Irish Budget plans welcomed

Industry and cross-border politicians have given broad support to yesterday’s Budget 2021.

Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, described the scale of the measures as “ambitious but appropriate” and was particularly pleased to see the rise in capital expenditure.

“Today’s announcement of a planned increase in capital spending is a positive move given the scale of the deficit in both social and physical infrastructure,” said Ibec chief executive, Danny McCoy.

“This investment will be central to our collective efforts in enabling the economy to resurge more competitively and sustainably.”

Dr David Duffy, Director of Property Industry Ireland, also welcomed the Budget commitments on housing and infrastructure. “The reference by Minister McGrath that the housing crisis will be solved through both public and private delivery of housing is positive,” he added.

There was also support for the government’s continued backing for cross-border infrastructure projects, with McCoy welcoming the commitment to fund “all-island infrastructure projects” through the new Shared Island unit.  

This was affirmed by Northern Ireland’s infrastructure minister, Nichola Mallon, who said: “Critical investment in our infrastructure on projects such as Narrow Water Bridge and the A5 as set out in New Decade, New Approach will transform our island economy not least in the face of Covid, Brexit, and the climate emergency.

“[The] announcement of €500m for the work of the Taoiseach’s new Shared Island Unit in the advancement of key infrastructure projects over the course of the next five years is an important step in our shared endeavour to improve the lives of our citizens right across the island.”