Commenting on the publication of the National Development Plan (NDP) this week Denis Naughten said that while the plan sets out a spending program of just over €500 to be spent every single second over this decade, “the key unanswered question is will we get improved delivery for that investment?”.
“We have seen with the National Children’s Hospital that there is no shortfall in the Government’s ability to spend money but what are we actually getting in return?” asked Denis Naughten.
“For example in the climate area, there is a commitment to fulfil the target that I set as Minister to take dirty fossil fuels out of our home heating systems by the middle of the next decade but there is very little detail in this plan on how we’re actually going to address the shortage of skilled staff to carry out the work.
“And then there are commitments that the Government has given such as fast tracking the delivery of National Broadband Plan, but it is still on the same original timeline in the NDP. Yet there is no indication that the commitment will actually be fulfilled. In fact, the reality is that the National Broadband Plan is currently running six months behind target.
“Yes, there are some significant changes in the NDP like the decision to prioritise public transport over road transport investment. But there is a failure to acknowledge that in most parts of Ireland public transport means buses and you cannot have a reliable bus service without decent roads.
“While many aspects of this plan are very much a rehash of what the Cabinet I was part of agreed in January 2018, there seems to have been little thinking on how Government is going to deliver on what are very worthy objectives, so will have to await the implementation of these targets but also ensure that our citizens get value for money,” concluded Denis Naughten.