Hardware sector aims to create jobs with major proposals

Martin Markey (left) CEO with Hardware Association Ireland (HAI) President Sean Moran launching Rebuilding Our Future outside Leinster House in Dublin. (Picture: Maxwells Dublin)

An extensive plan which could create large numbers of jobs in Cork has been launched by Hardware Association Ireland (HAI). The plan, entitled ‘Rebuilding Our Future’, aims to kick-start the local economy in Cork post-Covid by encouraging home retrofitting and renovations.

The plan would be a major boost for local businesses, construction workers and tradespeople, especially in areas outside Dublin. It involves serious incentives and supports for making homes more energy efficient and will support existing local businesses and tradespeople by allowing homeowners to claim tax back on home renovation works.

According to HAI Chief Executive Martin Markey, the plan will help Cork bounce back post-Covid: “Rebuilding Our Future has a number of key recommendations that will be good for jobs and the economy in Cork.

“We need to get people back to work and create demand for sustainable jobs in areas outside Dublin. Our plan does just that and we need it now more than ever.”

Martin went on to say: “Not only will this plan help homeowners save money on renovating and retrofitting their homes, it will support local businesses through this crisis and create sustainable jobs in Cork for years to come. It will also reduce our carbon emissions.

“In the coming weeks and months we will be engaging strongly with the Government and putting our case to them that the Rebuilding Our Future plan is good for local jobs and local economies across Ireland. It delivers a badly needed shot in the arm for the economy and the construction sector across Ireland”.

The four key pillars of HAI’s plan are:

  • Re-introducing the Home Renovation Incentive scheme from 2020-2023 to encourage homeowners and landlords to renovate their properties
  • Encouraging homeowners to retrofit their homes by using the Home Renovation Incentive Scheme model, which has worked in the past
  • Providing incentives for first-time buyers by including second-hand homes in the Help to Buy Incentive Scheme
  • Providing more incentives for training and upskilling employees in the sector and providing support for training in installing and fitting new green technology.

Hardware Association Ireland is the representative body for Irish hardware and DIY retailers, builders’ merchants, distributers and manufacturers, representing over 400 members nationwide and 26,000 staff in the sector.