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News : Irish Economy Last Updated: Aug 23, 2010 - 8:24:15 PM

Cowen announces what he terms 7-year €40bn 'stimulus for growth and job creation'
By Finfacts Team
Jul 26, 2010 - 3:04:00 PM

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The Taoiseach, Brain Cowen, together with the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government today launched the Government's Infrastructure Investment Priorities for 2010 - 2016 at the new National Convention Centre in Dublin.

Cowen said "proportionately this is one of the highest spends in the European Union, and a major stimulus to the economy as we return to growth." He added: "Over the next seven years we will invest €40bn in economic and social infrastructure. We have reviewed all our capital programmes and identified new priorities and opportunities given the changed circumstances the country faces. We are focusing on investments which will help create sustainable jobs - by shifting resources to areas which will help Irish companies grow, and attract more foreign investment."

The Taoiseach said the new investment programme is "...ambitious, appropriate and affordable. It is exactly the type of stimulus that the economy needs to help rebuild confidence and accelerate economic recovery. More than anything else, it is a clear statement of confidence and optimism about Ireland's future. "

The Government has completed a comprehensive review of its Public Capital Investment Programme.

It has will invest €40bn over seven years to support recovery, prioritising productive and employment-supporting sectors, including enterprise and innovation, education, public transport and environmental services.

Among the key allocations are:

  • €4.21bn for education

  • €2.89bn for health

  • €3.69bn for enterprise

  • €5.77bn for public transport

  • €5.97bn for roads

  • €3.66bn for environmental services

Cowen said there are also major investments in housing, agriculture, flood relief, community development, energy, broadband, information and communications technology, tourism, culture and sport.

IBEC Director Brendan Butler lauded the Government's public spending plans and vision said: "This investment is an important vote of confidence in the Irish economy. The scale of the programme remains ambitious by international standards and provides the opportunity to enhance the growth potential of the economy. The certainty that now exists about the Government's investment plans will deliver a much needed stimulus to the domestic economy.

"Government has rightly prioritised the employment aspects of investment. In addition to the much needed infrastructure projects, the plan provides for increased investment in enterprise development, education, skills and R&D.

"The commitment of this investment now provides the platform to attract substantial investment from the private sector. Public private partnerships have a proven track record of delivering major infrastructure projects and many international funds are looking to invest in Irish PPP projects.

"It is now vital that government departments and agencies get this funding flowing through the economy as quickly as possible. We need to ensure that a sensible approach is taken to planning issues and that unreasonable delays do not threaten the delivery of much needed infrastructure and employment."

'Leaflet' - Capital Expenditure Review (pdf)

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