Revised Plan will ensure additional funding is allocated in line with national economic and social infrastructure priorities
The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, TD, today (Tuesday) informed the Government of the approach being taken to the review of the Capital Plan in 2017. Minister Donohoe was joined by the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD, this afternoon to set out the process through which infrastructure projects will be prioritised in the months ahead and also the longer-term approach that is to be taken to address our future planning needs.
The Capital Plan ‘Building on Recovery: Infrastructure and Capital Investment 2016-2021’, published in September 2015, set out Exchequer capital spending of €27 billion and, including the wider semi-state sector and PPPs, total state-backed capital investment of €42 billion.
According to Minister Donohoe: ‘The Capital Plan is now being reviewed to ensure that capital spending is fully aligned with national economic and social priorities, consistent with Programme for Partnership Government objectives’.
“This Government is strongly committed to meeting priority public capital needs. This commitment is clearly evidenced by the additional €5 billion allocated to capital spending in last year’s Summer Economic Statement.
“A key goal for the review is to focus available capital resources on investment that can best underpin sustainable economic growth and social progress and enhance Ireland’s future growth potential.”
The review of the Plan will be undertaken in two stages.
- The first phase will comprise a focused review of priorities aimed primarily at advising Government in the context of Budget 2018 on how the additional funding committed by Government for capital investment should be allocated over the remaining period of the plan. This will examine priority areas for investment, consistent with the objectives of the existing Capital Plan and also reflecting the specific investment priorities set out in the Programme for Government.
- The second phase of the review will assess and report on the framework required to underpin longer term analysis of Ireland’s infrastructure planning needs.
Minister Noonan said: ‘Delivering quality infrastructure is crucial to ensuring social cohesion and improving our economic productivity in the years ahead. This Government’s approach to doing so will bring much needed certainty to investment in such infrastructure over the coming years, helping to further strengthen our economy and allowing us to address social and community needs’.
Notes for Editors
Submissions for the first phase of the review will be sought from Departments and key stakeholders and a public consultation will also be undertaken to inform the review (details to be announced over the coming period). As part of the process, it is currently intended that the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform will publish output as part of the 2017 Mid-Year Expenditure Report, including a stock-take of progress to date on delivery of the Capital Plan; a macro-economic analysis, assessing developments in the economic environment since the plan was published in 2015; and an infrastructure demand analysis, benchmarking existing infrastructure being supplied to assess its capability to meet demands as the economy continues to grow.
Building on this analysis, Minister Donohoe stated that the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform will assess the submissions received from Departments and other stakeholders and make recommendations to Government in Q3 2017, to inform final decisions by Government on revised capital allocations, to be announced in the context of Budget 2018.