Monday 16 September 2019

Project Ireland 2040 dismissed as 'nothing more than major marketing campaign'

FF’s Dara Calleary Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
FF’s Dara Calleary Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

The Government has been accused of repackaging previously announced projects as part of its new National Development Plan.

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Dara Calleary claimed the plan contains 179 projects that have already been announced.

He said this includes more than €40bn of funding under the €116bn scheme was previously allocated to initiatives the public had already been informed of.

These include big ticket items such as a €320m runway at Dublin Airport, the €1.2bn new children’s hospital and a €3bn investment in Metro North.

“Today’s launch is nothing more than a major marketing campaign designed to promote a government which has failed to meet its own targets to date,” said Mr Calleary.

“The Taoiseach and his Cabinet Ministers need to realise that all the marketing and spin available to them cannot hide the fact that they are moving the goalposts and still missing the targets. This plan only serves to highlight all of the previous strategies they have failed to deliver on.

“Instead of undertaking grand launches in Sligo, this government needs to start investing in Sligo and across the regions.  The only barometer on which this plan can be assessed is delivery”.

Mr Calleary highlighted the the National Broadband Plan as one area where the government has failed to deliver on a pronmise to connect rural homes to highspeed internet.

“The National Broadband Plan was launched to much fanfare in 2011, yet there are more than half a million homes and businesses which will not have high speed access before 2023,” he said.

“The Rebuilding Ireland Plan, which promised over 3,000 direct builds in 2017 delivered fewer than 1,000 homes.  Initiatives in health, transport, education and agriculture have all been victims of a government which over promises and under delivers.”

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