The CIF has called on the Government to increase infrastructure spending to 4 – 5% of GDP if the country is to avoid a serious “infrastructure crisis”.
The CIF told the Oireachtas Committee on Budgetary Oversight that the Government should request greater freedom on infrastructure spending from the European Union, saying the lack of investment in infrastructure was a “threat to Ireland’s social and economic progress.”
The CIF has called for the Government to get funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB). Director General Tom Parlon said that the fact that the EIB had set up offices in Ireland could be seen as a positive, saying there was evidence that “funding increased substantially” in countries where the EIB establish offices.
CIF Vice President Pat Lucey said that the Dublin Metro and DART underground projects should be prioritised by the Government in the year ahead. CIF analysis shows that every €1bn invested in infrastructure generates around €1bn in the economy through the construction phase alone.
Recent CIF analysis shows that the proportion of Ireland’s existing infrastructure spend is given to covering repairs and maintenance of infrastructure. This leaves less for new strategic infrastructure projects.