Ireland: Government commits €42bn to capital spending in 2016-21
Ireland: The Government on Tuesday announced a capital spending plan that it called a "new €42bn framework for infrastructure investment in Ireland over the period 2016 to 2021." It will involve public spending of €27bn and €15bn comprising a public private partnership investment of €500m State-owned sector investment of around €14.5bn.
The investment will represent over 3.5% of GNP (gross national product) each year between 2016 and 2021, and "it will support more than 45,000 construction-related jobs."
State companies including the ESB, Irish Water, and Ervia — formerly Bord Gáis Éireann, plan investments mainly focused on energy infrastructure development, including renewable energy and "smart metering, and on the enhancement of water and wastewater infrastructure."
In June there were 126,000 employed in construction — the same level as 1998 — and an additional 45,000 (ignoring additional jobs in house building) would bring employment back to 2003.
Eurostat data show that 3.5% of GDP (gross domestic product) was invested by the public sector in 2003.
Transport will be allocated €10bn with a new Dublin Metro North line to link Dublin central to the airport and Swords.
Over the six years 2016 to 2021, the Government are investing through direct exchequer provision and the PPP programme:
€4bn in Education;
€4bn in Environment;
€3bn in Health;
€3bn in Enterprise;
€1.25bn in Agriculture and
€1bn in Justice.
Page 47 has a promise that money won't be wasted:
"The Public Spending Code, which was launched by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in late 2013, is now in place to ensure a comprehensive and uniform approach is taken to project appraisal and evaluation by all State bodies that are charged with delivering projects under this Capital Plan. Capital expenditure by the State will only have a positive impact on the economy and on the quality of public services if it is invested in the right projects and managed in the right way...Ultimately, an irrevocable commitment to a proposal such as placing a contract and/or drawing down public money should only be made after all appraisal stages have been satisfactorily passed and final approval obtained. Where necessary, Departments and State Agencies should be prepared at any stage, despite costs having been incurred (in appraising, planning and developing a project), to abandon a programme or project if continuation would not represent value for money."
Pic on top: Enda Kenny, taoiseach, (second from left) with ministers at Dublin Heuston station to announce the spending plan that has been timed as a lead-in to a general election.