The Irish Government today (29 September) outlined its €27bn Capital Plan that aims to generate 45,000 new jobs through the building of new roads, hospitals, schools, rail links and broadband networks.
The plan could be leveraged up to €42bn with private sector partnership.
The Building for Recovery Plan contains a number of measures, including plans to complete a 16.5km Metro that will link Dublin city and Swords with Dublin Airport and which is estimated to cost €2.4bn. The Metro will take six years to build.
Overall more than a third of the Capital Plan will go into transport while other big projects include children’s hospitals, new maternity services and flood defences around the country.
Some €600m has been earmarked for social housing projects and €110m will be invested in the upgrade of the N7 Naas dual carriageway that would allow traffic to freely flow from Cork, Waterford and Carlow to Belfast via Dublin.
Some €200m has also been secured for a new Garda IT system, new Garda vehicles and a forensic science laboratory.
€3bn investment in job creation
Some €3.01bn has been allocated to capital projects under the Department of Jobs, which includes a total investment of €250m in IDA business parks, advance facilities and Enterprise Ireland regional funds.
“Over the past three years, employment in companies supported by my department has risen by well over 40,000 – meaning that almost half of the total increase in employment over that time has been accounted for directly by companies supported by my department,” Jobs Minister Richard Bruton TD said.
“Those companies have also delivered record exports over that time. Today’s capital plan is about building on that record and bringing it to the next level – accelerating jobs growth in every region of the country, and delivering our aim of sustainable full employment.”
The news of the Capital Spending Plan coincided with the latest jobs figures, which show unemployment in Ireland now stands at 9.7pc.
Ireland’s digital infrastructure
Communications Minister Alex White TD said that €275m has been allocated towards the National Broadband Plan, which aims to deliver high-speed broadband access to every home, school and business in Ireland by 2020.
He said that the €275m did not represent the full cost of the National Broadband Plan.
The Government said it is on target to go to tender on the state intervention element of the National Broadband Plan towards the end of this year.
Minister White said he would not outline the total level of Government funding envisaged until the tender process was complete. His predecessor Pat Rabbitte TD said that the cost could be €512m when the plan was initially unveiled two years ago.
The plan, which will see 1.8m Irish citizens brought across the digital divide, aims to have 85pc of premises covered with at least 30Mbps broadband by 2018.
Irish Government buildings image via Shutterstock