An enhanced scheme for homeowners affected by the mica crisis is set to go to Cabinet in less than two weeks with a new cap of up to €400,000 per home under discussion.


It was originally intended that the scheme would be presented to Cabinet this week but Ministers and officials have been locked into negotiations as the State seeks to balance the final costs with the requirements of the thousands of homeowners whose properties have been affected.


Mica is a mineral that can absorb water, leading to cracks and crumbling in bricks containing it. The likely cost of rebuilding or repairing affected homes is growing rapidly as further problems emerge in Clare, Limerick and Sligo after first surfacing in Donegal and Mayo.


The Irish Times is today reporting that a new proposal is now set to go to Cabinet the week after next.


Sources have said that two of the remaining major sticking points are the size of the cap on works and the inclusion of rental properties in the scheme. Under discussion is a cap of about €400,000 but there are differences of opinion in Government about whether it should be more generous than that or closer to €350,000 instead. It has also not yet been decided whether rental properties will be included.


Officials are understood to be concerned that including these properties could significantly widen the scheme and impact on the overall cost.