Chambers Ireland has called for the establishment of a National Infrastructure Commission as part of its wider “A Vision for 2021” manifesto which campaigns for greater strategic economic planning and investment in infrastructure.
Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland proposed the establishment of the Commission saying: “Since the economic downturn there has been a very low level of public investment in infrastructure leading to infrastructural deficit and bottlenecks. The current capital investment plan is not sufficiently ambitious to support future economic growth. There must be a revision of the plan with a commitment to increased investment over the next five years. We are calling on the next Government to prioritise investment in strategically important infrastructure projects that have regard to the National Planning Framework and ensure that future infrastructure development enables sustainable economic development in all regions.”
“The establishment of a National Infrastructure Commission, using the UK Commission as a model, would create an independent body to depoliticise nationally important capital investment decisions. This is essential to ensure that future Governments, whatever their composition, approve infrastructure projects in the national interest, free from political considerations, and improve long-term infrastructure policy-making. Depoliticising such important infrastructural decisions could potentially be of more importance during the next Government if, as recent polls suggest, a small number of TDs could hold the balance of power and press for infrastructure projects that benefit their individual constituencies over the national interest.”