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Ireland launches updated National Development Plan 2021-2030

Ireland launches updated National Development Plan 2021-2030

The EUR 165 billion plan is the largest and greenest in the history of the Republic

The Irish government has launched an updated National Development Plan (NDP) for the decade ahead which earmarks a record EUR 165 billion for infrastructure development. The prioritized areas are housing, climate change mitigation, transport, healthcare, jobs growth and economic revival. The plan is meant to prepare the Republic for a population growth of approximately 1 million between 2016 and 2040, and help the Irish to tackle the challenges of Covid-19 and Brexit.

Infrastructure funding above the EU average

Further investments will be made under the Shared Island initiative to improve the connectivity, sustainability and prosperity for all communities across the divided island. These will be coordinated with the Northern Ireland Executive, the UK Government, European Union and local authority partners. To this end, the Irish government is committing additional funding of more than EUR 3.5 billion, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Micheál Martin announced during Monday’s launch of the plan in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Speaking at the event, Tánaiste (Deputy PM) Leo Varadkar noted that with a rapidly rising population, Ireland needs to invest massively in infrastructure. He recalled that the percentage of Gross National Income committed to public infrastructure has been rising steadily and at the current level of about 4.5 percent is substantially higher than the EU average and well ahead of The Netherlands and Denmark.

"This updated NDP will see this level of investment continue and grow to 5 percent of GNI, from EUR 12.7bn this year to EUR 19.3bn in 2030. We are investing in the future and going for growth," said Varadkar, as quoted by the government’s news service.

Green ambitions

Minister for the Environment, Climate Communications and Transport Eamon Ryan highlighted the green dimension of the plan, saying: “This is a plan for a cleaner, greener, connected Ireland, a plan that supports communities and our climate goal - to cut emissions in half by 2030 - and creates a new green and digital economy. 

"We’re making the biggest investment in transport in the history of the State – EUR 35 billion over the decade - prioritising walking, cycling and public transport.

"Up to 80 percent of our electricity will come from renewables by 2030, and the NDP includes enhanced investment to make half a million homes warmer and cheaper to heat. We’re also bringing broadband to all parts of rural Ireland no matter how remote. This is a plan for a new Ireland; this will be a decade of change."

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath pointed out that with an investment of EUR 165 billion this will be the largest and greenest National Development Plan in the history of the State. He said that the plan is the culmination of year-long analysis and consultation across government departments and stakeholders. And in spite of its ambitious scope, it is achievable and will lead to a more resilient and sustainable future, improving lives and living standards for all Irish people, McGrath concluded.

Priority areas

The NDP will support the realisation of the Housing for All plan which aims to deliver an average of 6,000 affordable homes each year. A total indicative allocation of EUR 12.9 billion over the 2021-2030 period will be made towards meeting Ireland’s climate targets.

The next five year period 2021-2025 will also see:

  • EUR 13bn Gross Voted capital allocation for transport projects
  • EUR 5.7bn of healthcare investment
  • EUR 4.4bn for education
  • An additional EUR 2.9bn Gross Voted capital allocation for higher education
  • EUR 6 billion investment in water services infrastructure.

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