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A National Infrastructure Commission needed to help next Government make the right investment decisions

Feb 17, 2016

Chambers Ireland today (17/02/16) called for the establishment of a National Infrastructure Commission as part of its wider “A Vision for 2021” manifesto which campaigns for greater strategic economic planning and investment in infrastructure.

Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland proposed the establishment of the Commission saying:  “Since the economic downturn there has been a very low level of public investment in infrastructure leading to infrastructural deficit and bottlenecks. The current capital investment plan is not sufficiently ambitious to support future economic growth. There must be a revision of the plan with a commitment to increased investment over the next five years. We are calling on the next Government to prioritise investment in strategically important infrastructure projects that have regard to the National Planning Framework and ensure that future infrastructure development enables sustainable economic development in all regions.”

“The establishment of a National Infrastructure Commission, using the UK Commission as a model, would create an independent body to depoliticise nationally important capital investment decisions.  This is essential to ensure that future Governments, whatever their composition, approve infrastructure projects in the national interest, free from political considerations, and improve long-term infrastructure policy-making. Depoliticising such important infrastructural decisions could potentially be of more importance during the next Government if, as recent polls suggest, a small number of TDs could hold the balance of power and press for infrastructure projects that benefit their individual constituencies over the national interest.”

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For further information contact Susan McDermott, Chambers Ireland on 01 400 4331, 086 608 1605 or email susan.mcdermott@chambers.ie

Notes to Editor:

  • Chambers Ireland’s “A Vision for 2021” manifesto can be found here
  • In 2015 Ireland had the second lowest level of gross public investment as a percentage of GDP in the EU. At 2% of GDP, Ireland’s spending was well below the EU average of 2.9%. 
  • The UK’s National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) is an independent body, tasked with improving long-term infrastructure policy making. The NIC assesses the UK’s infrastructure needs every 5 years, looking 30 years ahead across all key sectors. The Government is then obliged to respond to the Commission’s recommendations, either by accepting them or providing viable alternatives. More information here
  • Chambers Ireland would like to see a similar independent body established in Ireland, tasked with reviewing and planning for the country’s infrastructure needs.

Chambers Ireland – Ireland’s largest business network creating the best environment for members locally, regionally and nationally.

 

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