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NDP pledges should be treated with extreme scepticism - Crowe

15 February, 2007

Sinn Féin Social and Family Affairs spokesperson Seán Crowe TD, speaking in the Dáil today on the National Development Plan, said that the failures of the previous version of the plan covering 2000 to 2006, meant that the new one must be treated with extreme scepticism.

The Dublin South-West TD said: "People's quality of life has deteriorated significantly during the present government's time in office and the duration of the previous plan.

"There has been a failure to make necessary interventions to prevent urban sprawl and to ensure that employment is created outside the greater Dublin area. Delivery of infrastructure has been delayed by an insistence on using costly and inefficient PPPs. The sell-off of key state assets has continued apace regardless of the future implications for the state's strategic interests.

"Clearly then as we look at this plan we cannot be expected to forget that many of the targets in the previous NDP 2000-2006 were not achieved on time or on budget, that many programmes remain unfinished and that it failed particularly with respect to the objective of achieving balanced regional development. Hence, the new plans should be treated with extreme scepticism.

"I would like to welcome the all-Ireland dimension of the plan and the commitment to invest in development within the Six Counties. We look forward to the implementation of the commitments such as the re-opening of the Ulster Canal and the construction of a bridge at Narrowater, which Sinn Féin has actively campaigned for.

"However it has to be said that the plan is not a genuinely national, fully integrated all-Ireland Development Plan as we would like to see - this must be the goal for any future plan."


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