As the Deputy will be aware, the National Development Plan, published last year, demonstrates the Government’s commitment to meeting Ireland’s infrastructure and investment requirements over the next 10 years, through a total estimated investment of €116 billion over the period to 2027. In 2019, capital expenditure of €7.3 billion represents an increase of approximately €1.4 billion or 24% over the 2018 outturn figure.
Although the NDP set out gross voted capital expenditure allocations on a Ministerial level for the period 2018 – 2022, these figures can only be viewed as indicative allocations and not pre-commitments until such time as they are finalised in the Revised Estimates Volume and approved in the Dáil through a Vote. I expect that it will be necessary to make some moderate adjustments to the published allocations over the period, however, I believe that any amendments will be modest and will not pose any material effect on Departmental allocations. Thus, NDP gives a very clear signal of Government's long term capital spending plans.
While my Department sets the capital allocations for Departments and the delegated sanction arrangements under which Departments make their spending decisions, the actual roll-out of particular capital projects and programmes is, of course, managed by the individual line Departments and their agencies who are responsible for project and programme delivery.
As the NDP states, each Government Department is responsible for ensuring that its proposed projects meet with appropriate regulatory requirements including those related to planning law and environmental impact assessments. Departments must also ensure that individual projects and investment proposals meet all of the relevant appraisal processes and value-for-money tests required under the Public Spending Code, before Exchequer resources are ultimately expended on
the relevant projects. Individual Departments also have the obligation to manage any multi-annual contractual commitments within the terms of their sanction.