CIF: Delays in the south's infrastructure projects threaten Irish economy

The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has warned that delays in infrastructure projects in the south of the country will have repercussions for Ireland's economy.

It comes as the South West sees a significant population and employment growth in the last 20 years which has been followed by a growth in investment contributing to major developments being announced for Cork city.

However, the CIF has said that bureaucracy and the Government's procurement system has hindered the pace of growth in the region.

Conor O’Connell, Regional Director of the CIF, said: “Ireland’s economic and societal progress is utterly dependent on the development of a thriving southern region. Unfortunately, Government commitments in Project Ireland 2040 are being delayed resulting in significant threats to the region and the wider Irish economy.

"The Government has told us that Cork and cities in the south and west need to grow at twice the rate of Dublin over the next 20 years. To achieve this, we would need to see a significant increase in investment in infrastructure today to have any chance of achieving a balanced Ireland.

"In fact, we have seen a slowdown in the delivery of infrastructure in the region. The Government has committed significant funding to this area but it is being stymied by bureaucracy, Ireland’s inadequate judicial review system and our antiquated public sector procurement system."

"Several critical projects including the Dunkettle Interchange, the M20, M28, and funding for urban regeneration and social housing projects are all delayed. Members are reporting delays in the procurement, planning and delivery process for these public infrastructural projects."

He urged the Government to fast-track the projects before the delays damage Ireland’s economic growth.

Mr O'Connell said: "Strategic Infrastructural projects such as Dunkettle, the M28 and the Events Centre underpin further private sector investment and, at this stage, a number of very significant private sector projects are delayed or facing delays as a result of stalled public sector infrastructural investment.

"Even short delays of these projects today mean future cost overruns and exponential increases in future completions dates. The Government and most business organisations, and economist in Ireland have highlighted the need to invest in public infrastructure.

"However, delays on the ground in our region have reached a chronic situation. We are calling on all TDs, Local Authorities and representative groups to work together to streamline infrastructure delivery so that critical projects are delivered on time and on budget for the overall good of the region and the wider economy.”