Tuesday, July 17 08:46:34
Major roads in Galway and Wexford will be among the infrastructure projects to receive funding when a stimulus package of more than E2 billion is announced today. Investment in schools and primary healthcare facilities will also be outlined by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore and Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin this afternoon.
The N17/N18 Gort to Tuam scheme and N11/25 Enniscorthy and New Ross bypasses are expected to benefit from "off-balance-sheet" funding from public-private partnerships (PPPs). Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar will benefit from a series of announcements, as some schemes he was forced to shelve last August can now proceed.
The Cabinet will this morning sign off on the infrastructure stimulus package aimed at labour-intensive sectors of the economy including construction. Funding will be "north of E2 billion", according to a source. The money will come from PPPs and the sale of State assets, the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) and the European Investment Bank (EIB). The so-called job-rich schemes have been selected because of their potential to stimulate economic growth and because they are "shovel-ready" in most instances according to The Irish Times.
The departments of Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn and Minister for Health James Reilly will also benefit. The postponed Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) campus at Grangegorman is certain to get the go-ahead. DIT operates on a number of different sites around the capital and the intention is to establish a centralised campus on the north side.
After a proposal to sanction proceeding with the development had gone to Cabinet, Mr Howlin visited the site where progress had effectively stalled last Friday, with local TDs Labour's Joe Costello, Minister of State for Trade and Development, and Fine Gael's Paschal Donohoe. The Luas extension that will benefit the facility was one of the few projects to survive last year's drastic clampdown on capital spending.