Sunday, December 13, 2009

RTE "This Week" radio programme

A short interview with Paraic White,  former head of the IDA,  and myself was broadcast at lunch time on the RTE Radio 1 "This Week" programme,  giving our reaction to the recent budget.

The piece was recorded yesterday afternoon with Colm O'Mongain.  In the broadcast,  I focussed on the reduction in 1Beuro infrastructure commitment in the budget and its impact on the construction sector.  I noted that the Solidarity Bond,  announced in the budget,  could be used to "back-fill" the shortfall.  In the context of the 'smart economy',  I felt that infrastructure investment not only in broadband,  but also educational facilities at all levels,  and transportation - including freight logistics - continued to be important.   I also noted that fundamental infrastructure,  such as water quality,  flood management and coastal defences,  were often taken for granted but were clearly key.   Finally I noted the irony of a carbon tax on fuel combined with a reduction in investment in improving roads and railways:  better transport infrastructure could reduce our carbon footprint by improving traffic flows.

The actual broadcast interview was shorter than the recording:  I had also made some comments about international competitiveness,  which were not broadcast.

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