MICA Action Group (MAG) will be eagerly watching tomorrow’s budget to get an indication of the government’s intentions towards a 100 per cent redress scheme.
Speaking to the Donegal News yesterday campaigner Michael Doherty said if there is anything less than €150 million on the table to address the mica scandal then it is not what they are looking for.
“I think the budget is going to be very relevant and will be an indicator of their intentions,” said Mr Doherty.
“If we see €20 or €40 million going into the pot that is no where near enough. Anything less than €150 million is not the intention we are looking for.”
Even if the budget contains a big allocation MAG fear the mechanisms needed to access the scheme will not be in place to actually spend the money.
“They still might not have any intention of spending it. It might look OK on paper but really if they don’t give the people a mechanism to access the scheme then the money sits there. We have seen all of that in the past,” said Mr Doherty.
“We are interested in seeing what will happen with the budget but it’s not the whole story. We are not taking the pressure off in any shape or form.”
The homeowners’ submission paper is currently with Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, Tánaiste, Leo Vardakar and Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan. MAG are hopeful that they will hear back from them before the end of the month.
“They know what they need to do. I think they got that message on Friday,” added Mr Doherty.
“It’s not that we want 100 per cent redress it is that we need it. The amount of families that said to me on Friday that they are not in a position to do anything if they don’t get 100 per cent redress and the amount of people that are locked out of this scheme.”
Many homeowners cannot afford the €6,000 for the initial testing never mind the cost of repairing their homes if not all costs are covered by the government.
“If it is a case that they come back with an answer that is not right then we will be looking for TDs heads. They are on notice here and they need to step up or they will never see a vote in Donegal again,” warned Mr Doherty.
“I think we have got ourselves in a position now that really it is going to be impossible for the government not to do the right thing.”