Cabinet signs off on €136bn in funding for new homes, hospitals, schools and roads over the next decade

Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath

Philip Ryan

The Cabinet has signed off on €136bn in funding for new homes, hospitals, schools and roads over the next decade.

Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath received approval from his Cabinet colleagues for a major increasing in funding for a soon to be published National Development Plan.

The decade long spending plan is €45bn more than the existing National Development Plan which was renegotiated as part of the Programme for Government.

The €136bn plan represents a 49pc increase in spending commitments than originally forecast.

When investment from the commercial semi-state companies and other State bodies is included the total investment in capital projects will exceed €165bn across the decade.

This will be one of the highest levels of infrastructure spending in the EU.

Details of the projects to be included in the National Development Plan will be announced in September.

It is expected the focus of the new plan will be on the need to accelerate the construction of social and affordable homes, improvements to healthcare capacity, investment in education and research as well as the integration of climate concerns in to all aspects of capital expenditure.

Each government department has also been set their capital expenditure budget for the next five years and can now earmark the projects they want to spend the money on.

The capital budget for 2022 will be €11.1bn which follows the current allocation of €9.8bn for this year.

The proposals follow intensive discussions between Minister McGrath and his cabinet colleagues following the recent publication of the Summer Economic Statement which set out the overall framework for expenditure and taxation up to 2025.

Alongside the revised National Development Plan, a major package of reforms are being put in place to ensure value for money in the capital process.

These include appointing additional external members with private sector expertise to the Board of Project Ireland 2040, putting in place a framework of external specialists in infrastructure delivery, and the establishment of a Major Projects Advisory Group to support the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in managing the overall plan.