NATIONAL PLANNING FRAMEWORK

Doherty: The Government are overplaying their hand

Sinn Fein TD said National Planning Framework simply doesn't cut it

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Doherty on plan

Deputy Pearse Doherty

Donegal Deputy Pearse Doherty said the Government's National Planning Framework fails to capture the immediate and short-term needs of the country.

Details of the €115bn National Planning Framework outlining a vision for developing the country up to 2040 were announced on Friday.

However, Deputy Doherty, Sinn Féin's spokesperson for Public Expenditure and Reform, said the Capital Plan doesn’t cut it in a State facing immediate infrastructure issues and possible shocks from Brexit and other issues.

“As usual the government are completely overplaying their hand," he said.

"Grand plans for the future are something that has dominated politics in our State for a long time, usually with disappointing results.

"What this plan fails to do is to capture the immediate and short-term needs of the State. Metro North and Broadband have been promised for a decade if not more.

"Today, they are still just that - promises.

"The plan commits to only 10% additional capital spend over what was already announced for the next three years.

"In a country slowly coming out of an investment drought this is not nearly good enough. Let’s not forget the government is committed to billions in income tax cuts over the next period - money that could be multiplied in investment.

"The Taoiseach speaks of a lost decade but there is nothing in today’s plan to convince me that the government are committed to catching up on development missed out.

"When you strip out the cost of inflation and demographics we are looking at, in real terms, only a small increase especially in the immediate years ahead.

"You can’t catch up by going at the same pace.

"We are facing the looming impact of Brexit and many other possible shocks yet in the short term the government are not committed to making the necessary investment to shield us from these threats.

"What was required was the front loading of investment instead of the back-loading in this plan."