I have expressed concern at the €830 million underspend of capital funding in 2021 in vital infrastructure.
Some of this underspend has been carried over to 2022 with over €580 million underspent and returned to the exchequer. The reminder of the underspend will be carried over to 2022 (€250 million).
“I am concerned at the underspend in Housing, Transport and Health infrastructure. Transport accounted for €161 million of the underspend. Housing was €276 million and Health €104 million”.
“It is concerning that infrastructure development is falling behind targets. I am calling in the Government to use the underspend to target projects that are shovel ready for construction. A good example in transport is Phase 2 of the Western Rail Corridor. This project can commence construction with a matter of months as it does not require planning or any other statutory consents”.
“I am also requesting Government to re-allocate some of the unspent money to Departments who can spend money and deliver projects quickly for the benefit of communities. I believe that unspent money can easily be used to top up the Leader Programme which remains underfunded for the next 5 years”.
“Likewise, in the Department of Transport money could be allocated to the Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) to supplement the scheme run by the Department of Rural and Community Development as there a huge demand for roads to be upgraded in rural areas which are not in charge of the Council”.
“There are no shortage of projects and we need to keep providing the necessary infrastructure”.