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The Downgrading of the National Development Plan to National Aspiration Plan is Farcical. - Tóibín

Responding to the publication of the government’s €165 billion National Development Plan, Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has stated;

“Its incredible that any Government would launch a National Development Plan and in the same breath, warn that many of the projects may not actually happen. Previous Governments would normally allow some time to elapse before shelving projects. That the Minister for Transport would state that a Climate Impact Assessment could very likely shelve certain projects in the National Development Plan is farcical”.

“Logic would have dictated that such assessments should have been carried out first before the launch of the plan. Not doing so, downgrades the whole plan to aspiration, an election tick box whereby government TDs can keep the pretence up that the parish pump is flowing. But significantly much of this document will be meaningless in the lives of real people who live in a country with an enormous infrastructural deficit”.              

“A preliminary look through the report also shows that the M50 division remains. Key projects such as the M20 motorway from Cork to Limerick; the Galway City outer ring road; the A5 to Derry,  the Navan to Dublin Rail Line, the N4 from Mullingar to Longford; and the N24 from Waterford to Limerick, the Western Rail Corridor are all still up in the air”.

“Of the €1 billion in funding allocated to local authorities under the Urban Regeneration and Development fund, over 40% goes to Dublin alone – with the remaining 60% allocated to be divided amongst Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford”.

“However, if one element of the Plan exemplifies the M50 divided Ireland we now live in, it is the National Broadband Plan. Whilst, Dublin can compete for Big Tech companies to set up shop there, rural Ireland could be left waiting another 7 years for the completion of the National Broadband Network”.

By Aontú Press | 4 October, 2021

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In Ireland the vast majority of elected representatives put a finger in the air to check which way the political wind is blowing. They have one eye on their leaders – seeking brownie points – and another eye keeping their seat safe. If elected reps shut up and do as they’re told, they are promoted; if they stand up for what they believe in, they are demoted. No wonder we have the political class we have. No wonder one point one billion euro is being buried in a hole under the National Children’s Hospital and that Stormont is in stalemate.

Throughout Ireland, many people are now afraid to say what they feel, many are afraid to respectfully engage on a range of different topics. Many feel there is a new censorship and a new political correctness in Ireland, that opposition to the establishment is being deleted.

Respectful opposition is not the enemy. Respectful opposition is a critical element of a functional democracy. Aontú will have the backbone to stand up, without fear, for you.