues involved, and to consider fully the implications of different options including potential legislative action. The overall impact on the home buyer will be the central consideration in this process, in particular, to ensure that consumers are not being disadvantaged by any undesirable market practices.

The figure referred to in the question was contained in an opinion commissioned by the Law Society of Ireland and I have noted the points made in this opinion.