Social Democrats Co-Leader Catherine Murphy has said the process leading up to the pending announcement later this week of the National Development Plan is fundamentally undemocratic and she called out Fianna Fáil for what she described as their attempts to straddle both sides of the fence on this issue.

Deputy Murphy said that politicians from across the political spectrum had made submissions to the draft Capital Plan when it was first unveiled and yet the Government are now about to formally launch the final plan without any consultation about what, if any, elements of those submissions have been taken on-board or incorporated into the final plan. She said the Government were effectively saying ’trust us on this’ and this is not good enough.  Meanwhile Fianna Fáil is participating in the ludicrous ‘Coalition Against the National Planning Framework whilst simultaneously refusing to use their position of power in the partnership Government, to stop the launch going ahead.

Speaking this afternoon Catherine Murphy said:

“Whilst I cautiously welcome the fact that it appears the plan is predominantly focused on developing the major urban centres which can then be facilitated to act as sustainable regional drivers, I cannot take the Taoiseach at his word when he told the Dáil today that his Government have ‘had regard’ to the many submissions made to the plan. I would like to see the revised version of the plan so the Oireachtas can see exactly what is planned and how it is proposed to deliver it. The Dáil should have a chance to discuss this before it is presented as a fait accompli at a bells and whistles PR stunt on Friday.”

“Fianna Fáil, by virtue of their position in this Partnership Government, has the power to ensure the democratic process is respected in this regard. It is farcical that they have one of their most high-profile TDs participating on the coalition to oppose the basis of Development Plan in what can only be described as a stunt to try and appeal to their rural voters, while at the same time sitting on their hands in the Dáil and allowing Fine Gael to do what they want with both the actual substance of the plan and the process by which it is delivered.”

14th February 2018


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