2021 National Dev’t Plan released

It may be the largest National Development Plan to be delivered by the state, but is it just more false promises?

Earlier this week, Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar TD, the Minister for the Environment, Climate Communications and Transport, Eamon Ryan TD and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath TD, launched the new National Development Plan 2021-2030.

Image Courtesy of Karolina Grabowska / Pexels

The publication is the largest National Development Plan ever delivered in the history of the State, but has come in for harsh criticism from the opposition  and climate experts who say, basically, that we have heard it all before and does little to properly address our climate crisis.

The €165 billion, 10-year plan includes a €35bn investment for the country’s transport system (to include €12bn for public transport, €6bn for roads and €4bn for walking and cycling infrastructure). It also includes more than 300,000 new homes by the end of 2030.

There is, unsurprisingly, a strong focus on  housing too, with a suggestion / promise of 300,00 homes to be built by 2030, as the plan assumes a  population growth of approximately 1 million between 2016 and 2040. As Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told us:

“We need to anticipate what the Ireland of 2040 will look like – what our jobs will be like, how we will travel, how we will live. With a rapidly rising population, Ireland needs to invest big in infrastructure.

“Since 2017, the percentage of Gross National Income committed to public infrastructure has risen from 2.5% to about 4.5%. That’s now substantially higher than the EU average and well ahead of our peers like The Netherlands and Denmark. This plan will see this level of investment continue and grow to 5% of GNI, from €12.7bn this year to €19.3bn in 2030. We are investing in the future and going for growth”

Minister Eamon Ryan was keen to point out what elements of the plan were hear to support our climate crisis:

“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.

“Up to 80% 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 McGrath admitted that the NDP is ambitious, but certainly achievable.

An updated version of MyProjectIreland Interactive Map was also unveiled at the event. It is available on Gov.ie and you can navigate projects around the country, finding out what is happening in each region. By clicking on gov.ie/2040 gov.ie/, you will find information on what has been achieved to date and what is planned for your own local area.

For more information on the full plan, visit https: Gove.ie National Development Plan 2021 to 2030

Header image courtesy of Matheus Bertelli / Pexels

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