Brian Hayes MEP today said that EIB funding to Ireland in the first year following the bailout was 37% higher than the final year of the bailout programme.
“Ireland’s position on the international markets has dramatically improved since the bailout. The first year after Ireland left the bailout programme (2014), EIB funding increased by 37% compared to the previous year, from €680 million to €932 million.
“When one considers that in the first year of the bailout programme, EIB funding to Ireland was just €210 million, we are now getting vast EIB input into various infrastructure projects all over the country. Earlier this year, the EIB invested €150 million into social housing in Ireland which is expected to deliver up to 2000 homes.
“This stream of funding will only continue to get better as growth in Ireland improves. Private investment into Ireland fell by around 25% during the crisis. This has really been one of the major casualties for the country throughout the crisis.
“The challenge is ensuring that we get investment levels back to normal levels. The government’s recent Capital Investment plan is ambitious enough to deliver proper infrastructure investment over the next five years.
“Under President Jean-Claude Juncker, the new European Commission has committed to re-igniting investment in Europe. The EU’s €315 billion Investment Plan is already starting to have an impact with several projects funded all over Europe, including Ireland. The government needs to continue to work with the Commission and the EIB to maximise Ireland’s potential from this Investment Plan. It is all about proposing realistic projects which meet the EIB’s strict criteria on credit quality.”