Ireland plans PPP review

New National Development Plan to “examine possible disincentives” for use of PPP; plans to expand model’s use in housing and energy

The Irish government has published its new National Development Plan (NDP), covering 2021-30, and including a focus on increasing the use of PPPs.

The document pledges “a targeted review of the existing treatment of PPPs”, which will be undertaken with the existing PPP Steering Group and provide a series of recommendations by the second quarter of 2022.

According to the NDP, the review will build on work already undertaken and will examine “the possible disincentives currently in policy around the uptake of further PPP commitments, in circumstances where they would nevertheless represent value for money”.

In addition, the NDP states that efforts to consider the use of energy performance contracts (EPCs) - which it describes as a form of PPP “significantly different” to the traditional version - will also be explored.

Meanwhile, the document also outlines plans to use the PPP model to deliver new housing. “We will increase the use of PPPs to deliver social housing on local authority land,” it said. “The PPP model provides a delivery structure whereby social housing units remain in State ownership throughout. The PPPs will be focussed in cities, in particular Dublin, to support the acceleration of delivery from current levels to the required levels.”

Overall, the updated NDP plans to invest a record €165bn in the Irish economy over the next decade.

“The revised NDP will deliver the largest and greenest capital investment plan in the history of the state,” said Michael McGrath, minister for the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform. 

“It is an ambitious plan, with record levels of investment, but one that is achievable and will make a significant difference in many key areas in the life of our country.”