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By Chamber Press Office, 23 January 2020
Dublin’s success over the coming decade will depend on the next Government’s ability to progress and implement the cornerstone projects of the National Development Plan, according to Dublin Chamber.
Dublin Chamber’s General Election Manifesto, launched today, outlines four key areas which the Government must focus on to support the strong population growth and opportunities coming Dublin’s way.
The manifesto, entitled ‘A Decade of Delivery’, highlights infrastructure, planning and housing, enterprise supports and skilled labour as the main areas that Dublin businesses seek action on by Government.
The Chamber’s Manifesto cautions that much of Dublin’s existing infrastructure, whether it be water, energy or transport, is congested, out-dated and struggling to meet ever-increasing demand. On the transport front, the Chamber has called for the Government to follow through on the delivery of the well-progressed MetroLink and BusConnects projects.
The Chamber has also challenged the next Government to have the Dart Underground project shovel-ready by 2025, to allow for construction to start immediately after the completion of MetroLink in 2027.
According to Dublin Chamber’s Director of Public & International Affairs Aebhric Mc Gibney: “Dublin’s ability to cope with future demand will depend on how well we can learn from the mistakes of the past. There is a history of going back to the drawing board when Governments change. But the strong economic and population growth and increasing pressure on infrastructure means Dublin cannot afford further delays in key projects. Plans for many of the projects that we badly need in Dublin are already in train. On the transport front, projects such as MetroLink and BusConnects are moving close to delivery stage. Planning for the much needed Dart Expansion Scheme is underway, but clarity is required regarding the crucial Dart Underground component of the project. Dart Underground has been delayed for far too long and there is a need for timelines to be set for its delivery.”
Dublin Chamber’s Manifesto includes new figures which reveal the real pressure being placed on Dublin’s existing infrastructure on a daily basis.
New research by the Chamber, based on analysis of figures from the Central Statistics Office, has identified that the number of people working in the county of Dublin is 140,000 higher than previously thought.
Mr Mc Gibney said: “Every city supports the counties that surround it. In Dublin’s case, in addition to the 718,000 people working and living here, the city provides direct employment to a further 140,000 people living in the commuter belt. Historically, population projections for Dublin underestimate the numbers who move from other parts of the country to the city. We believe it is prudent to plan for an increase of Dublin’s population of 400,000 persons by 2030, an increase of 30% on 2016.”
Dublin Chamber has also urged the next Government to do more to support working families. Suggestions put forward in the Chamber’s Manifesto include: a doubling of the Universal Subsidy under the National Childcare Scheme to €100 per week by 2023; reform of the income tax system to include a reduction in the marginal effective tax rate for second earners; the introduction of a Returning to Work credit; and the introduction of clear guidelines on remote working practices to help support flexible working trends.
Mr McGibney said: “The Government must do more to support working families. Many second earners, typically women, face very high marginal effective tax rates arising from the current structure of childcare supports and the income tax system. Support and guidelines for flexible working solutions to improve the quality of life for those working in the commuter belt would have a positive social impact on work-life balance, as well as easing peak time congestion.”
Dublin Chamber’s full General Election 2020 Manifesto can be read here.