A Construction Industry Federation (CIF ) report, carried out by DKM Economic Consultants, has proposed an urgent and radical overhaul to how infrastructure is delivered in Ireland.
The report warned that Ireland’s historically low levels of investment in infrastructure threatens Ireland’s economic recovery and could undermine growth in other sectors, such as technology, financial services, and pharmaceutical, whilst also leading to social inequality arising from housing shortages and imbalanced regional development.
The report, entitled ‘Enhancing Ireland’s Infrastructure’ shows how Ireland’s capacity to deliver infrastructure projects is negatively affected by political decision-making and proposes the establishment of a National Infrastructure Commission to support objective decision-making in Government on selecting projects.
The report also warned that significantly more investment was required to meet the needs of Ireland’s population, the fastest growing in the EU, and its economy, the second fastest growing in the EU27. Currently, Ireland is last in the EU27 for direct Government investment in infrastructure.
Amongst the recommendations made in the report, CIF calls on the Government to ensure that public capital projects are prioritised with reference to rigorous cost/benefit analyses and with greater cognisance of social, environmental, and economic needs.
Director general of CIF, Tom Parlon, said: “We need to invest more in infrastructure now to solve the housing crises, maintain FDI levels and reduce social inequality. The national infrastructure deficit may lead to systemic failures in Irish economy and society.
“An increasing amount of the Public Capital Programme is spent on maintenance of significantly depreciated stock and 40 per cent of the ‘capital’ is not being spent on productive or social infrastructure ie roads, rail, schools.”