Engineers Ireland, the professional membership body for engineers, has lodged a series of recommendations with the Department of Finance for Budget 2023.

The submission (available here) acknowledges the challenges facing the government and has urged for the forthcoming budget to maintain a focus on the medium and long-term delivery of vital infrastructure as outlined in Project Ireland 2040, while also addressing the short-term difficulties. Engineers Ireland has identified the following five areas as priorities for Ireland and has provided a series of recommendations to address these priorities.

  1. Addressing the Energy Crisis
  2. Housing
  3. Infrastructure
  4. Education and Training
  5. Enterprise and Innovation

Damien Owens, interim director general, Engineers Ireland, said: “Budget 2023 is perhaps one of the most important in our history given the tumultuous events of the past year. The war in Ukraine, apart from its appalling human cost, has highlighted and exacerbated the constraints in our infrastructure and resources, most notably in energy supply and housing.

“Despite the self-evident urgency of the current situation, it would be counterproductive to concentrate solely on addressing the energy crisis and housing, without being cognisant of the need to invest in infrastructure, education, training,  enterprise and innovation. In drawing up these priorities and recommendations, we have drawn on previous submissions to government and from our annual State of Ireland reports.” 

Central to Engineers Ireland’s recommendations:

  • Fast track the implementation of the National Retrofit Plan, increasing the number of One Stop Shops, and simplify paperwork needed to access SEAI energy upgrade grants
  • Allocate greater levels of public funding for public infrastructure to ease the delivery of housing and make housing more affordable.
  • Maintain focus on the ambitious capital investment programme outlined in the National Development Plan (NDP). Ensure that the link between the NDP and the National Planning Framework (NPF) objectives is maintained, as part of Project Ireland 2040.

Owens said: “Engineers Ireland is conscious that there are difficult challenges facing our country and that these challenges must be met from a finite resource pool. However, we are of the view that investment in our infrastructure, particularly with regard to energy and housing, will bring long term sustainable economic and societal benefits to Ireland.

“Engineers Ireland and its members are available and committed to engage with government at all levels to help attain these goals.”