Infrastructure Investment Priorities 2010-2016

Posted on Monday, 26 July 2010

Government publishes Infrastructure Investment Priorities 2010-2016

Government published its Infrastructure Investment Priorities 2010-2016 on July 26, 2010. The 131-page document outlines the financial framework for capital investment in the period 2010-2016. Given economic developments in recent years the expected substantial reduction on the expenditure promised in the National Development Plan 2007-2013 is outlined.

Total expenditure of €39bn is envisaged over the period. Roads will receive €5.97bn with public transport getting €5.77bn and Housing €4.49bn. Expenditure on education is to total €4.21bn and on health it will be €2.89bn; infrastructure investment on environmental serevices will be €3.66bn and on agriculture it will be €1.63bn over the seven-year period.

The budget for social housing is substantially reduced in the programme. This not alone reflects the steep fall in the resources available for infrastructure but also mirrors a fundamental change of approach with the State focused on addressing the housing waiting lists and related issues by leasing houses and apartments, and by expanding the approach used in the rental accommodation scheme.  Government has been making these very fundamental changes in public policy without any significant consultation with the organisations who provide social and co-op housing across the country. Given that about 60,000 households are on waiting lists for accommodation this failure to consult is a worrying development.

The capital investment plans for education have also been dramatically reduced. More than €3bn of the new investment will be used to upgrade primary and secondary schools.  There will be €650m for capital investment in various third level education institutions.  The continuing rise in pupil numbers at first and second level require major investment. There are 519,000 enrolled at present in primary schools. This is set to rise to 570,000 by 2016.  Enrolment in second level schools is at 162,000 at present and is set to rise to 188,000 by 2016.  It is not clear whether or not the increased demands placed on the system by the rise in pupil numbers will be appropriately addressed.

Infrastructure Investment Priorities Document can be downloaded in full below