Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (119)

Richard Bruton


119. Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if the scope for accelerating the delivery of important public investment priorities at a time when private investment is likely to fall sharply and a demand stimulus will be needed has been examined. [26413/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The jobs stimulus plan announced in July contained a €500 million package for accelerated capital works and other capital supports across a range of areas in support of employment-intensive economic activity in 2020. The projects and programmes announced as part of the stimulus cover a broad geographic and sectoral scope, including housing, education, transport, justice, environment and heritage/tourism.

The Government is committed to sustaining investment in capital projects and programmes to support economic recovery. In that regard, we have introduced an unprecedented series of public health measures and invested heavily in supports to help businesses and our people. Some of these measures include the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, the Restart Grant, Rates Waivers, and credit schemes for businesses of all sizes.

There will be an ongoing requirement for a significant expenditure allocation to respond to COVID-19 next year across a number of areas in particular, Health, Schools, Further and Higher Education, and Social Protection. In addition, funding will need to be provided to address the potential impact of a disorderly Brexit. In this context, for core expenditure programmes, Budget 2021 will prioritise preserving and maintaining existing levels of service and delivering the increased resources for capital investment set out in the NDP. Additional crisis-related supports will be tailored to those sectors and workers who are most in need. In line with the Programme for Government, sectoral priorities will be health, housing and climate change.

The forthcoming NDP Review will provide a basis for longer-term decisions on capital investment.