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Plans to scrap roads projects an exercise in economic lunacy – Doherty

6 July, 2010 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Transport Senator Pearse Doherty has hit out at the proposals to scrap forty major road projects while at the same time almost half a million people are on the dole queues and crying out for work.

Senator Doherty said that this government is taking an axe to the National Development Plan which, although flawed is regrettably the only form of economic stimulus this government is offering. To make such cuts now is an exercise in economic lunacy.

Speaking from Leinster House Senator Doherty said:

“Revelations today that 40 major roads projects are to be scrapped is a shocking indictment of a government who think they can cut their way out of a recession and come out the other end unscathed. They are wrong and this decision will not just impact on the condition of our roads but will have very real consequences for jobs and attracting inward investment long into the future.

“70,000 people, mainly construction workers depend on these capital expenditure programmes for work. With almost half a million people already on the dole, the fact that this government would do anything but invest in capital projects is outrageous.

“40 projects are being scrapped with 1 in 8 of them in my own county Donegal. The N13 Stranorlar to Derry road; N14 Letterkenny to Lifford road; N15 Lifford to Ballybofey/Stranorlar road; N56 Inver to Killybegs Road and the N56 Letterkenny relief road are all affected.

“To take an axe to the National Development Plan in such a way is an exercise in economic lunacy. The NDP is by no means perfect but it did offer communities some form of stimulus and job opportunities.

“We need investment in capital projects, we need to make use of our skilled workforce in building the roads, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure that will ultimately benefit the economy and society in years to come. Our roads need to be of a decent standard in order to attract investment. Ultimately cutting spending and scrapping projects can only be bad news for the future prospects of our economy.”ENDS

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