Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure & Reform Dara Calleary says the review of the Capital Plan 2016-2021 published earlier today is nothing more than the same old Fine Gael rhetoric.
“Fine Gael would like us all to believe that they are the saviours of capital investment in Ireland. Nothing could be further from the truth. The initial plan was published back in 2015 as a pre-election stunt but it lacked any ambition and failed to recognise the scale of the capital deficit in Ireland. Today’s review has failed to bring any new ideas to the table”, said Deputy Calleary.
“The Government is attempting to drag out this process for political gain. By the end of the year, it is expected to publish a 10 year capital plan, a review on the Action Plan for Housing and the National Development Plan. So many plans but so little action.
“We are in the middle of a massive housing crisis, with over 3,000 children without a home. There are more than 600,000 people on hospital waiting lists. Hospitals across the country are bursting at the seams as a result of serious capacity issues. Instead of another review or report we need to see concrete action and investment to deal with these issues.
“Our regional road network is in serious disrepair and our rail network is at breaking point. The national broadband roll-out has been a shambles with deadlines missed at every juncture. Nothing in this document fills me with any confidence that these issues will be addressed.
“We have consistently called for a broader and more ambitious Public Private Partnership (PPP) plan. The current Government 10% restriction is blunt and outdated and must be removed as soon as possible. Ireland would secure more investment from the European Investment Bank if we had a more ambitious PPP programme.
“The silence from far left parties on capital investment is deafening. In fact, Sinn Féin failed to make a submission to the Capital Review. Fianna Fáil, Labour, the Green Party and the Social Democrats all made contributions, and given the challenges facing this country with Brexit, Sinn Féin’s lack of interest is incredible.
“Capital investment is vital if we are going to address the issues in housing, health and infrastructure, and it is an integral to the development of a regionally balanced economy. We need the Government to concentrate on the task in hand and the delivery of key projects, not on more plans and drawn-out strategies”, concluded Deputy Calleary.