There have been calls for the government to reconsider its strategy of employing private developers to build social housing, in the wake of the collapse of Carillion construction company today (Monday).

Workers’ Party Cllr. Éilis Ryan called for the government to rule out the use of any Public-Private Partnership mechanisms in the ‘Housing Land Initiative’ in Dublin, saying:

“With the collapse of Carillion, Irish public services are yet again left in the lurch by a private, for-profit developer going belly up. This is far from the first time we have had this experience. Entire social housing developments have been delayed by over a decade now, because we chose to trust a private developer to build basic public infrastructure.

“We cannot afford to have that happen with the developments at O’Devaney Gardens and elsewhere on council land in Dublin. The council should drop its plans to engage a private developer in this work, before it is too late.”

A company owned by Carillion, Inspiredspaces, is contracted by the Department of Education to build five schools which have not yet been completed across the state, and to maintain these buildings for 25 years.

Cllr. Ryan continued:
“The collapse of Carillion is no surprise. Mega-businesses – the types our government has a history of relying on – are unstable. Relying on them to deliver basic public services is a risky and ill-considered strategy, that holds almost no risk for the developer, and massive risk for the state.”

She concluded:
“The government are now reassuring us that Carillion’s Irish projects will not be negatively impacted. But the truth is they already have – the move-in dates for all the buildings concerned have already been delayed. And, at the end of the day, the state now has to pick up the tab in concluding and running these projects. It would have been far simpler for it to simply develop these projects from the beginning.”


Worker’s Party