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The CIOB welcomes measures in Ireland to ensure delivery of Exchequer-funded capital projects

Published

16th April 2020

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) welcomes the measures announced by the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD  this week (14/4/20) to mitigate the risks for Exchequer-funded capital projects during the COVID-19 crisis period. Any actions that provide clarity and relieve uncertainty at this challenging time are welcome, and we commend the measures announced aimed at safeguarding Project Ireland 2040.

A recent CIOB report, ‘The Real Face of Construction 2020’, emphasises the role that government, as a client, can play in subduing volatility in the construction sector by providing a clear pipeline of infrastructure projects. Project Ireland 2040 has provided this pipeline, and its preservation by the measures announced this week will facilitate a timely restart to construction.

Repair and Maintenance

As the National Development Plan points out, a significant driver of future infrastructure demand is the repair and maintenance of our existing infrastructure, reflected in the sizeable share of construction output in Ireland accounted for by repair and maintenance work. It is therefore crucial that, as well as new capital projects, repair and maintenance work can restart too. This work will ensure that when the economic eventually emerges from the shutdown, it will be supported by a fully functional national infrastructure system. At a time of flux for construction, repair and maintenance work will also maintain the skills and talent in the workforce that the country has worked hard to develop since the recession.

The importance of certainty

It is encouraging to see the commitment to a timely restart to construction, which will offer the guidance and confidence that the industry needs during this period of upheaval. Government can mitigate the industry’s immediate downturn by smoothing out spending on construction projects, and the measures announced today go some way to doing that. Providing greater clarity about proposed projects in Project Ireland 2040 will also help. Since their publication, the National Development Plan and National Planning Framework have boosted investment as there is greater visibility for what projects lie ahead. Now more than ever, it is crucial that this clarity is maintained, and we look forward to working with the Irish Government to ensure a timely and safe restart of the construction sector.

 

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