DONEGAL people will still have to pay out “life changing” sums of money to fix their mica affected homes despite the government promising a 100 per cent redress scheme.
Leading mica campaigners say they cannot support the revised mica redress scheme due to the “devastating” sliding scale applied on the rate of each 1,000 square feet.
The sliding scale means the first 1,000 square feet will be covered by a rate of €145, the second 1,000 square feet by €110 and €100 thereafter.
Based on 158 applications through the Donegal County Council, the average home owner will have to pay out €65,000 to rebuild their mica affected homes, even with the help of the grant.
Speaking during a press conference held yesterday Mica Action Group spokesperson Michael Doherty said the scheme was unattainable for many families.
“Who in this country could see this as an acceptable proposition,” he asked.
“Lets stop talking about this €420,000 cap which was purely designed to lead people to think that the people in Donegal are being offered this amount to fix their homes and they want more.
“The average home is coming in at €360,000. That is not triggering the €420,000 cap but yet that family will have to pay out €65,000.
“Even in the smaller rooms, if we go down to a 1,700 square-foot house, we’re still €30,000 short.”
Michael Doherty said the sliding scale was a “deal breaker” and that homeowners need €150 per square foot to rebuild their homes.
He believes the cap of €420,000 is being used as a “smokescreen” by the government when the reality is that many home owners will not be able to access the maximum grant.
He continued, “The sliding scheme has been slid in at the eleventh hour so it was slipped in at some stage just prior to the cabinet meeting. It is extremely disappointing and it is a deal breaker.
“As a deal breaker it flies in the face of opportunity that many other parts of the scheme did offer which would benefit home owners,” said Mr Doherty.
The government has said the sliding scale will be reviewed annually. But campaigners believe homeowners will still be faced with hefty bills.
Mr Doherty said that if the sliding scale is removed, campaigners could work with the Government on the scheme.
“The only way the scheme will work is if they remove the sliding scale that was introduced at the eleventh hour.
“We cannot support the scheme. We cannot ask ordinary families to go out and find €65,000 to avail of the scheme.”