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Battle for the 165 billion euro war chest


In July, as the country was bathed in a heatwave and the coalition struggled to agree on precise rules for the return of dining room, a seismic spending battle was underway between ministers backstage. Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Michael McGrath has been locked into a series of tense bilateral meetings with ministers and their officials over funding for infrastructure projects over the next decade. The talks turned “quite hairy in July,” according to a well-placed source, but those tensions have remained largely under the radar.

Among the most controversial negotiations were those on the financing of the new accommodation model for asylum seekers which will replace Direct Provision before – the Minister of Equality and Children Roderic O’Gorman hopes – the end of the mandate. of the government. There were also important discussions on capital commitments to housing and school buildings.

But the longest and perhaps most tense discussions have been about transport. It is not necessarily the specific projects that will be described in the National Development Plan tomorrow, but the overall allocation of expenditure. In the end, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, Minister of Environment and Transport, secured an allocation of 35 billion euros until the end of the decade, when some of the projects that will be announced and re-announced tomorrow should be delivered.


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