Government Unveil €165B National Development Plan

Fianna Fail - An Taoiseach Michéal Martin

The government has announced the largest national development plan in the history of the state after unveiling spending proposals for the next decade.

The plan envisages a total investment of €165bn between now and 2030 on capital projects such as housing and transport infrastructure.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin hailed it as “unprecedented in scale“. He said the plan will “drive the next phase of our post-pandemic recovery and will create thousands of jobs“.

However, opposition parties have questioned the government’s costings and timescales, with the Labour Party dismissing the plan as a “work of fiction“.

Outlining the coalition government’s investment priorities, the Taoiseach announced a target to build 300,000 new homes by the end of 2030, which would include 90,000 social homes, 36,000 affordable purchase homes and 18,000 cost rental homes.

The investment will including extra money for cross-border projects, with capital funding for the government’s Shared Island initiative to be “at least doubled” to €1bn (£853m) until 2030.

The new plan includes a €35bn investment package for Ireland’s transport system, including proposals for new light rail systems and 1,000 km of new and improved walking and cycling infrastructure.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, minister for the environment and transport, said it would create a “cleaner, greener, connected Ireland“.

However, the Labour Party’s spokesperson on finance and public expenditure, Ged Nash, called the revised National Development Plan “a work of fiction“.

The glossy updated plan is an expensive reheat of the 2018 version,” he said.

How can we take a plan to develop public transport links like Metro Link and the Dart extension to towns like Drogheda seriously if no costings or firm timelines are published?” Mr Nash asked.

Sinn Féin’s housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin said the plan was “very disappointing news for housing“.

He claimed the actual extra spending on social and affordable housing in 2022 “will be minimal“.