Regional Development committee briefing paper on drainage identifies need for large investment in NI Water infrastructure as previously called for by Unite
NI Executive could finance investment through ring-fencing portion of higher council tax receipts
December 22nd: Jimmy Kelly, Ireland Secretary of Unite, has said that an Assembly report ‘Living with Water Programme’ provides further evidence to justify the need for his union’s proposals for a £1.3 billion investment in Northern Ireland’s water infrastructure:
“We have now twice presented papers to the NI Assembly with a focus on how to underpin economic growth and on both occasions we have highlighted the need for an estimated £1.3 billion pound investment in our water infrastructure.
“This report appears to confirm the need for almost £1 billion for drainage and flood defence alone. It also carries a stark warning about the consequences of failing to bring forward this investment.
“Unite proposed financing this investment through ring-fencing a proportion of higher district rates to fund this necessary work; however, we also made the case that some of this cost should be borne by the Treasury – given the length of under-investment in our water infrastructure.
“Such an investment programme would not only address potential threats to our future economic growth and development and ensure greater security for households facing the threat of flooding but it would also generate a significant stimulus to the economy to the benefit of all. We urge the NI Executive to reconsider our proposals for financing this work”, Mr Kelly concluded.