The National Development Plan
Sir, – One consistent trend of this Government and its predecessor is to have major policy launches and to follow them up a year later with a rehashed version of the same policies and plans. In this regard, would it be too much for the Government to advise if this year’s 25-year national development plan will be relaunched as a 24 -year or a 25-year plan next year? Also, is there any chance of the relevant Minister remaining in office long enough to try to deliver some real, measurable results? – Yours, etc,
Sir, – The expectations attached to the National Development Plan are a bit absurd. This piece of paper will target a small percentage of the Government’s capital budget at some regional locations. However, capital spending is a very small part of our economy and it will only be possible to divert a portion of it away from Dublin. This policy is a smokescreen for inaction.
Meanwhile, a real policy that might redress the overconcentration of development in the capital is studiously ignored by all parties. Local property tax, as a tax on property wealth with in-built regional transfers, is capable of redressing some of the imbalance in the economy. But it remains frozen as all parties wish to court those with property wealth – the source of many of our problems. – Yours, etc,