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Government must not waste historic opportunity on NDP

23 January, 2007


Speaking in advance of the publication of the proposed National Development Plan, Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD expressed the hope that the Government would not waste this historic opportunity. Deputy Ó Caoláin stressed the importance of using the NDP to prepare for Irish unification and to move away from the neo-liberal policies of privatisation pursued by the Government.

The Cavan-Monaghan TD said: "The all-Ireland aspect of the new NDP must advance towards joined-up cross-border development as a stepping stone towards unity. We want to see substantial investment in cross border infrastructure and the integration of economic and social infrastructure. The economic regeneration of the border region must be given a high priority.

"Balanced regional development and sustainable development was not delivered under the last plan, which did nothing to halt to continued sprawl of Dublin. Under the last NDP spending actually fell short for the Border, Midlands and Western region

"We also want to see cast-iron commitments to ensure democratic control and accountability over the remaining publicly owned enterprises. CIE and ESB, to use two examples, must remain in the hands of the Irish people, and we need to stop using expensive and inefficient Public Private Partnerships to deliver infrastructure easier delivered by the public sector.

"Investment in public transport, including a major increase in the bus fleet and development of the rail network should be given a clear priority and a social housing building programme in line with the NESC recommendations for a net increase of 73,000 units of social housing by 2012."

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