I expect to be in a position to meet in full the expenditure anticipated in 2020 and subsequent years in the Public Capital Programme.
The gross voted capital allocations for 2020 were set out in the Revised Estimates Volume, published in December 2019, the allocations amounting to almost €8.2 billion represented a 15% increase over the 2019 outturn and was deemed sufficient, at that time, to meet Department’s commitments for 2020.
In addition, 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, €100 million of which will be drawn down in 2021.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, this Government has increased the overall 2020 capital expenditure allocations by an additional €1.5 billion, bringing total capital investment in 2020 to above €9.7 billion. This is the highest ever investment in capital projects and programmes in the history of the State.
Government is committed to delivering capital expenditure levels of €9.1 billion for 2021. This is almost €1 billion or 12% higher than the original sum budgeted for 2020. The precise configuration and prioritisation of the overall 2021 capital allocation, including the remaining unallocated reserve, will be specified further and more comprehensively in the context of Budget 2021.
In line with Programme for Government commitments and in my capacity as Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform I recently brought proposals to the Government regarding the launch of a structured, in-depth review of the National Development Plan (NDP) in order to advance the priorities identified in the Programme for Government including climate change, housing policy, transport policy, implementation of Sláintecare and balanced regional development, aligned also with the associated multi-annual resourcing requirements. I expect to be in a position to set out next steps in this regard once the important work of Budget 2021 has been completed.