Almost €70m spent on home renovations
DUBLIN homeowners have spent almost €70m renovating their properties since a government's tax break aimed at boosting the building sector kicked in last year.
A total of 3,700 projects such as extensions, attic conversions and kitchen refits have been undertaken in the capital since last October, with an average of about €18,000 spent by householders.
The Home Renovation Incentive was introduced in the budget to help the struggling construction industry.
An estimated €69m was spent across the four Dublin local authorities with the most - €24.9m- spend in the city council area which includes neighbourhoods like Clontarf and Ballsbridge.
Residents in the Dublin City Council area spend an average of €20,828 on each project.
The total estimated spend in the other local authority areas were Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown (€22.1m), Fingal (€11.4m) and South Dublin (€10.6m).
Almost €115m has been spent across the country.
The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) welcomed the figures and said that hundreds of jobs have been created as a result of the scheme.
A spokesman said: "We said this would generate a lot of activity, and the figures seem to be bearing that out.
"It's fantastic news to see those kind of figures," he added.
Householders must have paid their property tax to be eligible for the scheme.
Meanwhile the builders involved must be tax compliant.
The statistics were released to Fine Gael TD John Deasy by Finance Minister Michael Noonan who said that the scheme was contributing to a "gradual pick-up" in employment in the construction sector.
Mr Noonan that the system would allow Revenue to identify additional compliance programmes to identify shadow economy activity within the construction sector.
He said: "In this regard, this is an opportune time for contractors who are operating in the shadow economy to register for tax purposes and to regularise their tax affairs and avail of the opportunities that will continue to come on stream in the construction sector."