The ministry for finance plans to invest up to €8bn in PPP projects between now and 2013 – down €1bn from last year.
The figure is part of capital spending fund of €52bn outlined in Ireland’s Budget 2009 document. The money set aside for PPP includes €622m for National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) to spend on education programmes. The tone of the budget was sombre with Ireland’s minister for finance, Brian Lenihan, emphasising the need to cutback on public spending to dent the country’s rising deficit, set to rise to 8% of GDP.
Lenihan said: "Our approach has been to reduce public expenditure as much as possible on the current side and as much as is sensible on the capital side." He added that spending cuts would see a drop in the deficit to about 6.5% of GDP for 2009.
However Lenihan said the government was still committed to public service investment. He said: "We will continue to invest in our public services but, in a time of scarcer resources, the value for money principle becomes all the more imperative."
Further spending plans include €12bn on local government, the environment and heritage projects to 2013 with just under €3bn earmarked for social housing programmes.
However a source from the NDFA said that despite a few tweaks the budget was a quiet one for PPP. "It was more of a steady as she goes situation. But there is certainly no change in our policy or approach. All of our projects are all proceeding and we have got a good medium term PPP programme that is being pursued."
He added that PPP was alive and well as a procurement option open to authorities in Ireland with the level of investment staying at 16%.
In a budget document Estimates for Public Services and Summary Public Capital Programme the government said that
On Arts, sports and tourism the government plan to spend
2009 - €507m 2010 - €1.4bn 2011 - €2.1bn 2012 - €2.4bn 2013 - €2.2bn
These figures include up to 12bn between now and 2013 for the environment, heritage and local government. This includes almost €3bn on social housing programmes between now and 2009.
Brain Lenihan, the Irish minister for finance said that
The budget found that the government faces a deficit of 8% of GDP without action.
In a bid to meet the challenge the country’s deficit rising to 8% of GDP, Ireland’s budget outlined the need for cutbacks in public spending.
"Our approach has been to reduce public expenditure as much as possible on the current side and as much as is sensible on the capital side." It said that changes to spending would see a drop in the deficit to about 6.5% of GDP in 2009. Lenihan said: "We will continue to invest in our public services but, in a time of scarcer resources, the value for money principle becomes all the more imperative."
The tone of the budget was that dramatic cuts would be necessary to public spending due to a lack of available resources.
Prior to the budget the government was spending more than 5% of GNP on public capital projects. It said more emphasis on value for money, productive capacity and the promotion of employment.
The government plans to spend more than €52bn on capital projects with around €9bn earmarked for PPPs. Including PPP user charges.