Written answers

Thursday, 19 January 2023

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

National Development Plan

Photo of Frank FeighanFrank Feighan (Sligo-Leitrim, Fine Gael)
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129. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will report on the latest developments regarding the national development plan in respect to the north-west region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2385/23]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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As Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform I am responsible for setting the overall capital allocations across Departments and for monitoring monthly expenditure at Departmental level. The responsibility for the management and delivery of individual investment projects, within the allocations agreed under the National Development Plan (NDP), rests with the individual sponsoring Department in each case.

Balanced regional development is a key priority of this Government and this priority is at the heart of Project Ireland 2040. This strategic plan includes the National Planning Framework (NPF), which sets the overarching spatial strategy for the next twenty years, along with the revised National Development Plan 2021-30 (NDP) which was published in October 2021. The revised NDP provides a detailed and positive vision for Ireland over the next 10 years, and sees total public investment of €165 billion over the period 2021-2030.

Ensuring close alignment between the NDP and the National Planning Framework is necessary in order to accommodate a far bigger population by 2040 across Ireland's three regional assembly areas. The plan aims to ensure that 75% of growth takes place outside Dublin. One of the objectives of the review of the NDP was to ensure the alignment of investment with that strategy in order to promote regional development as planned.

It is important to note that the NDP is fundamentally a high-level financial and budgetary plan, which sets out the framework and broad direction for investment priorities. It includes Exchequer allocations for Departments for the period 2021-2025 to support the delivery of the ten national strategic outcomes (NSOs) identified in the National Planning Framework, including NSO 3 which seeks to strengthen rural economies and communities.

The NDP is not a comprehensive list of all the public investment projects that will take place over the next ten years. However, where sufficient planning and evaluation has already taken place the NDP contains expenditure commitments for a range of strategic investment priorities which have been determined by the relevant Departments as central to the delivery of the National Planning Framework vision.

Individual projects are generally selected by Departments or Agencies based on a detailed process which begins with setting their own sectoral strategy and goals, and then subsequently identifying specific needs or challenges to be addressed, whether that be through regulation, taxation, education or potentially expenditure on an investment project.

The three Regional Assemblies are responsible for co-ordinating, promoting and supporting the strategic planning and sustainable development of their regions, by formulating Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies (RSES). The strategy for the Northern and Western region has set out the priorities for the region based on the County Development Plans being integrated into a regional investment plan, which is expected to be a major driver of the implementation of the NPF.

The Government is committed to increasing public awareness of the capital investment in Project Ireland 2040 in all regions. A Project Ireland 2040 report on each regional assembly area, including the Northern and Western region, is published each year. The 2021 annual reports were published in July 2022 and are available on gov.ie/2040. The reports detail the specific regional projects and programmes, which are being planned and delivered in each region as part of the public investment detailed in the NDP.

In addition, my Department publishes a major capital projects tracker and an interactive map, which sets out details of the key projects and programmes being implemented under the NDP, including those in the Northern and Western region. The tracker and map include major projects across all regions and will be updated in the coming weeks and is also available on gov.ie/2040.


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