Thursday, 9 November 2017
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
Capital Expenditure Programme Publication
In Budget 2018, I announced the Government's capital spending plans for the next four years. I also set out the intention, as already announced, that the Government will publish a new 10-year capital plan alongside the proposed new National Planning Framework (NPF) for spatial policy detailed in the Ireland 2040 Plan.
As the Deputy will be aware, Government has allocated a significant and well-planned, increase in public capital investment amounting to €4.3 billion over the remaining four years of the current capital plan. This is in addition to the additional €2.2 billion for housing allocated in the Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness.
Consequently between 2014 and 2021 public capital investment in Ireland will have more than doubled and, as set out by the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council, this will see public investment levels in Ireland moving to among the highest in the EU.
The long-term capital plan will comprise a financial and budgetary plan for public capital investment over the next ten years. It will contain detailed information on public capital investment projects and programmes already funded over the next four years, on the basis of the allocations announced in the recent Budget. It will also identify the longer-term public infrastructure priorities which are intended to underpin the achievement of the key strategic outcomes set out in the Ireland 2040 Plan over the period to the late 2020s.
The NPF which the new 10 year capital plan is designed to help deliver, is the product of extensive consultation, and is a key vehicle for establishing national infrastructure priorities. In addition, as part of the recent review of the current capital plan my Department held an extensive public consultation and has engaged with experts and key stakeholders. Hence, I am satisfied that both the NPF and 10 year capital plan will represent the product of considerable consultation and public deliberation.
I fully expect given the constitutional role of the Dail in approving and scrutinising Voted Expenditure that the 10 year capital plan will be subject to extensive discussion and debate in the Oireachtas, including through the work of the Committee on Budgetary Oversight, of which the Deputy is a member.
In this regard the key messages contained in the Committee's report last July on public capital investment were highlighted in the review of the capital plan published in September. These aligned closely with several of the key themes set out in the review which are informing and guiding the preparation of the 10-year plan.