Dept of Transport, Tourism & Sport Budget will further support job creation – Donohoe & Ring

14th October, 2014

Targeted investment in public transport and road network & continuation of 9% VAT rate will support economic activity and enhance job growth


  • Retention of the lower VAT rate will encourage employment in tourism sector
  • Maintenance of PSO at current levels & targeted investment in  public transport and road network will enable economic growth
  • New round of Sports Capital Programme (SCP) funding will help support construction industry & improve nation’s health


The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, and the Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring TD, today (Tuesday) said measures contained in Budget 2015, including the retention of the 9% VAT rate, the safeguarding of Public Service Obligation (PSO) funding for public transport and a new round of Sports Capital funding will contribute to the Government’s overall objective of creating 100,000 additional jobs by 2016. The total capital spend for the Department in 2015 will be more than €950 million; an increase of €50 million on 2014 when once-off stimulus funding for this year is factored out.


Speaking this afternoon, Minister Donohoe said: ‘The Irish people have been through a great deal over the last number of years and have made sacrifices to ensure our finances were stabilised and our economic recovery put in place. This Budget is about securing that recovery and implementing the most effective job creation measures to enable the continuation of the growth we have seen under this Government’.


9% VAT rate for tourism retained


“The retention of the 9% VAT rate, which I campaigned strongly for at Cabinet, will be warmly welcomed by those in tourism related industries. Hoteliers, restaurateurs and tourism service providers have very clearly indicated the impact the lower VAT rate has had on increased trade, the delivery of a better value for money tourism product and business expansion in terms of being able to take on extra staff. It is estimated that employment in the 9% VAT categories has increased by around 30,000 since the tax was first introduced, three years later its contribution is still being felt. This measure contributes to our recent success in growing overseas visitor numbers, which have increased by 9.4% in the first eight months of the year. The allocation for overseas tourism marketing in 2015 will allow the tourism agencies to undertake substantial marketing activities and help to ensure that the upward momentum is maintained.  I look forward to seeing the benefits accrue for the sector in the year ahead. In continuing to seek the best ways of growing tourist numbers, capital investment will be made in 2015 in projects such as the Dubline Heritage Trail, the Kilkenny Medieval Mile and Killarney House. Work will also be progressed on the Wild Atlantic Way, which has made a great impact so far and has the potential to be an attraction of international scale; the new South and East branding proposition; and the Grow Dublin Alliance so that tourism can be sustained across the island.


Overall investment in land transport maintained with 2014 stimulus funding secured for 2015


“Ensuring investment in land transport – that is our public transport and our road network – allows us to maintain, manage and renew our transport infrastructure over time, which is essential to allow for future economic growth. The capital allocation of €893 million for 2015 is broadly unchanged compared to 2014, with €50 million, which was provided for in 2014 in once-off stimulus funding, being retained within the budget for next year. This recognises the importance of this level of investment in supporting our critical infrastructure.


Targeted investment in public transport with PSOs for bus and rail maintained


“As our economy develops, it is essential that investment in our public transport system keeps pace. Ensuring that those who are returning to work are supported in their efforts to get there is key to enabling our future success. Targeted investment in our national, regional and local roads; the development of projects such as Luas Cross-City; and the maintenance of our rail network and upgrading of our bus fleet are all central to this. In line with a commitment given by me in recent months, I am happy to say that, in contrast to a trend of reducing PSO allocations in recent years, the level of Public Service Obligation for bus and rail services is being maintained at current levels (€210 million).


Continued investment in the road network


“Investment in our road network is vital for the economy and balanced regional development. A total of €598 million has been allocated for the maintenance and improvement of our national, regional and local roads, which is broadly unchanged compared to last year. This year’s allocation will allow for projects such as the N7 / N11 Arklow to Rathnew and Newlands Cross PPP project to be completed; works on the N17/18 from Gort to Tuam to be commenced and new projects such as the provision of a new city centre footbridge in Limerick to be initiated.


Sustainable transport


“In an effort to continue to make public and sustainable transport an attractive option, improvements to bus stops and shelters will be carried out; there will be an expansion of Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) and journey planner services; traffic management, cycling and walking measures in the regional cities of Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford will be undertaken; and the further roll-out and development of the Leap card will also take place.”


New round of the Sports Capital Programme


Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring TD said: ‘The allocation of a further round of SCP funding this year, which is the third round of funding during our term in Government, will provide opportunities for clubs and organisations around the country to apply for funds. By facilitating essential works to be carried out on pitches, clubhouses, and in respect of things such as lighting, the construction industry stands to benefit. This investment in sport also ensure that greater participation is encouraged, which has hugely positive social, physical and mental implications both for the individual and for broader society.


“In addition to this, the maintenance of current expenditure funding for sport at 2014 levels will allow the Irish Sports Council to continue what can only be described as an exceptionally successful programme for high performance sport next year, which will facilitate our athletes in their preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.”


Minister Donohoe concluded: ‘We owe it to ourselves to ensure that the mistakes of the past are never again repeated and to ensure that our recovery is cemented. A jobs focused Budget such as this is instrumental in achieving that aim. Continuing to set goals so that we, as a country, can reach our true potential, get our people back to work and ensure that the recovery is felt in every corner of the country is our single objective. My Department has a central role in that, which I am determined to see fulfilled.”



Press Office, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport,

01 604 1090 / 01 6041093