Video: MetroLink could cost €23bn in 'extreme-case scenario'

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MetroLink

The MetroLink rail service connecting Swords and Dublin Airport to Dublin city centre could cost up to €23 billion in a worst-case scenario, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan secured Cabinet approval on Monday to move forward with the "public transport megaproject". A planning application will go to An Bord Pleanála in September.

Speaking on Newstalk radio this morning, Mr Varadkar said MetroLink was a long overdue project that will help transform public transport and improve air quality.  When operations commence, there will be trains every three minutes during peak periods.

However, Mr Varadkar acknowledged it was going to be expensive – the current mid-range estimate for the project is €9.5 billion.

Budget 2023

Leo Varadkar has warned that any support measures in Budget 2023 will have to be targeted to ensure that the “we don’t make the situation worse”.

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“We don’t want to get into an inflationary spiral,” he told Newstalk. The Budget will introduce some immediate measures, with others to come in January as this was a dynamic situation, he said.

Meanwhile, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said he was very aware of the challenges facing people with the increased cost of living and will be implementing measures in Budget 2023 to address those challenges.

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Speaking to RTÉ and Newstalk this morning, Mr Donohoe said the Government’s aim was to get the balance right between supporting people and helping the economy grow. However, he said there needed to be recognition “we can’t do everything at the same time.”

Bank accounts

Just 220,000 new personal accounts have been opened so far this year, despite the impending closure of around 1 million bank accounts in the coming months due to the departure of Ulster Bank and KBC from the Irish market, new figures show.

According to figures released by Banking and Payments Federation Ireland, more than 9,500 bank accounts are being created a week as two of the nation's major banks prepare to exit the Irish market.

However, so far under 250,000 new personal accounts have been opened by the three main retail banks – AIB, Bank of Ireland, and Permanent TSB.

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