Donegal Deputy Pearse Doherty TD, has said the Ireland 2040 Capital Plan announced today doesn’t cut it in a State facing immediate infrastructure issues and possible shocks from Brexit and other issues.
Deputy Doherty, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Public Expenditure and Reform, claimed the government is ‘overplaying their hand’.
He said: “Grand plans for the future are something that has dominated politics in our State for a long time, usually with disappointing results.
“What this plan fails to do is to capture the immediate and short-term needs of the State. Metro North and Broadband have been promised for a decade if not more.
“Today, they are still just that – promises. The plan commits to only 10% additional capital spend over what was already announced for the next three years.
“In a country slowly coming out of an investment drought this is not nearly good enough. Let’s not forget the government is committed to billions in income tax cuts over the next period – money that could be multiplied in investment.
“The Taoiseach speaks of a lost decade but there is nothing in today’s plan to convince me that the government are committed to catching up on development missed out.
“When you strip out the cost of inflation and demographics we are looking at, in real terms, only a small increase especially in the immediate years ahead.
“You can’t catch up by going at the same pace.
“We are facing the looming impact of Brexit and many other possible shocks yet in the short term the government are not committed to making the necessary investment to shield us from these threats.
“What was required was the front loading of investment instead of the back-loading in this plan. There are huge issues in Water, Housing and Transport that are threatening our economic well-being now, not down the line. This Plan doesn’t put the necessary money into those areas over the next three years.
“The government have taken the easy option politically- something for everybody in the future but nothing too specific in the near future. I will study the plan in great detail. We do need a long term plan but we also need a short and medium term one.”