New €27bn Capital Plan will support economic competitiveness, housing delivery and job creation

The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland has welcomed the new Capital Investment Programme announced by Government but said procurement bottlenecks must be addressed to ensure value for money for the State.

The Society said the Programme will provide much needed investment in state infrastructure over the next 5 years, deliver much needed homes and create 45,000 construction jobs.

The SCSI, which is the professional representative body for the construction, land and property sectors, said regular investment by the state would support economic growth, job creation and the delivery of much needed homes on a sustainable basis.

Andrew Nugent, President of the SCSI said; “The renewed focus by Government and this investment programme in essential infrastructure is very important. Currently the construction sector accounts for approximately 7% of GNP, but this should be closer to 12% as per European norms. We welcome in particular, the prioritisation of additional social housing investment of €400m, flood relief schemes, broadband, and essential connectivity in our transport infrastructure including the link to Dublin airport”

“But we also need to ensure we avoid future cyclical swings from the low levels of investment in capital programmes we have seen in recent years to the higher levels we are seeing now. We need to ensure a more sustainable programme with continued levels of investment in areas including social housing to avoid the current supply shortages reoccurring”.

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The SCSI also warned about the need to remove procurement bottlenecks and streamline the planning process.

“The procurement process for Capital Projects can be very onerous and while we recognise the need for proper Governance structures, we need to ensure that the procurement process for new capital projects is as streamlined and efficient as possible to ensure speedy delivery of essential works on time and on budget,” concluded Nugent.