Ireland needs capital investment
Sustained capital investment is one of the most instrumental elements of Government expenditure. It is crucial for Ireland both in terms of the competitiveness of our economy and the cohesiveness of our society. It allows geographic mobility and connectivity but also is essential for social mobility.
A lack of investment in capital infrastructure, in social housing, in schools, in third level institutions, in roads and in internet connectivity is creating an Ireland with a more unequal society.
While the Government claims to have sorted capital investment the reality could not be further from the truth. Our secondary and minor road network is at breaking point, hospitals and schools are falling apart, our National Broadband roll out is faltering and we have an immense and critical housing crisis.
Fianna Fáil’s plan for capital investment
National Infrastructure Commission
Establish a National Infrastructure Commission to implement Ireland 2040. This would oversee the implementation of long term capital plans.
Regionally Balanced Investment
Ensure that there is regional balance in future capital investment. Ireland continues to be divided between urban and rural areas. Rural towns and villages need to be reinvigorated.
Social and Affordable Housing
Build more social and affordable housing to tackle the housing crisis. Fine Gael’s record on this after seven years of Government has been appalling. Fine Gael have spent over €2.3 billion on housing since 2014 yet family homelessness has increased by 331% in that period.
Alternative Funding Models
Look at alternative funding models outside traditional taxpayer investment including private investment where appropriate.
Reform Fiscal Stance Rules
Work with our European partners to reform the European Fiscal Stance Rules surrounding capital investment with the aim of making more funding available particularly when a downturn occurs.
New Powers for the C & AG
Empower the Comptroller and Auditor General to oversee and assess the implementation and construction of major capital projects. This is vital for transparency but also to ensure that projects are getting done and are cost effective. Both the National Children’s Hospital and the National Broadband Plan highlight the need for this.