Polarising Project Planning Both Lauded and Loathed

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The new national planning and capital expenditure plans contained and encapsulated as ‘Project Ireland 2040’ is now signed off. The plan containing 116 billion euro worth of projects prioritised in capital spending plans, sets out a 23-year vision for the country. Suffice to say there’s been a series of contrasting reactions to today’s announcement.

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath has said “In the past few weeks, we have seen substantial turmoil in the international financial markets. The European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme has completely distorted bond prices and is being wound down. The Federal Reserve has reversed its programme in the United States and all major Central Banks are indicating increases in interest rates.

“This all means that the low interest environment is quickly coming to an end and the cost of funding the Plan announced today is likely to be much higher than would currently be the case. This will come at a time when we will have to refinance over €40 billion of our national debt in the next three years and a time in which we will have to navigate the still unknown consequences of Brexit.

Father Peter McVerry trust CEO Pat Doyle was complimentary of the plans … “It’s great to see such a big and ambitious capital plan proposed and to have a clear goal of 550,000 new homes by 2040. The plan is also a clear signal that we are now in a position to deliver much needed large scale social and infrastructure projects.”

“This plan provides a long term vision to invest in housing and other critical areas such as education which ultimately will have a positive impact on efforts to tackle homelessness. It’s important that within the 550,000 homes to be provided that the appropriate amount of social and affordable homes be provided.”

 

Fianna Fáil Dublin West TD, Jack Chambers has said that the Project Ireland 2040 plans blatantly ignore the critical need to improve major transport issues in West Dublin.

”It is nonsensical to have included plans for yet another mode of transport for South Dublin while the West side of the city continues to lag behind in terms of congestion and transport,”

Chambers concluded, “It’s quite difficult to comprehend that in approving €7billion of taxpayer money to fund transport projects across Dublin; the Taoiseach overlooked his own constituency.”

Reacting to the Government’s plan, Green Party Leader and TD for Dublin Bay South, Eamon Ryan, said: “We very much welcome the fact that the Government is planning ahead. However, we have real concerns, especially regarding public transport and housing. There is plenty of lofty ambition in the document, but very little detail when you dig down into it.

“The earlier drafts of the National Planning Framework were on the right track – however the loosening of restrictions on one-off housing will see up to 60% of future housing development outside villages, towns, and cities. This, without real, tangible plans for public transport, is a recipe for further sprawl and traffic chaos. The last minute watering down of proposals to concentrate development could undermine the whole plan.