The construction employers' body, CIF, has welcomed a number of construction related measures in the Budget but has expressed disappointment at the absence of any initiative to help counter the loss of €2 billion to the Exchequer per annum through the growing black economy in construction services.
The CIF has also reiterated the severe impact on employment in construction arising from the decision to cut capital investment by €750 million in 2012 and a further €550 million in 2013.
Responding CIF Director General Tom Parlon said: "The Minister's direct reference to the importance of a viable construction sector is positive. No modern country can flourish without a sustainable construction sector capable of meeting the growth needs of the economy.
“The Minister acknowledged this and pointed to the need to stem the huge loss of employment in the sector. That said, the Public Capital Programme has been decimated by the cuts introduced during this budgetary cycle, which is a self-defeating policy because any imagined 'savings' will be wiped out by the additional job losses, reduced taxation and reduced spending in the economy.
“There are, however, some welcome measures in the announcements, which will help encourage much needed international investment in Ireland and help to encourage increased transactions in the residential property market."
Mr Parlon added: "The reduction in commercial property stamp duty, the introduction of a specific Capital Gains Tax incentive and the removal of uncertainty relating to upwards-only rent reviews in existing commercial leases will help translate increased international investor interest into transactions in the Irish market. This investment, in turn, will help bring about greater stability in the financial system and ultimately encourage economic activity."