Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure & Reform Dara Calleary says he is completely underwhelmed by the Government’s approach to the mid-term review of the Capital Plan.  He described today’s announcement as “short on aspiration and short on detail and ultimately short on an ambition for Ireland”.

Deputy Calleary said, “The review process announced today contains no measurable timelines or substantial details and ultimately it is plainly obvious that the government still has NO plan when it comes to Capital investment.  A comprehensive review process should outline amongst other things the key thematic areas the government intends to focus its investment and it should give a sense of some of the key infrastructure projects that may be prioritised arising from those themes – however, once again, the Government has fallen short of the mark and what we are left with is a document that fails to make any firm commitments.

“Ministers Donohoe and Noonan claim they’ve allocated an additional €5bn to this plan, but how much of this has already been allocated to previously announced projects?

“Brexit is the greatest economic and social challenge to face this country in decades but I am seriously concerned that no real effort has been made to factor in the impact that it will have on our capital programme and requirements in the coming five years.  This is further evidence that this Government is failing to effectively prepare for the impact that Britain’s departure from the EU will have on this country.

“Despite the recent launch of the Action Plan for Rural Development and the upcoming National Planning Framework, neither are currently specifically factored in to the review.  The strategy refers to reviews from Departments and key stakeholders as well as a public consultation process, but fails to set out a detailed timeline for these, other than to say that recommendations would be made to Government in Q3, ahead of the Budget in October.

“Today’s launch was nothing more than an announcement for announcement’s sake.  The real work on the Capital Plan will only begin over the next few months, and it won’t be until then that we will have a clear idea of this Government’s vision of an infrastructure and economic plan for the country”.