Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Questions (29)

Catherine Murphy


28 Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he has prepared an inventory of infrastructure projects and other key strategic capital investment projects which he will prioritise in the event that new dedicated funds are provided through bodies of the European Union arising from commitments made at European level to establishing a dedicated growth and investment facility for member states; if so, if he will provide a detailed breakdown of this inventory; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32424/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Expenditure)

My Department undertook a review of the public capital programme last year, the results of which were published in the "Infrastructure and Capital Investment 2012-2016: Medium Term Exchequer Framework". The Framework sets out €17 billion worth of Exchequer investment intended to address critical infrastructure investment gaps in order to aid economic recovery, social cohesion and environmental sustainability. The sectors prioritised for investment in the Framework include education, health, jobs and enterprise. While this represents a significant level of spend that will generate activity throughout the country, I am conscious that there is more that we could do if we had additional funding available.

The Government is now considering carefully what potential further projects could be supported should a source of additional funding become available. It is likely that such investment would be focused on areas that meet the Government's key investment priorities, boost employment and help stimulate economic growth. My Department has established a high level interdepartmental steering committee which is considering potential projects for investment that meet these criteria. Proposals for additional projects are being considered by Government and a pipeline of necessary and worthwhile projects will emerge shortly.

My Department is also working closely with the Department of Finance and the NDFA to ensure that additional funding sources are available in order to deliver any proposed pipeline of projects.