CIF head 'sort of misspoke' when he said large construction projects will see costs jump by 40pc

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CONSTRUCTION Industry Federation director general Tom Parlon said he “misspoke” when he told the Dáil the cost of large construction projects could soar by 40pc due to coronavirus safety measures.

hen asked about the impact new safety measures could have on large projects, such as the National Children’s Hospital, during a Covid-19 committee meeting on Tuesday, Mr Parlon said construction sites could see costs jump by 40 pc.

Mr Parlon also told the Dáil that the cost building a house could see additional costs by 5-10 pc.

This morning, Mr Parlon told RTÉ’s Today with Sarah McInerney that he “sort of misspoke,’ and that he “meant to say that productivity could be reduced by 40pc.”

“I misspoke on that. What I meant to say is that productivity will be reduced by up to 40pc on complex projects while severe regulations are in place.

“I didn’t clarify the situation but I’m happy to clarify it now. It wasn’t my intention, that’s not a CIF view. What I meant to say is that productivity will be reduced by up to 40 percent on complex projects while severe regulations are in place.

“I didn’t clarify the situation but I’m happy to clarify it now. It wasn’t my intention, that’s not a CIF view. Everyone is going to be working very hard to improve on productivity.”

He added he does not believe that there is “any likelihood of anything as mad as a 40 pc rise in costs.”

Speaking about house prices increasing, Mr Parlon said a house builder suggested to him that “house prices would go up between €10,000 and €15,000.

“If you take that as a percentage that’s between 2.5pc – 4pc.”

Mr Parson’s added that adhering to the new safety measures, such as social distancing, could increase the time needed for projects to be completed.

“The timescales of two year projects for example could end up taking four or five years, due to the fallout from social distancing measures because headcounts are reduced on most sites.

“I quoted a figure myself of a very big installation which would have needed 1,600 people and the maximum was 500 to 600. So you can imagine if you only have one third of the workforce, it is going to extend the period by three times the amount.”

He said the Health and Safety Authority have carried out “dozens, perhaps 100 plus” inspections on construction sites.

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Source: Irish News