Thousands of new jobs may be on the cards in the construction of vital infrastructure in the areas of broadband, transport, energy and essential services after the Government of Ireland revealed that €6.4bn out of the National Pension Reserve Fund will be allocated to a new Strategic Investment Fund.
The new National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) Amendment Bill, which formally establishes NewERA and will make €6.4bn in the National Pension Reserve Fund’s discretionary portfolio available for commercial investment, potentially paves the way for thousands of new jobs.
The bill establishes NewEra on a statutory footing and establishes a new Strategic Investment Fund for Ireland (ISIF).
ISIF re-orientates the National Pension Reserve Fund and makes €6.4bn in the fund’s discretionary portfolio available to invest in commercial projects.
“The overall objective of this Governments approach is very clear – creating jobs and opportunities now and providing the basis for sustainable jobs and growth for the future,” Ireland’s Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, TD, said.
“This bill, which provides for the establishment on NewERA, the establishment of a €6.4bn Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, and the streamlining of the NTMA, will maximise investment, generate economic activity and create jobs across the economy,” Noonan said.
The bill will change the way the State manages semi-State companies and aims to ensure efficient use of capital.
NewERA will advise the Government on corporate finance, financial performance and capital investment projects.
“This is the first time that we will have a dedicated fund available to support economic growth and development in Ireland,” the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin, TD, said.
“This fund will continue to attract investment and will make best use of our resources. Given the overall budgetary constraints in which we are operating, it is essential that we continue to ensure investment in jobs and growth in a sustainable way.”
Accelerating investment in infrastructure
NewERA will also work with stakeholders to accelerate investment in sectors of strategic importance, such as communications, energy, transport and other areas where civil engineering and capital investment is needed.
“NewERA is charged with assisting in the development and implementation of Government plans for investment in key economic infrastructure, in particular water, energy and next-generation telecommunications,” the Minister for State responsible for NewERA Fergus O’Dowd, TD, said.
“I’m delighted that NewERA has already commenced work with the relevant Government departments in these areas, including work on the initial financing of Irish Water, the establishment of the National Energy Efficiency Fund, financial evaluation of the potential for export wind and evaluation of the role that State entities can play in the delivery of the National Broadband Plan.”