– Review to Renew Phase 1 Report on the Review of the National Development Plan published
The recently published Phase 1 Report on the Review of the National Development Plan includes macro-economic analysis of public capital expenditure and infrastructure demand analyses. It also focuses on considerations of climate action, housing and planning, and alignment with the National Planning Framework.
572 public consultation submissions received
The report states that there were 572 submissions received during the public consultation process between November 2020 and February 2021. There was near-consensus in the submissions on the vital importance of climate action, balanced regional development, and sustainable housing.
Action on climate change
Commenting on the report, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath, said: “The revised NDP will set new five-year rolling departmental capital allocations and overall 10-year capital ceilings out to 2030 and support economic, social, environmental, and cultural development all across the country.”
“It will play an essential role in shaping our responses to the needs of the present and also prepare us for the challenges of the future. I will bring forward the revised NDP for publication later this year.”
NDP Review Key Findings
- Any increase in public investment to meet demand needs to be sustainable over the lifetime of the 10-year plan to reduce risks of over-heating and poor value for money.
- In terms of demands, historical trends in public capital investment indicate that most investment has been contained within four sectors; housing, transport, education and health.
- While there are demand pressures across all sectors examined, the evidence suggests that housing and climate action are the areas where investment demand is most acute.
- While the majority of public investment is focused on infrastructure, the NDP also needs to include investments required for a strong knowledge economy in areas such as enterprise development and R&D. Investment in culture and heritage can also play an important role in regeneration and tourism investment can contribute to Ireland’s economic recovery.
- A number of steps will be followed to incorporate climate and wider environmental considerations into the new NDP. These will include assessing sectoral spending proposals against a range of environmental outcomes to ensure their investment priorities are aligned with Ireland’s climate and environmental objectives.
- Delivering the right kind of housing in the right locations is critical to the successful delivery of Project Ireland 2040 and thereby underpins the entire plan.
- Ensuring the correct balance of prioritisation and sectoral allocations is only one component of the new NDP. Given the capacity challenges and the need to achieve significant structural reform with the resources permitted, there needs to be a renewed focus on delivery through reforms on governance, oversight and implementation.
- The recently published Supporting Excellence: Capital Project and Programme Delivery Capability Review (EY; commissioned by the EU Commission’s Structural Reform Support Programme) will assist in providing a framework to allow more coherent support for public-sector construction and capacity development across all sectors.
- An independent external review of projects over €100m will be introduced at two major decision gates in the project lifecycle (when the preferred delivery option to achieve the objective is chosen and before a decision is taken as to whether or not to approve a project to go to tender).
Urgent infrastructure gaps
In conclusion, the evidence highlights areas where there are emerging and urgent infrastructure gaps that will need to be addressed as part of the 10-year strategy. However, in making decisions as part of Phase 2 and building for the future, it is important that investment in our economy is well-planned, well-targeted and well-delivered.
To download a copy of the Phase 1 Report on the Review of the National Development Plan, visit www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/09022006-project-ireland-2040/