Sinn Féin has urged the Irish government to allocate an extra €10 million to the A5 Derry to Dublin road scheme in 2018 and recommit, in its entirety, £400m in funding that was pledged by the former southern transport minister Noel Dempsey a decade ago.
The party also wants an extra €10 million to be allocated to a range of cross-border bodies next year, an additional €35 million for flood relief works nationwide, and an extra €100m for capital investments across the southern health service.
The proposals are among those contained in the party’s detailed alternative Budget 2018, which has been published in advance of Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe delivering the real thing in Leinster House this afternoon.
Urging Dublin to pump more money into the A5, Sinn Féin state: “We are determined to ensure that the commitment to the A5 Dublin-Derry road project is delivered on.
“For that purpose, we propose an additional €10 million be allocated to this project in 2018. In government, we would recommit the entire original £400m, the A5 is a vital piece of All Ireland infrastructure which must be delivered.”
The party also said it wanted investment in flood relief works, particularly badly needed in Inishowen following the August emergency, to be ramped up.
“Sinn Féin believes that the level of investment in flood relief and prevention measures is inadequate and would increase the government allocation by 50 per cent. We propose an additional investment of €35 million to bring the total to €105 million for 2018 in order to escalate flood mitigation works,” the party’s alternative budget submission states.
Funding for a range of cross-border bodies should also be increased. InterTradeIreland would get an extra €1.1 million; Tourism Ireland, an extra €6 million; and Waterways Ireland, an extra €2.28 million in 2018, if Sinn Féin’s finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty, was delivering today’s budget.
Sinn Féin also proposes an additional €100 million in capital investment in the southern health system above that proposed by the current government.
Unsurprisingly, the party also argues that “Irish Unity is an approaching reality”, which should be pursued and claims that the “political and economic unification of Ireland could potentially deliver a €35.6 billion boost in GDP for the island in the first eight years”.