Engineers Ireland calls on Government to use Budget 2019 to power Project Ireland 2040

Engineers Ireland calls on Government to use Budget 2019 to power Project Ireland 2040

03 August 2018 at 09:28
Engineers Ireland has today lodged a series of recommendations with the Department of Finance for Budget 2019 (available here). The representative body for engineers, whose membership represents the full spectrum of the engineering profession in Ireland, has urged the Government to use the forthcoming Budget to activate Project Ireland 2040 through capital investment, institutional reform and capacity building.
 
Engineers Ireland’s top five priorities for Budget 2019 are:
1.     Implement Project Ireland 2040 investment commitments, including the promised €1.5 billion increase in capital investment to €7.3 billion as a stepping stone to 4% Modified Gross National Income (GNI*);
2.     Reform infrastructure policy, planning and delivery, including funding for a single infrastructure authority;
3.     Increase the supply of high-quality connected housing, surpassing Rebuilding Ireland targets and reinforcing building regulations;
4.     Build up safe and secure water and flooding systems by providing multi-annual funding to Irish Water and strategically delivering flood relief schemes;
5.     Incentivise professional skills and experience in STEM to overcome the shortage of engineers and other skilled professionals.
 
The recommendations are based on consultations with the organisation’s 25,000-strong engineering membership and on two recently-published landmark reports: The State of Ireland 2018 - A Review of Infrastructure in Ireland and Engineering 2018 – A barometer of the profession in Ireland.  These expert-led publications contain a wealth of detailed information on priority infrastructure projects and the engineering skills and supports required for delivery. 
 
Commenting on Engineers Ireland’s recommendations, Peter Quinn, President of Engineers Ireland said: “Earlier this year, our survey of 1,000 Chartered Engineers found that just 20% of Chartered Engineers believe Ireland’s overall infrastructure is in good condition with capacity for future development. Our housing system in particular was highlighted as key area for concern, unable to meet demand and requiring immediate investment to avoid adverse impact on the national economy.  Overall, we find that there needs to be a substantial increase in the allocation of capital investment in various forms of infrastructure to underpin economic growth, raise living standards more equitably and build a sustainable environment.”
 
Caroline Spillane, Director General, Engineers Ireland added: “Engineers Ireland has been very supportive of Project Ireland 2040. Budget 2019 is Government’s opportunity to truly activate this strategic plan for the future development of our country. Implementing the promised €1.5 billion increase in capital investment is an absolute priority for us and is a stepping stone towards achieving a level of 4% GNI*. Reform in the area of infrastructure policy, planning and delivery would help to achieve integrated outcomes and a stronger return on this investment. We repeat our call for a single infrastructure authority to develop a long-term vision and strategy, identify priority projects and explore innovative funding.”
 
Mr Quinn concluded: “Investment decisions must be driven by evidenced-based solutions to societal challenges and Engineers Ireland is committed to bringing the expertise of the engineering profession to the budgetary process. Engineers Ireland will be discussing the details of our Budget 2019 proposals with Ministers, TDs, Senators, and other policy makers in the coming weeks and months.”