Shane MacSweeney, head of government and infrastructure at EY Ireland urges that the government should prioritise infrastructure spending as the economy starts to recover from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He warns that otherwise, economic, social and environmental problems may only become worse.
“If we are sensible about how and what [the country] borrows money for, we will reap the benefits in a number of years time, and that’s probably what we didn’t do 10 years ago,” MacSweeney states.
“There’s a whole host of reasons why we weren’t able to do that,” he added.
Since March 27 almost all of Ireland has been on full lockdown, however, construction sites will be allowed to reopen from May 18 along with several other businesses, as economic activity starts to re-emerge.
Construction sites will be re-opened on May 18, as the economy starts to recuperate.
Road maintenance and similar small projects should be among the first ones to be looked at, MacSweeney advises.
“Infrastructure tends to be quite a construction employment-intensive. Automatically you are getting people off the live register, you’re getting them paying tax, and you’re getting them spending in the communities, in shops and restaurants and creating that kind of rippling effect,” MacSweeney states.
The Government should borrow more in order to invest in infrastructure, MacSweeney believes.
“We need to borrow and to prioritise capital expenditure. I think [markets] see us as the stable country,” he concluded.