Michael McGrath: National Development Plan 'largest and greenest' in history of the state

“We will spend, over the next four years in the lifetime of this government, direct exchequer capital funding of almost €50 billion.”
Michael McGrath: National Development Plan 'largest and greenest' in history of the state

Pictured at the Cabinet meeting in UCC was Professor John O'Halloran President UCC,Taoiseach - Micheál Martin, TD, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar

Latest: Ireland’s Minister for Public Expenditure has said the investment through the national development plan is “gigantic”.

Cork TD Michael McGrath said it is the “largest and the greenest” capital investment plan in the history of the state.

Speaking at the launch of the NDP in Páirc Uí Chaoimh this afternoon, he said the Government has committed to an increase of €50 billion on its previous plan. 

“We will spend, over the next four years in the lifetime of this government, direct exchequer capital funding of almost €50 billion,” Mr McGrath said. “So, the ambitions here are on a scale the like of which we have never seen before, record levels of investment.

“We believe it is a plan that is achievable and that, when implemented, it will make a major difference in many areas in the life of our country and our people.

“The economic benefits of this plan will be very considerable. The employment impact, as set out in the analysis carried out by my department, estimates an annual average job total of about 81,000 people working in direct and indirect construction jobs to implement this national development plan.

“Through supporting the largest public housing programme the history of the state, the NDP will deliver an average of 6,000 affordable homes each year.” 

Taoiseach Micheál Martin promised that the national development plan would “drive the next stage of our post-pandemic recovery”.

He said that Ireland’s revised development plan was the “largest and most environmentally conscious development plan in the history of the state”.

He also said the plan would deliver “regionally balanced growth” to the country.

“This is an important day in what has been an exhaustive and comprehensive review.” 

The 10-year plan covering a range of projects has an overall budget of €165 billion.

“The plan gives clarity about Government investment over the next decade,” Mr Martin said on Monday afternoon.

“We will respond to the housing crisis, we will react to the climate emergency.”

Earlier: The Taoiseach has described the publication of the new National Development Plan as very “significant” for the country.

The plan, which is due to be published this afternoon, provides a detailed vision for how Ireland will grow over the next 10 years, with a total public investment of €165 billion in essential projects over the period 2021-2030.

Ahead of the publication of the plan this afternoon, the Cabinet met at the historic Aula Maxima at University College Cork.

Pictured at the Cabinet meeting in UCC was Taoiseach - Micheál Martin, TD, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar and Cabinet .
Pictured at the Cabinet meeting in UCC was Taoiseach - Micheál Martin, TD, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar and Cabinet .

Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar TD, and Minister Eamon Ryan TD were greeted upon arrival in the Quad by UCC President Professor John O’Halloran who escorted them to the President’s Office for the signing of the visitor’s book and the presentation of a gift of UCC Alma Nectar honey, which is produced at the UCC apiary on campus.

This is second time that a Government Cabinet has convened at University College Cork, with the first meeting occurring in 2017.

Speaking as he made his way into the meeting, the Taoiseach said that the plan will represent a very substantial investment over the next 10 years in infrastructure and public transport, in roads, research, education, and health. Housing will also be given a significant focus in the plans.

The Taoiseach said that delivery would be key and that there would be a need to build up capacity within the construction sector.

Minister for Public Expenditure, Michael McGrath said the plan was an enormous commitment from the exchequer and that the plan is a “really important statement of confidence from government.” 

It is expected that a number of Cork projects will form part of the plans with reports that it will contain detail on a new elective hospital for the city.

A number of important road and transport projects are also set to be included.

UCC student and climate activist Alicia O’Sullivan (20) is expected to meet with political leaders during the visit by the Government to UCC today.

The second-year law student from Skibbereen, represented Ireland at the first UN youth climate summit in New York in 2019 and is a delegate to the upcoming United Nations (UN) Climate Change conference (COP26) which commences on the 31st October.

Update: The Government are expected to say that the delivery of the Cork events centre is a "key commitment" under the new National Development Plan (NDP).

A computer-generated image of the revised events centre plans submitted by Bam following a request by planners for further information. Pic: G-Net 3D
A computer-generated image of the revised events centre plans submitted by Bam following a request by planners for further information. Pic: G-Net 3D

The NDP, which is being launched in Cork today, is expected to say that there were some unavoidable delays to the project due to Covid 19, but the project is now proceeding to the next stages which are the finalisation of the funding agreement, the completion of detailed design and the commencement of construction.

Other investments listed for Cork include Cork Commuter Rail and Ringaskiddy Port Development.

Earlier: The new National Development Plan (NDP), which is due to be announced by the Taoiseach and other members of cabinet in Cork today, is understood to include a commitment to building the Cork to Limerick M20 motorway and plans for the long-sought Northern Ring Road for Cork city. 

Other major Cork projects are expected to be included in the plan, such as the plans to develop Cork's commuter rail network, to run from Buttevant and Mallow in the north and Cobh and Midleton in the east. 

In total, the NDP 2018-2027 plans for projects worth some €165bn, according to the Irish Examiner.

The new National Development Plan (NDP) is understood to include a commitment to building the Cork to Limerick M20 motorway Picture: Dan Linehan
The new National Development Plan (NDP) is understood to include a commitment to building the Cork to Limerick M20 motorway Picture: Dan Linehan

It is understood road projects that were committed to in the 2018 NDP will be continued, but there will be a 2:1 spending ratio of sustainable transport to road spending.

There is also a commitment to deliver three new elective hospitals, including one in Cork. 

The hospitals announcement is expected to be one of several this month designed to restore confidence in Sláintecare reforms for the health service following a series of resignations among those leading the process.

Speaking to The Echo, Fine Gael spokesman on health, Cork North-Central TD Colm Burke, said he understands Cork’s new elective hospital will be for day procedures only, with no in-patients’ beds.

“I’m going to be very disappointed if it is going to be a day facility,” he said.

The NDP is due to be announced in Cork before lunchtime today. 

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