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Economic Recovery for infrastructure

  • 19-01-2011 1:04am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 DWCommuter


    The prospect of Economic Recovery that can fund infrastructure has been featured a few times on this forum.

    Personally I believe that we are a long way off recovery and should not assume that our previous period of growth, due to construction, can be replicated anytime soon, because it was a freak occurrence and nothing tangible is on the horizon to replace it.

    So based on that who agrees and who disagrees? If you disagree, can you please explain where you see economic growth coming from that will allow us to finance infrastructure projects?

    This is an infrastructure forum and many debates take place about funding. From reading a lot of posts I think there is a complacent view that things will pick up in a few years and we'll be back on track with infrastructure projects. So I'm interested in hearing the basis behind this view.


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,376 ✭✭✭ ei.sdraob


    Cutting capital and infrastructure spending hardest is one of the more dumb things FF have done and will lead to problems for years to come. Oh well at least the pensioners are happy, right? right?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,265 ✭✭✭ Pete_Cavan


    DWCommuter wrote: »
    The prospect of Economic Recovery that can fund infrastructure has been featured a few times on this forum.

    Personally I believe that we are a long way off recovery and should not assume that our previous period of growth, due to construction, can be replicated anytime soon, because it was a freak occurrence and nothing tangible is on the horizon to replace it.

    So based on that who agrees and who disagrees? If you disagree, can you please explain where you see economic growth coming from that will allow us to finance infrastructure projects?

    This is an infrastructure forum and many debates take place about funding. From reading a lot of posts I think there is a complacent view that things will pick up in a few years and we'll be back on track with infrastructure projects. So I'm interested in hearing the basis behind this view.

    First of all, I want to say I agree that we are a long way off economic recovery, could be a much shorter way off it with the right government. IMO the two main areas we should focus on in order to return to economic growth are agriculture and tourism, but all that is for a different thread (and forum).

    You ask "where you see economic growth coming from that will allow us to finance infrastructure projects", an equally valid question would be how can economic growth return without the necessary infrastructure in place? Perhaps part of your economic problems are due to your still quite poor infrastructure. Businesses need infrastructure, and I dont just mean roads, they also need water, sewerage, energy, broadband, etc. Clearly we will need a certain level of expenditure on infrastructure, if only to maintain the level we currently have. The key is to spend the money wisely.

    As ei.sdraob pointed out, the capital budget has been slashed because it is more palatable to the electorate to make cuts here. The reason it is more palatable is because of the huge sums of money that have been wasted on infrastructure during the boom. We could have built a much more extensive motorway network for the cost of the IUMs if they had not followed the existing national primary routes. It all boils down to bad planning. Unless we improve our planning policies (at all levels, national, regional and local) we will continue to have sub-standard infrastructure which will drag down our economy. <Insert your own rant about gombeen politicians here>


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,091 ✭✭✭ marmurr1916


    Where's the money going to come from? How about doing PPP deals with the Chinese?


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,865 ✭✭✭✭ JupiterKid


    I agree with Pete Cavan's opinions. Ireland cannot compete successfully witout proper infrastructure. We need to keep investing in infrastructure and even in these harsh times, money needs to be spent and spent wisely.

    Ireland is crying out for good, long term strategic and joined up planning, not the parish pump mentality rubbish that has crippled this country in the past. Ashocking amount of public money was wasted in the bubble era.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,468 popebenny16


    The choices made by the outgoing government in many many areas verges from negligent through stupid to corrupt when it comes to how they have tackled infrastructure in the past ten years or so.

    Heres the thing: those nice chaps with the IMF/EU bailout want to get their money back. They will not get it back from a country that cannot compete, and to be able to compete we need a foundation upon which to house our competitiveness on. We do not have that foundation. Therefore it makes sense for the IMF/EU bailout money, or a part of it, or indeed a fresh tranche of money, should be provided and ringfenced to improve our road, rail and communications bedrock.

    What shocks me is that, on a few occasions, there have been signs that the government in ther past 14 years have realised this problem: the so called "smart economy" the need to build inter urban motorways, the NSS, the ineed for investment in rail, the idea of making Ennis this mad-internet town (which we were all to get as it rolled out). Then, after noticing this, they abandon it or shoot it in the foot (selling off Eircom, selling off rail sites dor devolopers and not investing the money in the railways, choosing absurd routes for motorways, caving into the farming lobby for compensation, ribbon development, isnoring the NSS, decentralisation - a total and utter failure to revamp the railways - the list is bloody endless).

    Maybe with the responsibility taken away from government and civil service we can get the IMF/EU to actually fund these projects in order to meet their own self-interests and, incidentley, meet ours. Just the way that everything else was done in the last 14 years.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 724 ✭✭✭ dynamick


    Economic growth occurs in modern societies through improvements in productivity. This can come about through innovation and better education. Our most recent period of growth was largely based on a credit-fuelled asset bubble.

    There are several features of the Irish economy that indicate that we can recover:
    * uniquely young population in Europe means more productive workers and fewer pensioners to support
    * massive exports (amongst the highest in the EU and growing: exports now =GDP in Ireland)
    * services led economy
    * economy is rapidly becoming more competitive with huge falls in commercial lease prices and lower wage costs
    * second best wind resources in Europe, best wave resources in Europe, EU building an offshore grid off our coast
    * english speaking
    * better educational standard compared to the UK
    * temperate climate (low energy requirement in summer and winter, good for datacentres and productivity in general)

    The DoF document on recovery is here:
    http://www.finance.gov.ie/viewdoc.asp?DocID=6659

    It's easy to look at the economy and think 'that's it we'll never recover'. But this is the same mistake people made 5 years ago when they thought that Ireland was the richest country in Europe and that our economy was on a never ending upward trajectory. You have to be careful with extrapolation.

    extrapolating.png

    edit--

    Planned capital spend 2011-2014 (16.4bn)
    Vote Group  2011 2012 2013 2014  Total
    &#8364; million 
     Agriculture   299 150 140 140  729
     Communications  139 110 110 110  469
     CEGA  86 86 86 40  298
     Defence  12 13 13 12  50
     Education   492 460 463 468  1,883
     Enterprise   508 558 558 558  2,182
     Environment   1,002  966 825 700  3,493
     Finance [Excl. OPW]  6 5 5 5  21
     OPW  116 120 120 120  476
     Foreign Affairs  4 6 6 3  19
     Health   399 388 400 400  1,587
     Justice Group  80 80 85 85  330
     Social  Protection  7 7 7 6  27
     Tourism, Culture & Sport  96 100 85 80  361
     Transport   1,438  1,329  1,075  1,001  4,843
     Capital Reserve  0 0 50  50
    Unallocated Adjustment  -78  -78  -278  -434
    TOTAL  4,684 4,300 3,900 3,500  16,384
    

    This is still a huge capital expenditure to come and signed off by the IMF. It has to be born in mind that all the interurbans are now built so there is very little justifiable motorway left to build given that even some of the interurbans will be lightly used. This frees up capital for other uses.

    This capital spend is on a par with other european countries for the size of our economy. 10yrs ago we had very poor infrastructure. Now and €50bn later we have 4 3g phone networks. national broadband, more motorway per capita than germany, overspecced airport, 40km of light rail in Dublin, new stadium, conference centre, port tunnel, stock of low cost modern urban offices and apartments.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,376 ✭✭✭ ei.sdraob


    dynamick wrote: »
    Economic growth occurs in modern societies through improvements in productivity. This can come about through innovation and better education. Our most recent period of growth was largely based on a credit-fuelled asset bubble.

    There are several features of the Irish economy that indicate that we can recover:
    * uniquely young population in Europe means more productive workers and fewer pensioners to support
    * massive exports (amongst the highest in the EU and growing: exports now =GDP in Ireland)
    * services led economy
    * economy is rapidly becoming more competitive with huge falls in commercial lease prices and lower wage costs
    * second best wind resources in Europe, best wave resources in Europe, EU building an offshore grid off our coast
    * english speaking
    * better educational standard compared to the UK
    * temperate climate (low energy requirement in summer and winter, good for datacentres and productivity in general)

    The DoF document on recovery is here:
    http://www.finance.gov.ie/viewdoc.asp?DocID=6659

    It's easy to look at the economy and think 'that's it we'll never recover'. But this is the same mistake people made 5 years ago when they thought that Ireland was the richest country in Europe and that our economy was on a never ending upward trajectory. You have to be careful with extrapolation.

    extrapolating.png




    what the department of finance is doing is not to different from what the xkcd comic above illustrates


    ei.sdraob wrote: »
    Updated presentation over on finance.gov.ie (webview link no pdf reader required)

    Anyways I just scanned thru' all the pages quickly, alot of the usual spin about "smart" economy, educated workforce etc etc

    The graph on page 7 is interesting, in a true "The Best is yet to Come" fashion they are highlighting that the population wont age as quick as the rest of EU in the population forecasts going forward, that's if the young people don't all emigrate looking for jobs (after getting their education) and/or opt out of the debts imposed on them....

    page 17 apparently the current account will be in surplus this year, well see


    And amazingly they are actually boasting about this table on page 19, why do I have a feeling FF will use these stats in the election campaign.

    254ykiv.png




    from this report, competitiveness in the same time-frame as above table
    atvewk.png
    I am not sure why the dept of finance are so proud of pouring petrol into the fire during 2000-2008, per their own figures welfare/health/education spend grew faster than the GDP (which is not the best indicator to be using in Ireland, but what can you do), anyone have the % GNP growth in same period out of interest?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,265 ✭✭✭ Pete_Cavan


    While I agree with dynamic that it is not all doom and gloom for this country, we still need to continue to invest in our infrastructure. But the infrastructure we need to invest in now is not the kind that scores points and provides photo opportunities for politicians (such as opening motorways, luas lines etc), we need to invest in our water, sewerage, energy and broadband infrastructure. You wont find many reporters turning up for the completion of a new reservoir but water is vital to every home and business in this country.

    As I said in my earlier post on this thread, it is not good enough to simply spend money on infrastructure, you need a plan to ensure the money is spent effectively and we get value for money. Our current system of having our water infrastructure controlled by 34 local authorities means there is no overall plan and there is a fragmented approach. The same is true of broadband where we have several state owned companies pursueing there own policies and there is no cohesion.
    The choices made by the outgoing government in many many areas verges from negligent through stupid to corrupt when it comes to how they have tackled infrastructure in the past ten years or so.

    I agree, your grace :D. FFs policy for building infrastructure has been, where we are in danger of losing support in a constituency, just give them a bypass to two.

    Looking at the two main opposition parties and their policies in relation to infrastructure, Fine Gael seem to be the only one to have put any thought into this and have an actual plan. Their NewEra plan is at least focusing on the right areas. Their energy policy is full of the usual stuff about becoming an energy exporter but their water and broadband policies look for good. Labour dont have a policy on infrastructure expenditure, or anything related to it, but I am sure they will be happy to keep the current system (which doesnt work) as long as no public servants lose their jobs or have to work harder.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,010 Tech3


    In my opinion I cant see a recovery in the short to medium term. It could be 10 years before we have capital to seriously invest in large scale infrastructure projects again. The country is borrowing to keep afloat and 4 years down the line we can actually start clearing some debts out of the banking system.

    So where will we get the funding for some of the critical schemes? The most obvious one is the public private partnership model. Its more loans but the only option when there is no capital to fund projects with. Up to now PPP's have been running smoothly. However the next large scale road scheme M17/M18 Gort-Tuam was meant to have it's contract signed by Balour Beatty consortia back in October/November. The NRA then said it will be signed by January. As of today there has been no mention of the contract signed and rumours that construction start is in doubt.

    Another option is taking some of the remaining money out of the Pension Reserve Fund. Labour and FG have indicated that 5billion could be used to fund some much needed infrastructure. To me it makes more sense that funding it to the dead banks.

    Finally the most critical point I have to make is where the money will actually be invested in. For me the N22 Tralee Bypass is a white elephant in the making. Instead of throwing capital at this scheme funds should be collected to invest in more vital areas of the national primary network. Metro North is another that is dubious. It is more of a luxury than something that is needed now. Dart Underground would serve more benefit to Dublin city.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 DWCommuter


    Pete_Cavan wrote: »
    While I agree with dynamic that it is not all doom and gloom for this country, we still need to continue to invest in our infrastructure. But the infrastructure we need to invest in now is not the kind that scores points and provides photo opportunities for politicians (such as opening motorways, luas lines etc), we need to invest in our water, sewerage, energy and broadband infrastructure. You wont find many reporters turning up for the completion of a new reservoir but water is vital to every home and business in this country.

    As I said in my earlier post on this thread, it is not good enough to simply spend money on infrastructure, you need a plan to ensure the money is spent effectively and we get value for money. Our current system of having our water infrastructure controlled by 34 local authorities means there is no overall plan and there is a fragmented approach. The same is true of broadband where we have several state owned companies pursueing there own policies and there is no cohesion.



    I agree, your grace :D. FFs policy for building infrastructure has been, where we are in danger of losing support in a constituency, just give them a bypass to two.

    Looking at the two main opposition parties and their policies in relation to infrastructure, Fine Gael seem to be the only one to have put any thought into this and have an actual plan. Their NewEra plan is at least focusing on the right areas. Their energy policy is full of the usual stuff about becoming an energy exporter but their water and broadband policies look for good. Labour dont have a policy on infrastructure expenditure, or anything related to it, but I am sure they will be happy to keep the current system (which doesnt work) as long as no public servants lose their jobs or have to work harder.


    Ive been waiting on this one and thank feck it has come at last. Pete hits the nail on the head in terms of "infrastructure". It is above and beyond just our dear roads and railways. While Im a transport aficionado myself, I am in no doubt that other areas are vital.

    Petes points about water and broadband reinforce my points and those of others regarding transport and its fragmented set up. It is a fact that Irelands approach to infrastructure has been diluted across all types. No proper planning and implementation on a par with 10 drunks trying to walk across a tightrope.

    Im a big fan of history. I believe its the best educator of all. So in terms of an economic upswing that allows us to have an availability of cash similar to the celtic tiger years or even close, well then I am at an absolute loss.

    Easy Credit.....No.

    Construction based economy....No.

    FDIs......They may still come, but never did and won't replicate the construction boom.

    Ireland has had one real boom period and it was built on easy domestic/international credit and construction. FDIs have been around for donkeys years and failed to create what construction/credit created. I can see nothing in history that suggests Ireland can return to anything even near Celtic Tiger levels. Thats why Im pessimistic.

    I guess its time for the crystal ball.:D

    Our infrastructure will continue to be a second fiddle contrivance for the Irish political establishment, who never did and never will get it, because Jimmy and Caroline living in middle Ireland don't understand the importance of infrastructure either and vote based on "winners" such as tax, child benefit, VAT and the price of a head of cabbage. They may moan, but completely fail to realise the power they have to make infrastructure a real issue that will ultimately improve their lives and ability to earn money.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 DWCommuter


    Pete_Cavan wrote: »
    I agree, your grace :D. FFs policy for building infrastructure has been, where we are in danger of losing support in a constituency, just give them a bypass to two.

    The WRC is a classic example of this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,468 popebenny16


    the areas we need to invest in are all outlined in this thread

    saying we have 4 3G phone companies is ignoring the fact that thew national broadband scheme is providing broadband that is neigh on useless to most people - just take a look at the comms forums for the reality of that. Again, the main culprit is the selling off of Eircom, which, like the sell off of any of the state assets, was handled with no idea nor goal apart form getting some cash for the govenrment and favouring their mates. Again, anything that benifits the people (if anything actually did) coems about as an indirect effect of the true intention.

    Good point on the water supply, where the people of dublin know all about the effects of not renewing the pipes by now. Also, a new tunnel is needed to get water from the reservoirs in the wicklow mountains to the city and that there may not be funding for it speaks volumes.

    The communications bedaock I spoke of earlier is not restricted to roads/rail/airports. We have too many airports anyway - they are there for the same small minded local politics that had 6 general hospitals within half an hours drive of my house here in Tipp and another two if you make that trip an hour. Again, there was a plan, however flawed, which was ignored and used for local political purposes to scare the voters - ironically enough by the government parties as much as anyone.

    That is indicative of the big question: do we want balanced regional development whereby the next Dell/Intel/Boston Scientific or-let us hope- an Irish Nokia can set up in Sligo/Limerick/Galway/Cork as easy as the Dublin Hinterland or not? If yes, then we have to put the infrastructure in place for that - if no, then we have to do like wise. Saying that we want both (which is essentially what government policies sine the 1960's amount to) is a big anchor dragging us down whilst other counties we are competing with move ahead. However, it plays well down the country where the deep rooted suspicion that dublin is robbing you of something is still a major political fact of life.

    Untill we decide that issue we are putting the cart before the horse when it comes to any issues such as infrastructure.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 DWCommuter


    the areas we need to invest in are all outlined in this thread

    saying we have 4 3G phone companies is ignoring the fact that thew national broadband scheme is providing broadband that is neigh on useless to most people - just take a look at the comms forums for the reality of that. Again, the main culprit is the selling off of Eircom, which, like the sell off of any of the state assets, was handled with no idea nor goal apart form getting some cash for the govenrment and favouring their mates. Again, anything that benifits the people (if anything actually did) coems about as an indirect effect of the true intention.

    Good point on the water supply, where the people of dublin know all about the effects of not renewing the pipes by now. Also, a new tunnel is needed to get water from the reservoirs in the wicklow mountains to the city and that there may not be funding for it speaks volumes.

    The communications bedaock I spoke of earlier is not restricted to roads/rail/airports. We have too many airports anyway - they are there for the same small minded local politics that had 6 general hospitals within half an hours drive of my house here in Tipp and another two if you make that trip an hour. Again, there was a plan, however flawed, which was ignored and used for local political purposes to scare the voters - ironically enough by the government parties as much as anyone.

    That is indicative of the big question: do we want balanced regional development whereby the next Dell/Intel/Boston Scientific or-let us hope- an Irish Nokia can set up in Sligo/Limerick/Galway/Cork as easy as the Dublin Hinterland or not? If yes, then we have to put the infrastructure in place for that - if no, then we have to do like wise. Saying that we want both (which is essentially what government policies sine the 1960's amount to) is a big anchor dragging us down whilst other counties we are competing with move ahead. However, it plays well down the country where the deep rooted suspicion that dublin is robbing you of something is still a major political fact of life.

    Untill we decide that issue we are putting the cart before the horse when it comes to any issues such as infrastructure.

    Translate this post for me Popebenny.;)

    I was under the illusion that balanced regional development had taken place. Cities like Limerick and Galway are unrecognisable to the backward ****holes they were in the 70s and 80s. Cork city is most definately unrecognisable to the city I visited during that period.

    Lets not bull**** here, the regions outside of Dublin got their fair share. Just because they don't have a luas doesn't mean they are deprived. In healthcare terms, I'm no expert so won't comment for fear of causing WW3. But on the basis of employment opportunities, housing, education etc. the regions thrived. I don't recall horror stories from Castlebar over the last 15 years and I certainly don't recall an episode of Nationwide reporting from Fenit Co. Kerry on the untold poverty and deprevation as their youngin's marched off to Blennerville in the hope that the coffin ships were still sailing to Americaay! All I remember are a succession of TDs making sure the wealth was spread around their constituencies and those of their rural colleagues. (Sometimes to the detriment of the national interest.)

    Of course if we are talking about the best of running water, electricity supply and broadband to every little one off house in honky tonk land, then thats a different argument that should end quickly - you cant necessarily have it - tough ****.

    Stories of woe concerning crappy public transport, rat infested schools and overcrowded A & Es aren't the preserve of the regions. The GDA has the same stories.

    So where, popebenny, do we go from here?;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭ dubhthach


    saying we have 4 3G phone companies is ignoring the fact that thew national broadband scheme is providing broadband that is neigh on useless to most people - just take a look at the comms forums for the reality of that. Again, the main culprit is the selling off of Eircom, which, like the sell off of any of the state assets, was handled with no idea nor goal apart form getting some cash for the govenrment and favouring their mates. Again, anything that benifits the people (if anything actually did) coems about as an indirect effect of the true intention.

    FTTH/P (Fibre to the Home/Premise) for every building in the country has been costed at €1.5billion euro. In such a situation even one off houses up the back of bothrín's would be able to get a fibre connection. However the goverenment has a general "Let the private sector build it" which is a ridiculous situation. The fews bit that have been built (the MAN's) have proved to be quite successful in general in attracting inward investment for example the first 27 MAN towns increased their share of total inward investment from 24% of total in 2004 to 75% in 2008. Cisco for example wouldn't have setup in Oranmore if they didn't have access to the MAN and availability of backhaul options to Dublin (ESB,BT,Eircom)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,468 popebenny16


    DWCommuter wrote: »
    Translate this post for me Popebenny.;)

    I was under the illusion that balanced regional development had taken place. Cities like Limerick and Galway are unrecognisable to the backward ****holes they were in the 70s and 80s. Cork city is most definately unrecognisable to the city I visited during that period.

    Lets not bull**** here, the regions outside of Dublin got their fair share. Just because they don't have a luas doesn't mean they are deprived. In healthcare terms, I'm no expert so won't comment for fear of causing WW3. But on the basis of employment opportunities, housing, education etc. the regions thrived. I don't recall horror stories from Castlebar over the last 15 years and I certainly don't recall an episode of Nationwide reporting from Fenit Co. Kerry on the untold poverty and deprevation as their youngin's marched off to Blennerville in the hope that the coffin ships were still sailing to Americaay! All I remember are a succession of TDs making sure the wealth was spread around their constituencies and those of their rural colleagues. (Sometimes to the detriment of the national interest.)

    Of course if we are talking about the best of running water, electricity supply and broadband to every little one off house in honky tonk land, then thats a different argument that should end quickly - you cant necessarily have it - tough ****.

    Stories of woe concerning crappy public transport, rat infested schools and overcrowded A & Es aren't the preserve of the regions. The GDA has the same stories.

    So where, popebenny, do we go from here?;)

    you just said what I said, but differently. You seem to think my post was a whinge form the midlands but it isnt. I am not pushed about what direction we go from here - so long as there is a direction. There has been no direction, and that is the problem.

    Balanced regional development has not "gone ahead" it was started but then it got hijacked by local political interests. If it had been done properly and the Regions outside of Dublin got their fair share like you state, then there would not be the reality that most of the development in many of the major towns in Leinster would not have been either dormitory housing or services for dormitory people who live there but only because they cannot live in Dublin close to their work. Instead there would have been a decisive effort to get the jobs into places like Portloaise (just a ramdon example) and have pople move to the jobs. You know as well as I do that over the last fifteen years people have been moving further and further away from their jobs. Surely that is a policy failure?

    The major job opportuinities that were in the regions were mostly construction jobs as the dormitory estates were built for pople who worked elsewhere, and a lot of theose were also, perversely, construction workers building houses for construction workers to live in. Many of those workers were people who lost their jobs in the real manufacturing sector.

    Sadly, I dont look at nationwide, but any reading to the regional papers - and not just since 2008 - will show you that the manuafacturing jobs that were scattered around the regions have evaporated and those that are left are barely hanging on. (as for castlebar : http://www.castlebar.ie/board/2006/jul06/137466.htm and gaze thoughfully at the IDA report. Natiowide missed out). Nope the people of fenit didnt go off to america - they went off to dublin to work. They probably have gone to america now though.

    If you want them kept then you need to bring down costs and one of the factors is the infratructural costs - replacing crappy phone lines and rubbish N-roads for future proofed communications and HQDC or motorways is a start.

    The days of building an advance industrial unit in every town and village in the country is gone - and good riddence to it. That is not to say that you do what the NSS was supposed to do and look at selecting a few cities concentrating on them, and link them properly with our ports and airports.

    Or, indeed, you dont. That is my actual point - if someone actually says "we are going to do the NSS model or somthing like it" or "we cant do the NSS" at least a decision will have been made. The inertia is the problem.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,468 popebenny16


    dubhthach wrote: »
    FTTH/P (Fibre to the Home/Premise) for every building in the country has been costed at €1.5billion euro. In such a situation even one off houses up the back of bothrín's would be able to get a fibre connection. However the goverenment has a general "Let the private sector build it" which is a ridiculous situation.

    I dont agree that every building in the country should have that, but I do believe that every business in the coutry should. For example, we have enough office space overhang that plenty of home businesses should be able to use for very modest rent (as opposed to the zero rent they are generating right now).

    The cost of that should be less than the €1.5 billion and even if it is surely to god investing in something that willl reap real rewards far in excess of that investment is something that the IMF/EU should be looking at, becuase in the end it increases our ability to repay them.

    The problem is that the lads in the Department of Finance have no idea about looking at something that is not going to show a quantifiable return as in you spend €1.5 billion on this and in 2011 it will bring in €x and €y in 2012. It just isnt something they are capabile of.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 DWCommuter


    you just said what I said, but differently. You seem to think my post was a whinge form the midlands but it isnt. I am not pushed about what direction we go from here - so long as there is a direction. There has been no direction, and that is the problem.

    Balanced regional development has not "gone ahead" it was started but then it got hijacked by local political interests. If it had been done properly and the Regions outside of Dublin got their fair share like you state, then there would not be the reality that most of the development in many of the major towns in Leinster would not have been either dormitory housing or services for dormitory people who live there but only because they cannot live in Dublin close to their work. Instead there would have been a decisive effort to get the jobs into places like Portloaise (just a ramdon example) and have pople move to the jobs. You know as well as I do that over the last fifteen years people have been moving further and further away from their jobs. Surely that is a policy failure?

    The major job opportuinities that were in the regions were mostly construction jobs as the dormitory estates were built for pople who worked elsewhere, and a lot of theose were also, perversely, construction workers building houses for construction workers to live in. Many of those workers were people who lost their jobs in the real manufacturing sector.

    Sadly, I dont look at nationwide, but any reading to the regional papers - and not just since 2008 - will show you that the manuafacturing jobs that were scattered around the regions have evaporated and those that are left are barely hanging on. (as for castlebar : http://www.castlebar.ie/board/2006/jul06/137466.htm and gaze thoughfully at the IDA report. Natiowide missed out). Nope the people of fenit didnt go off to america - they went off to dublin to work. They probably have gone to america now though.

    If you want them kept then you need to bring down costs and one of the factors is the infratructural costs - replacing crappy phone lines and rubbish N-roads for future proofed communications and HQDC or motorways is a start.

    The days of building an advance industrial unit in every town and village in the country is gone - and good riddence to it. That is not to say that you do what the NSS was supposed to do and look at selecting a few cities concentrating on them, and link them properly with our ports and airports.

    Or, indeed, you dont. That is my actual point - if someone actually says "we are going to do the NSS model or somthing like it" or "we cant do the NSS" at least a decision will have been made. The inertia is the problem.

    **DW sneaks back into the thread**

    Nope I don't think you are whinging. I know you don't whinge. I was merely sticking it to those in the regions that do whinge. And so....

    "Balanced" regional development seems to be the issue so. Regional development has taken place. We can be in no doubt about that. But this word "balanced" I think should be combined with "sustainability". We don't do balanced in Ireland. No aspect of anything this state does can be described as balanced. Once politics is involved it becomes the Irish version of balanced. So I stick by my point about it happening and accept your reference to local political interests.
    If it had been done properly and the Regions outside of Dublin got their fair share like you state, then there would not be the reality that most of the development in many of the major towns in Leinster would not have been either dormitory housing or services for dormitory people who live there but only because they cannot live in Dublin close to their work.

    Those people shouldn't be there in the first place. And here the word sustainability must be mentioned. It was cronyism in the planning and zoning areas that forced these people out of Dublin in search of affordable homes. No amount of genuine, honest to christ balanced regional development, could accommodate the Wagons west onslaught of Dubs to the hinterland. There was plenty of land to build on in Dublin. Its a failure in policy alright but nothing to do with balanced regional development (hereon referred to as BRD:D). Its also worth pointing out that a large portion of Dublins traffic problems are due to the fact that people working in one part of the city actually live in a completely different part of it and public transport provides no option whatsoever.
    The major job opportuinities that were in the regions were mostly construction jobs as the dormitory estates were built for pople who worked elsewhere, and a lot of theose were also, perversely, construction workers building houses for construction workers to live in. Many of those workers were people who lost their jobs in the real manufacturing sector.

    Not unique to the regions. The entire country is suffering from the property fallout. Construction was also a major job opportunity in Dublin. Closure of a manufacturing industry has just as hard an impact on a city as it does on a regional town. For example Dublin is effectively made up of small communities. I remember Clondalkin in the early 80s when the great dictator, Haughey, brought in companies such as Memorex. They had a local workforce. The pubs were packed. Shops boomed. Lads from the closed paper mills got jobs in these tech factories. It all looked good until one by one they folded as the IDA incentives ran out. What then? Dire poverty and I witnessed it. Back to square one. Happened all over Ireland.

    However we agree overall. BRD - To be or not to be? Frankly I don't care because the entire country has developed arseways and its political system does not operate in the national interest. Were doomed.

    You should watch Nationwide. I just adore the way Mick looks down at the ground as the report starts. His own pretend telly.:D


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,265 ✭✭✭ Pete_Cavan


    When thinking of a response to do with balanced regional development I cant help but think of the thread about Kevin Myers and Naas town planning,and the article on Carrick-on-Suir which highlights the biggest problem with our planning system. It says housing policy in Carrick-on-Suir has "changed dramatically in the past two years, this was not to say there wouldn't be another dramatic shift in another two years". Our planning policies are always reactions to a problem and never anticipate future problems. We seem to solve one problem when it is too late and end up creating another problem.

    The problem during the boom years was that councillors got greedy when they saw the amount of money coming in from development levies. They zoned every piece of land they could for some kind of development but the bubble burst before they could spend the money on the necessary infrastructure. Hence we have an over supply of residential, commercial and retail space (most of which there was never a demand for anyway!) but an under supply of water reservoirs, sewerage treatment plants, schools, quality broadband etc.

    IMO we should set target populations for our towns and cities. At least that way the county council knows what population they have to cater for and can provide the necessary infrastructure before the development, ie. they know how many people will need water, schools, broadband and so can put the required infrastructure in place. It would mean councils have to live within their means so to speak, they cant just raise money to fund infrastructure which is needed now by handing out planning permission in order to get the development levies, this just leads to a shortfall in infrastructure down the line.

    Also, county councils have proven they cannot be trusted to determine how many houses should be in a particular area (they zoned enough land for millions of surplus homes) so it should be taken out of their hands. They should be allowed to decide where the houses are which, due to the limited funds they have for infrastructure, will mean they will have to prioritise developments in and around the town centre, rather than in the middle of nowhere.


  • Registered Users Posts: 760 ✭✭✭ dRNk SAnTA


    Since the collapse in construction, many of the people receiving welfare payments are construction workers.

    The government would be better off paying these construction workers to work rather than giving it to them in the form of welfare. Therefore building infrastructure now would be good for the economy in the short term and the long term, the flush of money would help aggregate demand and the resulting infrastructure would help in a myriad of ways.

    Fianna Fáil got their 6 billion of cuts in the last budget by attacking the capital budget and selling state assets. This was politically useful but economically foolish. The next government will have to "cut smarter", hopefully they'll see the benefits of leaving the capital budget alone (or even increasing it)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,376 ✭✭✭ ei.sdraob


    dRNk SAnTA wrote: »
    Since the collapse in construction, many of the people receiving welfare payments are construction workers.

    The government would be better off paying these construction workers to work rather than giving it to them in the form of welfare. Therefore building infrastructure now would be good for the economy in the short term and the long term, the flush of money would help aggregate demand and the resulting infrastructure would help in a myriad of ways.

    Fianna Fáil got their 6 billion of cuts in the last budget by attacking the capital budget and selling state assets. This was politically useful but economically foolish. The next government will have to "cut smarter", hopefully they'll see the benefits of leaving the capital budget alone (or even increasing it)

    They probably cant afford to

    Whats the min wage in construction again? 15 euro/hour? that's way above the dole

    But yeh of course these lads be better of (and happier) working


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,468 popebenny16


    @dwcommuter : BRD tis indeed the way, and what you said on the DART underground thread is correct - there was plenty of building land zoned in dublin and the vast vadt majority of people who moved out west only did so because of the shortsightedness and greed of those, with the nod and the wink and the encouragment of their political cronies, forced them to do so. There was no reason why a developer could not sell the average apartment or small semi at the same price as in Newbridge as in, say Adamstown (even that is too far out there is a massive area of land near city west lying vacent) apart form the initial grossly overpriced aquisition costs and the need to pay off various "consultants" along the way.

    What comes round goes around - it was the very presence of these financial black holes which has doomed the greedy sods, sadly pulling our ecomony into their event horizon with them. The vast monies paid for these land banks with no return let to the massive deafults on the banks which led to the Bank Guarantee Scheme which led to the IMF which led to the ceation of this very thread. So we have them to thank.

    @ Pete Cavan: I think that the time has come for this small nation, with the population of Manchester, to compleatly and utterly re-organise our levels of governement. The vast duplication and replication of serveice and works and the total absence of a joined up plan is the big anchor dragging us back.
    We need a national infrastructure agency - like the national water board in that other thread - with statutory powers to invest develop maintain and future proof our energy, transport, water and communications needs. Such an agency can, independantly of Government both national or local, go into the markets to raise funds and will then recoup those funds by a levy imposed upon the central exchequer.
    The first thing such an agency would do would be to take stock of what needs to be done and be given a two-three year run in period to do so. In reality such information is there, just scattered between so many other existing agencies as to be not joined up.

    @dRNk SAnTA & ei.sdraob - the main stumbling block is not just that workers on the dole would not and should not be forced to do work which is accepted to be a multiple of their dole - but that it will also immediatly lead to the CFI IBEC and local authorities trying to reduce those already in that work to those levels too. Peronally the worst thing in the world one could do to me is to have me laying blocks for a county council at €190 per week alongside a lad getting several times that amount. It is just not right.




  • Registered Users Posts: 2,468 popebenny16


    DWCommuter wrote: »
    You should watch Nationwide. I just adore the way Mick looks down at the ground as the report starts. His own pretend telly.:D

    I have it on the highest authority that he is watching very extreme mahogony on that there telly during the clips. Also, he is naked from the waist down.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,106 antoobrien


    ei.sdraob wrote: »
    Whats the min wage in construction again? 15 euro/hour? that's way above the dole

    If that's anywhere near true then we're screwed until their expectations come down. The inflation of wages in the construction industry in the late 90's is what caused many people that otherwise would have went into some form of office jobs to get into construction. Now they've a choice: reskill or leave. Yes it's blunt, but it's also true.

    However I do think that we can justify (re)building schools (everyone knows of at least one that has a prefab etc), and other facilities that have fallen into disrepair, on top of the water etc that's already agreed. Paying people to do this work will take them off the dole, generate taxes (reducing the deficit), help support retail jobs that are in danger and generally help lift the doom & gloom while we set about putting into place the infrastructure we need.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,376 ✭✭✭ ei.sdraob


    antoobrien wrote: »
    If that's anywhere near true then we're screwed until their expectations come down

    seems so... construction industry rates are set higher under the REA


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,928 ✭✭✭✭ cson


    In terms of Infrastructure and Dublin in specific, am I the only one who thinks it madness the strategy that currently seems to be of choice?

    We're going to have if proceeds as planned

    DART - CIE
    Luas - Veolia
    DART Underground - CIE
    Irish Rail Commuter - CIE
    Metro North - Veolia?

    Effectively it appears to me to be a mish mash of City Centre and suburban transport providers and I highly doubt that any modicum of interoperability of tickets would be viable given that how hard it is to obtain a dual DB/Luas ticket.

    As I see it Metro North will be prioritised ahead of DART Underground because despite evidence of the latter being more useful and effective we are in some respects similar to those 3rd World African Countries with the 6 lane highway from the airport to the presidential palace in that the link between the airport and city centre is crucial to the impression visitors get in the thinking of people who decide infrastructure expenditure. Plus we're pretty much the only EU country without a rail link to airport. This won't change no matter who is in power either as far as I can see.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,278 ✭✭✭ dowlingm


    dubhthach wrote: »
    FTTH/P (Fibre to the Home/Premise) for every building in the country has been costed at €1.5billion euro. In such a situation even one off houses up the back of bothrín's would be able to get a fibre connection.
    Interesting that there's not much yelling for FTTH here. Bell Canada are trumpeting their Fibe solution which in reality is FTTC even in urban areas.
    dubhthach wrote: »
    However the goverenment has a general "Let the private sector build it" which is a ridiculous situation. The fews bit that have been built (the MAN's) have proved to be quite successful in general in attracting inward investment
    I could be wrong, but my understanding was that the private sector model was how the MANs got built? I read something the other day that certainly implied this but sadly can't remember where.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭ dubhthach


    dowlingm wrote: »
    Interesting that there's not much yelling for FTTH here. Bell Canada are trumpeting their Fibe solution which in reality is FTTC even in urban areas.I could be wrong, but my understanding was that the private sector model was how the MANs got built? I read something the other day that certainly implied this but sadly can't remember where.

    With regards to FTTC Eircom did trials in South Dublin for 2-3years with this. Never went anywhere though as they have serious financial issues. In large countries I can see the logic of going from copper phone lines -> FTTC -> FTTH (later) as the cost of a full FTTH buildout would huge (you are replacing the entire infrastructure in FTTH case).

    The MAN's were actually built under contract for the the local county councils (who own the ducting). Mainly as a way to ensure that all local resources (county office, fire station, library) were connected together at a reasonable price. The cost that they were paying to Eircom etc was exorbitant for what they were getting (128-256Kbs lease lines etc). This was the original genesis of the MAN's.

    It was then decided that it would be a good way of allowing competition in the regions. That and the fact that the councils didn't have experience led to them outsourcing the mgmt of the Man's to a private company (E-Net). The actual assets stay owned by the council (proxy for the state). If your office is say 100meters from the nearest MAN duct you get a spur dug straight to your office. Any ISP can then offer you a service over the fiber in that duct. If you then vacate that office the new tenants can choose any ISP for network connection over the duct. -- it's an equal playing field as all ISP's pay the same amount to access the infrastructure.

    If you are an independent ISP and you want to reach customers over Eircom's copper infrastructure then you have to pay Eircom for the privelage of using their Exchange/rack space/phone line etc. Also if the line isn't "unbundled" you can only resell what Eircom offers on the line. Eg. If Eircom only had 8Mb/1Mb ADSL then you couldn't offer 4MB/4MB SDSL -- when the line is unbundled you put your own networking equipment in place and offer what ever you want as long as the line can take it.

    Eircom of course charges you for the privilege of unbundling a line.


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