17th July: Today, the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) has welcomed the announcement by Government of a €2 ¼ bn stimulus package and has hailed it as a significant boost to the economy and the challenged construction sector.

The SCSI said that the new package, which will give the green light to a number of projects including DIT Grangegorman, 12 new or replacement schools, 20 primary care centres around the country and transport infrastructure will provide the taxpayer with much needed services and help restore confidence in the economy.

Andrew Nugent, Chair of the Quantity Surveying Professional Group of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland described the announcement as highly positive news for the construction sector and wider economy.

“The construction sector is currently less than half the size it should be for an economy of our size under normal economic conditions and this stimulus package provides a real opportunity to restore confidence in the sector and to provide much need educational, healthcare and public infrastructure facilities”, he said.

Mr. Nugent said that he recognised the critical shortage of domestic funding available for such projects and welcomed the additional sources of capital through funding mechanisms such as PPP’s, the NPRF and the EIB.

Commenting on other recent announcements of funding Mr. Nugent said “This €2 ¼ bn stimulus package, in addition to the €17bn five year Public Capital Programme, recent NAMA announcement of €2bn to complete construction projects along with recent significant Foreign Direct Investment announcements, will provide much needed support to the construction industry and potentially provide thousands of jobs across the country”.

The SCSI also called for the appointment of a Chief Construction Adviser to Government who would monitor construction projects and costs centrally to ensure efficient and cost-effective completion.