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New National Development Plan is more than just a wish list - Taoiseach

The new National Development Plan is more than just a Government wish list, the Taoiseach has ins...
Michael Staines
Michael Staines

19.47 4 Oct 2021


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New National Development Plan...

New National Development Plan is more than just a wish list - Taoiseach

Michael Staines
Michael Staines

19.47 4 Oct 2021


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The new National Development Plan is more than just a Government wish list, the Taoiseach has insisted.

The €165bn plan contains a host of spending commitments across the economy between now and 2030.

The Government said the plan is the largest ever promised in the history of the State with focuses on housing, climate, transport, healthcare, jobs and economic renewal.

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The document has been welcomed by business and construction bodies; however, opposition parties have labelled it a “work of fiction” and a “back of the envelope wish-list.”

Speaking at the launch this afternoon, the Taoiseach Micheál Martin it is a practical plan, rather than a list of things the Government would like to achieve.

“There is very substantial funding underpinning the plan, so it is not a wish list,” he said.

“It is going to see very large capital investment in this country over the next ten years. We need to modernise our infrastructure; we need to modernise our country and do so in a way that meets the climate change agenda that we have set ourselves.”

He said the plan was unprecedented in scale and insisted it will shape Ireland’s response to the housing crisis and the climate change challenge.

Meanwhile, the Public Expenditure Minister said the plan includes safeguards to ensure value for money on the proposals.

All the road projects from the previous NDP have made it into this plan, along with big public transport moves like BusConnects in all five cities, Dart+, the western rail corridor and Metrolink.

Most of the projects do not have timelines and some, like Metrolink do not include costings.

Earlier today, the Transport Minister Eamon Ryan admitted that the Government can’t guarantee that every road project in the plan will be delivered, going as far as to say, “I don’t expect they will because to be honest.”

On The Hard Shoulder this evening, the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the plan offers the public “an assurance and the knowledge that the project is in the plans and that the Government is committed to it.”

“We are being very upfront and honest with people that projects run into trouble,” he said.

“They have to go through planning permission for example. Sometimes they end up in judicial reviews, other times they end up getting to the point where they get to Cabinet … and if the budget is much higher than we budgeted for, then sometimes they need to be reconsidered – but that is always the case.”

Meanwhile, opposition parties have branded the failure to give a clear timeline for the Dublin Metrolink as “bizarre.”

Minister Varadkar said he hoped the project would enter planning next year; however, he refused to give an estimated date for completion.

Labour finance spokesman Ged Nash says the project must be accelerated.

“Every major capital city across the EU and across the developed world has a link like this connecting its main international airport to the capital city.

“It is bizarre that we don’t have a full costing and we don’t have a timeline nailed down for what is a critical piece of infrastructure.”

You can listen back to the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar here:

New National Development Plan is more than just a wish list - Taoiseach

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

    


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