€150 million exchequer capital funding announcement “A Welcome Economic Boost’ – Surveyors

Measures will improve competitiveness and provide essential construction jobs

Investment in existing assets will enhance life time value of buildings and roads

Wednesday 5th June 2013: The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) has welcomed the announcement by Government of a €150m exchequer works programme and said that the funding will provide much needed investment in essential school building and road projects.

The SCSI also said that the investment, which is aimed at improving existing infrastructure, will enhance the lifetime value of buildings and roads and reduce maintenance and replacement costs.

Micheál O’Connor, President of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) said “Today’s announcement is good news for the economy and the construction sector as it is the first time that there has been an increase to the capital budget since the budget cutbacks began in 2008.  

This commitment by Government to invest in school building projects will ensure that our children have proper school buildings and facilities and that the investment made in our roads network in recent years will be maintained. It is imperative that we continue to invest in essential infrastructure that will improve our competitiveness as a country” O’Connor said.

O’Connor also said that the investment would represent a significant economic boost to employment in the construction sector which has seen a 60 per cent decline in employment since the peak.

“Between 2000 and 3,000 jobs are likely to be created as a result of this announcement and it may well help reduce the flight of qualified construction professionals with particular expertise from the country.

The SCSI welcomed the Government’s ongoing commitment to the delivery of infrastructure through Public Private Partnerships (PPP) with a new PPP pipeline valued at up to €250m and the introduction of the reimbursement of bid costs.

“The costs involved in bidding for PPP projects often made it too costly for many construction companies to tender in recent years. The new measure of reimbursing bid costs has improved competitiveness and increased confidence in projects from international investors and the private sector, which is essential for long term sustainable project delivery and funding” said O’Connor.

Referring to the €50m energy efficiency grant scheme for retrofitting low energy performance houses O’Connor said that it would reduce the running costs of the local authority houses in the longer term and assist with reducing carbon emissions.