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News : Property Last Updated: May 15, 2014 - 1:36 PM

Irish Construction Plan: Kenny promises "world-class" sector
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
May 14, 2014 - 4:37 PM

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Enda Kenny, taoiseach, announcing the Government's latest "strategy" -- this time on construction - - Abbotstown, Dublin, May 14, 2014

Irish Construction: Enda Kenny, taoiseach and Eamon Gilmore, tánaiste, this afternoon announced a package of measures to stimulate activity in the construction industry and boost local and European election prospects, just with over a week to polling day on Friday, May 23rd. The taoiseach promised "a world-class, competitive and dynamic sector operating to the highest standards and in line with best practice."

The term "world-class" is the most overused and laughable bullshit term in the lexicon of Irish politicians and policy makers when "bog-standard" would often be acceptable if that could be even attained.

Kenny today launched  a report called a "strategy" almost 5 months after what was to be a medium strategy for 2014-2020, at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown and he said the central aim of the latest strategy is "to provide homes for our people by tripling housing output by 2020 and adding 60,000 jobs to the construction sector over the same period."

Construction Strategy - 14 May 2014 [pdf]

He announced spending of €200m that will be "a huge boost for tourism, sports, local communities, jobs and for the construction industry itself."

It includes the allocation of €20m to the Pyrite Remediation Scheme and a €30m gift for the GAA's Páirc Uí Chaoimh Stadium in Cork - - money can always be found at election time.

Some 75 actions span across many related areas including housing, planning, financing, the commercial sector, infrastructure and public investment, standards and regulation, and skills and competitiveness.

Kenny says the strategy addresses many important issues and obstacles for the improvement of the sector and indeed for the country as a whole.

Such issues include:
- a strategic and measured approach to the provision of housing, nationally and in Dublin, with mechanisms in place to detect and act when things are going wrong;
- continuing improvement of the planning process, striking the right balance between current and future requirements;
- the availability of sustainable bank and non-bank financing for viable projects;
- appropriate access to mortgage finance on sustainable terms;
- effective enforcement of proper building standards and appropriate regulation;
- the identification and removal of blockages to necessary commercial development, and
- facilitating the strengthening of capacity in the sector, especially in terms of international expansion and technology advancements.

"One project I'm excited to see progress on is the development of an interlinked, national greenway network and the commitment of €10m to start the Dublin-Athlone-Galway route will help create an internationally recognised tourism attraction," Kenny said and concluded: "The Government has a plan for Ireland, a plan for jobs and stability...We now have a plan for the construction sector. To get it back up off its knees and contribute again to Ireland's recovery.

A sustainable construction sector based on the highest standards of quality is essential to make recovery local and to get Ireland working again."

In the Finfacts report this morning, we provided employment data and housing in the sector for the 199O's and more recently, and  the plan says "if adequate resources were available, in the period from 2017 onwards, completions could more than double to between 20,000 and 25,000; or in the region of an additional 15,000 units a year."

However, why would the sector add 60,000 jobs to require 155,000 jobs to build up to 25,000 houses annually coupled with commercial and engineering projects?

SEE: data here.

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