Ireland’s Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan, delivered his Budget speech on 9 December 2009. The following has been extracted from the Department of Finance’s Summary of 2010 Budget Measures.

Capital Review

The Government has undertaken a comprehensive review of its capital investment programme to take account of the new economic realities and to promote economic recovery and employment. The analysis emerging from the capital review has resulted in an Exchequer capital allocation of €6.445 billion for 2010 and an indicative Exchequer investment programme of over €39 billion from 2010 to 2016. For each year from 2011, €5.5 billion will be available. These investment allocations will support those projects which will help:

  • economic recovery;
  • the development of a productive and internationally competitive economy;
  • the development of the Smart/Green economy;
  • support sustainable long-term employment; and
  • provide modern social infrastructure.

The Government intends to publish its detailed medium-term revised investment priorities shortly.

Overall Capital Programme in 2010

€6.445 billion will be invested in 2010, some 5% of GNP, one of the biggest investment programmes in the EU. This will be supplemented by €126 million in allocations carried over from 2009. Taking account of asset disposals, the allocation represents €961 million in savings towards the Government’s overall target. The significant drop in construction tender prices means that a very substantial output can be secured from a reduced allocation. Key priorities for capital investment will be the promotion of the Smart/Green Economy (particularly through STI investment and energy efficiency measures), the support of sustainable long-term employment (particularly through investment in enterprise) and funding immediate employment (in areas like schools, domestic energy efficiency and enhancing Ireland’s local and regional tourism infrastructure).

Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

€430 million will be available. This provision will accommodate measures in respect of investment in farming, including the Farm Waste Management and Farm Improvement Schemes, investments in the beef, sheep, meat and dairy processing sectors through the Marketing and Processing Grants measures, to develop added value in the fish processing and aquaculture sectors. There is also ongoing investment in forestry and bio-energy sectors in line with the Renewed Programme for Government. In particular, the coming years will see a renewed commitment to the forestry sector. The Renewed Programme for Government undertakes to review State forestry policy to take account of the important role of the sector in relation to climate change and economic impact. Investment in the forestry sector will make a valuable contribution to climate change, our bio-energy and bio-diversity sectors and will help create significant employment opportunities.

Arts, Sport and Tourism

€132 million will be available. The key initiative is an increase of 195% to €22 million in the allocation for Tourism Product Development to enhance our local and regional tourism attractions and facilities. A further €71.5 million will be available to meet commitments which have already been entered into for the provision of sporting and recreational facilities and for cultural infrastructure, particularly payments under the Sports Capital Programme, the Local Authority Swimming Pools Programme and the ACCESS (Arts and Culture Capital Enhancement Support Scheme) Programme. In addition, €6 million will be provided for the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund and €16.5m will be provided for the Irish Film Board.

Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

€176 million will be available. The key priority will be to fund sustainable energy programmes for which €98 million will be available – including €50 million from the proceeds of the Carbon Tax. Within the overall provision, the key programmes will be: the Warmer Homes Scheme, which provides insulation and energy advice to various low income households (€12 million) and; the Home Energy Saving Scheme (€28 million). The National Energy Efficiency Retrofit Programme (€50 million) will be developed and will absorb the Warmer Homes and Energy Savings Schemes. €45 million will also be provided for enhancement of communications infrastructure, such as facilitating completion of the National Broadband Scheme. This enhanced investment in energy efficiency will complement resources from the Environment and Education allocations.

Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs

€105 million will be available. This will help support the EU co-funded LEADER rural development programme, enterprise and employment investment in Gaeltacht areas, drugs initiatives and other community investment.

Education and Science

€715 million will be provided. The 2010 allocation is €715 million, but total capital funding available in 2010, including capital carry-over from 2009, will be €794 million. €579 million (including €72 million carried over from 2009) will fund the significant school building programme. This will be complemented by an investment of €50 million (including €7 million carried over from 2009) in ICT in the classroom. €141 million will fund infrastructural investment in higher education, including €46m for the promotion of science and innovation.

Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Some €474 million will be available. The capital allocation to ET&E demonstrates a strong commitment to supporting the productive sector and advancing the STI agenda.

A key priority will be supporting the research capacity built to date through the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation. This will be delivered through Science Foundation Ireland’s research teams and links with industry, and Enterprise Ireland’s company research and commercialisation agenda. These are core to sustainable employment creation.

In tandem with allocations to the Education Vote, significant resources are made available to pursue the Smart Economy Agenda. In addition to a Capital investment of €276 million in STI Programmes in 2010 through D/ET&E, very substantial investment will be delivered through other Agencies and Departments, bringing total current and capital STI-related spending to in excess of €600 million for 2010.

Equally important will be the support for enterprise and sustainable employment creation through the wider investment programmes of bodies like Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland. Exchequer funding for IDA grants to industry will increase by 21% to €85 million in 2010. Enterprise Ireland will also continue its regular supports for indigenous companies in 2010. The total Capital funding available to EI to support industry in 2010, including the Stabilisation Fund, will be €76 million.

Environment, Heritage and Local Government

€1,506 million will be available. €880 million is provided for the housing programme. Key objectives will be local authority housing, supporting the voluntary and co-operative housing sector (which supports special needs accommodation in particular), retrofitting of public housing, and urban regeneration particularly in Limerick and Ballymun. €508 million is provided for water services infrastructure to preserve and protect our water resources, help meet EU standards for drinking water and waste water treatment and putting in place infrastructure critical for economic development. Funding will also be available for carbon credits and for recycling and landfill remediation. €18 million will also be available for fire services. €30 million will be allocated to conserving and maintaining our natural and build heritage.

Health and Children

€484 million will be provided. Key priorities will be the development of cancer care services and the accident and emergency services, as well as continuing investment in primary and community care facilities. A key initiative will be the development of high priority mental health projects. Some €43 million is provided in 2010 and funding in future years will be determined by progress in disposing of surplus assets.

Justice, Equality and Law Reform

€123 million will be provided. The key priorities will be the development of the national DNA database in the Forensic Science Laboratory; the building costs of the new State Pathology Laboratory; work in the Irish Youth Justice Detention Centre in Oberstown; the rollout of the National Digital Radio project; prison facilities; and payments in respect of the new Criminal Courts Complex.

Office of Public Works

€158 million will be available. Protection against floods will be a key priority and increased funding for flood relief measures will be provided and the revised allocation is €50 million. Flood relief works will remain a priority and increased resources will be made available as required. Other objectives will be the maintenance of Government accommodation; Garda stations; and works on national cultural institutions.

Transport

€2.1 billion will be available. €1.1billion will be used by the NRA for the completion in 2010 of the major-inter-urban roads (connecting Dublin with Cork, Waterford, Limerick and Galway), the completion of the M50 upgrade and the progression of other key national routes, including elements of the Atlantic Corridor. €300 million will be allocated for the upgrade and maintenance of regional and local roads. €625 million will be provided for key public transport projects such as the Luas extension to Cherrywood, the continuation of bus priority measures in Dublin and regional cities, the opening of Phase 1 of the Western Rail Corridor, the completion of the Kildare Route project and Phase 1 of the Navan Line (to Pace), continuing investment in rail safety and planning and enabling works on the Metro North, planning on the DART Underground and €25 million for new initiatives in support of Smarter Travel.

Foreign Affairs, Social and Family Affairs etc.

€42 million will be available for Government IT (particularly important in the area of social welfare payments and tax collection), defence facilities and the maintenance of overseas missions.

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)

The PPP model of procurement has an important role to play in delivering investment in Ireland’s economic and social infrastructure. The Exchequer programme outlined above will be supplemented by a substantial pipeline of PPP projects. The PPP programme is projected to deliver in excess of €5.5 billion in private capital investment across the Transport, Education and wider social infrastructure sectors over the medium term.