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40,000 jobs go down with Metro North

HOPES for 40,000 new Dublin jobs were shattered today as the Government announced the shelving of key transport projects.

Major schemes, such as Metro North (inset), now appear off the rails for good in drastic changes to the State's capital programme.

The measures mean the taxpayer has forked out millions of euro on planning for these projects which will now be either ditched or delayed.

Metro North -- which was predicted to create 36,000 jobs -- was set to be abandoned.

The Rail Procurement Agency has already spent at least €200m on planning for the project -- a sum that has now effectively disappeared.

And the move may also cost Dublin City Council several million euro in compensation payments to developers.

Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin was today due to outline how €750m will be taken from the capital-spending budget.

But it was warned that the massive cuts would prove "devastating" to the economy, with one TD labelling it as "economic lunancy".

No major road or rail project will get funding for the next four years, while school buildings, water and sewage treatment works and some hospital building plans are also likely to be at least delayed.

It's understood that a €486m plan for a new college for Dublin Institute of Technology is all but certain to be axed.

Construction on the site of the old Grangegorman hospital in the north inner city was due to begin early next year.

The government had already committed €212m to the project, however, this money will now be withheld.

The huge slash to the capital budget will also see major road projects abandoned -- such as the Monaghan-Derry dual carriageway and the A5 road from Dublin to Derry.