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Public Expenditure and Reform | National Development Plan

To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which he expects to be in a position to continue to implement the National Development Plan in all of its aspects; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


As Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform I am responsible for setting the overall capital allocations across Departments and for monitoring monthly expenditure at a Departmental level. My Department is also responsible for maintaining the national frameworks within which Departments operate to ensure appropriate accounting for and value for money in public expenditure. Because of its vital importance for our country, “NDP delivery” has been added to my Department’s title and mandate. My Department is currently examining the support structures and levers available across Government in order to maximise delivery of vital infrastructure such as housing, schools, hospitals, roads and public transport.

The NDP published in October 2021 provides a detailed and positive vision for Ireland out to 2030 and delivers total public investment of €165 billion over the period 2021-2030. The NDP establishes the Government’s over-arching investment framework and broad direction for investment priorities for this decade. The capital expenditure ceilings detailed in the NDP take account of the overall capability of the construction sector to deliver on the NDP and of the appropriate share of National Income being devoted to infrastructure. The levels of capital spending in the NDP, at close to 5% of GNI*, are already among the highest in the EU and are close to the limit of the overall capability to deliver in the coming decade.

In 2023, over €12 billion will be made available from the Exchequer for investment in public capital projects, which will provide more schools, homes, hospitals and other pieces of vital infrastructure. This level of expenditure will be pivotal in consolidating the progress already made, and, most importantly, delivering the necessary infrastructure to support our future climate obligations as well as our social and economic requirements.

It is important to acknowledge that the majority of public investment projects are delivered on budget and on time and there is a high level of professionalism across the sectors. However, noting the higher risk profile of larger projects, it was recognised that new procedures were required in order to improve project out-turns, avoid cost overruns and avoid delays to project delivery.

Responding to this need, my Department established the Major Projects Advisory Group (MPAG) in 2022. It comprises independent members who scrutinise project proposals and external reviews as a prerequisite to seeking Government approval for major capital projects. In 2022, four major projects have been reviewed by the Major Projects Advisory Group prior to issuing to Government for decision.
These reforms, alongside ongoing engagement with the construction sector regarding capacity and innovation, will help ensure the effective delivery of capital investment projects and programmes under the NDP on time and on budget.

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