The Government’s new National Development Plan (NDP) commits to a total investment of €165 billion in capital projects over ten years until 2030 and is a continuation of work that began under Fine Gael in 2018 with the publication of Project Ireland 2040, Councillor John Paul O’Shea has said.
The NDP is the infrastructural investment programme under Project Ireland 2040, a Fine Gael initiative, and includes the biggest investment in transport in Ireland’s history; €35 billion has been allocated for new roads, public transport and active travel projects.
Councillor O’Shea said, “Fine Gael launched the long-term plan for our country’s future, Project Ireland 2040, back in 2018 and I’m delighted to see continuation of this work three years on with the publication of the NDP.
“Our country has changed significantly since Leo Varadkar first launched Project Ireland 2040 in 2018, and with a rapidly rising population, we need to commit significant investment to ensure the delivery of public infrastructure projects. The NDP will ensure regional and sustainable development as our population grows to 6 million by this middle of this century.
“The roads and transport investment of €35 billion will benefit people across Cork County. The 2:1 spending ratio, as agreed in the Programme for Government, on new public transport and roads has been protected and the plan will help us deliver on our climate targets as we increase the number of trips made by public transport and active travel by 500,000 by 2030.
“The NDP also includes significant investment in regional development, building on the work of the Our Rural Future initiative launched by Minister Heather Humphreys earlier this year. The plan will invest €962 million in rural and community development between 2021 and 2025. This means increased funding for community focused schemes that deliver for local people in towns, parishes and villages across Cork County, as well as a new fund to upgrade community centres.
“The pandemic has impacted the working lives of many people in Cork County and the NDP will create infrastructure to support the remote working hub network and allow access to flexible working that works for people across Cork.
“A range of new funds for businesses has also been announced under the plan. The new Enterprise Green Transition Fund will help companies across Cork County invest in technologies to reduce their carbon emissions, while the Digital Transition Fund will aid companies in embedding digitisation into their business models.
“The NDP will support the largest-ever public housing programme in the history of the State. We are going to deliver an average of 6,000 affordable homes every year, and the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund has been extended to 2030.
“Investment in further and higher education will increase by 30% by 2025, from €500 million this year to €625 million in four years’ time and will include key funding for our Technological Universities.
“This plan has put environment and climate sustainability at the core of every single commitment. For the first time ever, each aspect of the plan has been assessed against seven environmental and climate outcomes. This is in addition to an overall assessment of the alignment of the plan as a whole with the principles of a green recovery plan.
“This plan looks to the future of Cork County and Ireland, investing in housing, transport, climate action and much more. It is ambitious and achievable and will result in the Government delivering public infrastructure that improve the lives of people across Cork,” Councillor O’Shea concluded.
Link to the National Development Plan can be found here.