Business Representatives Call for Action in Addressing Urgent Infrastructure Needs
Increase Capital Spend to 4% of GDP
The message delivered ahead of Budget 2018 and the publication of the Summer Economic Statement was unified and clear; available fiscal space should be focused on capital investment and addressing the urgent infrastructure needs across the country.
Conor Healy, Chief Executive of Cork Chamber and Chair of the national Chamber Executive Forum said “Budget 2018 is opportunity for Government to deliver the resources necessary for infrastructure projects nationwide. We call on Government to use the finances available in Budget 2018 to significantly increase investment in capital projects that enhance regional connectivity and improve our ability to trade and compete internationally. It is important that capital investment aligns with and helps to deliver the ambitions outlined as part of the ongoing development of the National Planning Framework. Strategic and well-planned investment is essential to ensure that businesses and Ireland’s citizens can prosper.”
The overwhelming response from the meeting was that Chamber leaders want Government to recognise the important infrastructure challenges facing the economy.
Ian Talbot, Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland said, “Through investment in vital infrastructure projects across the country, Ireland can tackle the major issues facing the economy. Serious deficits in transport and water infrastructure, housing shortages in urban areas and a digital divide in terms of broadband provision all require urgent and adequate investment. This can only be achieved through Government commitment to increase capital spending to at least 4% of GDP. Significant investment in such infrastructure will enable businesses to thrive and keep pace with the demands of our growing economy.”
Echoing the call from other Chambers around the country Toni Forrester, Chief Executive of Letterkenny Chamber said " The regional imbalance is most pronounced here in the North West of Ireland. This region has no motorway, broadband is poor in many parts particularly the rural areas that feed the main towns and our position on the border with Northern Ireland leaves our companies particularly vulnerable to exchange rates and the threats associated with Brexit. We have made strong representations for improved infrastructure for many years and we hope this year the government will respond in order that this region can prosper."