Focus now turning to implementation of National Development Plan and securing value for money – Donohoe

9th March, 2018

The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, today (Friday) announced a package of measures to ensure that the implementation of the National Development Plan is now prioritised across Government, and strongly focused on achieving value for money in terms of the €116 billion of public capital investment set out in the Plan.

Project Ireland 2040 – the National Development Plan (NDP) and the National Planning Framework (NPF) – was launched by the Government on Friday 16 February 2018 in Sligo. The NDP sets out a 10 year vision for Ireland’s public capital infrastructure priorities over the next 10 years, which is strictly aligned with the National Strategic Outcomes for Ireland’s new spatial strategy, which are contained in the NPF.

Attention is now turning to implementation of the NDP. some key steps now being taken to drive implementation of the Plan, and the various important projects within it, are as follows:

• As committed to in the NDP, a high-level Project Ireland 2040 Delivery Board is being established, comprising top officials from relevant Departments and Agencies, and jointly chaired by the Secretaries-General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG), to provide strategic direction and leadership to the NDP and NPF implementation process. The Delivery Board will monitor and oversee implementation structures and performance across the various sectors to ensure a co-ordinated and collaborative whole-of-Government approach to NDP and NPF delivery;
• An Infrastructure Projects Office is being established in DPER to coordinate reporting on the NDP and drive reforms in relation to areas such as project appraisal and selection;
• The Major Projects Tracker, published in September 2017, is being updated and further developed to provide more comprehensive information on the cost and delivery of the various infrastructure projects identified in the NDP;
• A Construction Sector Working Group is being established to ensure regular and open dialogue between Government and the construction sector in relation to issues that may impact on the successful delivery of the NDP on a value-for-money basis for the State.

The Minister said: ‘Now that the NDP has been published, we are moving quickly to put in place arrangements to oversee its implementation and the delivery of the projects identified in the Plan. I am today announcing the establishment of a high level Delivery Board to take on this role on behalf of the Government. I am also establishing an Infrastructure Projects Office to work with the Delivery Board, and in particular to update and develop the Major Projects Tracker so that there will be full transparency on the status of the various projects. In addition, I am setting up a Construction Sector Working Group to facilitate dialogue between Government and the Construction industry on issues affecting delivery of the Plan’.

“These initiatives will play a major role in driving delivery of the NDP by strengthening the institutional framework for public capital investment in Ireland, and helping ensure that the substantial amount of public capital investment in the NDP is used efficiently and effectively, and on a value-for-money basis.”


Notes for Editors

Project Ireland 2040 comprises two parts:
• The new National Planning Framework (NPF) shapes future growth and development of Ireland to the year 2040, by guiding public and private investment, creating opportunities for people, and enhancing our environment;
• The new ten-year National Development Plan (NDP), which underpins the Planning Framework with €116 billion worth of investment. Read about the National Development Plan here.

Funding the Investment

Project Ireland 2040 involves investment in infrastructure of almost €116 billion in the ten years to 2027. This combines €91 billion directly from the Exchequer, as well as nearly €25 billion by State-owned commercial companies.

Public capital investment will therefore move from relatively low levels in recent years as a result of the economic crisis, to being amongst the highest in the EU (as a percentage of national income). This will allow us to respond to the obvious deficits in our infrastructure, as well as the needs of a fast-growing population.
The average capital investment in the EU over the last twenty years was in the region of 3% of national income. Under the National Development Plan it is projected that public capital investment will reach 3.8% of national income (GNI*) in 2021 and 4% by 2024, with sustained investment averaging 4% on an annual basis over the period 2022 to 2027. This increased investment is being done in a prudent and measured way. It takes account of the external uncertainties facing the Irish economy, as well as the risks of overheating.

Ten Strategic Outcomes of Project Ireland 2040

Project Ireland 2040 seeks to achieve ten strategic outcomes, building around the themes of wellbeing, equality and opportunity. These ten shared priorities will ensure a consistent approach between planning objectives under the National Planning Framework and investment commitments under the National Development Plan.

They are
• Enhanced Regional Accessibility
• Strengthened Rural Economies and Communities
• Sustainable Mobility
• A Strong Economy, supported by Enterprise, Innovation and Skills
• High-Quality International Connectivity
• Enhanced Amenity and Heritage
• Transition to a Low Carbon and Climate Resilient Society
• Sustainable Management of Water and other Environmental Resources
• Access to Quality Childcare, Education and Health Services