Thursday 23 November 2017

Government to splash €27bn on capital spending

Rotunda Hospital
Rotunda Hospital

THE most significant bottleneck on the road system linking Ireland's three largest cities will be finally removed as part of the Government's €27bn capital-spending spree.

A new maternity hospital, family law courts complex and up to €600m for social housing projects are among the main elements of the Coalition's last long-term spending plan before the General Election.

One of the larger components is a €110m upgrade of the N7 Naas dual carriageway. This would allow traffic to freely flow from Cork to Belfast via Dublin.

In addition, the Rotunda Hospital will move to Blanchardstown, in what will be seen as a major coup for Health Minister Leo Varadkar and Tanaiste Joan Burton.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has secured over €200m for a new garda IT system, as well as funding for station refurbishments, new vehicles and a forensic science lab.

A €1bn flood defence plan is also proposed for some 300 at-risk areas across the country. This will run over 10 years.

The Government's 'Building for Recovery' plan promises to create 45,000 jobs as investment is directed towards health services, schools, broadband and energy efficiency.

It is understood that a rail link from Dublin City Centre to the airport is also in the plan, but may be developed over a longer period.

Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin (inset) said the plan aimed to ensure "every part of the country benefits" and not just Dublin.

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