Government unveils €39bn capital investment programme

The Government has rescheduled major parts of its decentralisation programme, and shelved two large rail projects as part of its revised capital investment plan unveiled by Taoiseach Brian Cowen this afternoon.

Under the programme, €39bn will be spent over the next five years, with a shift away from spending on roads in favour of public transport, and a considerable investment in water infrastructure, and school building.

The plan will fund the move by Dublin Institute of Technology to a new site at Grangegorman and will also allow for the construction of Metro North in Dublin.

However, the Dublin to Navan rail line and the Tuam to Claremorris line have been postponed and there will be no new investment in the Luas.

Plans to move the Department of Education to Mullingar and the Department of Enterprise to Carlow will not now proceed.

The Government estimates that 30,000 jobs will be supported by the programme.

Mr Cowen said it was the type of stimulus needed to help rebuild confidence and boost economic recovery.

“Investment in infrastructure is an investment in the future of the Irish people,” the Taoiseach said.

“It will not only greatly improve the lives of our citizens, it will help to create jobs now and sustain jobs for the future.”

Mr Cowen said the country was in a new situation and priorities were refocused.

Under the plans there will be a doubling of investment through the enterprise agencies to help build the so-called 'smart economy' and create jobs.

Money will also be put into public transport and upgrading the country’s water supplies.

Mr Cowen added: “With the national motorway network nearly completed and tender prices significantly reduced, we are in a position to press ahead with a new capital investment programme that is ambitious, appropriate and affordable.”

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