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Budget Statement 2021

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Snippet Contents:

While budget 2021 looks to the combined challenges of Brexit, Covid and housing, it fails to bring about structural change to our economy to make it more sustainable for all sectors of our economy. We are spending €3,600 for every man, woman and child in Ireland but I do not get the impression that this money is being spent any differently from the money spent last year or the years before that.
This was the opportunity in a generation to reform how we work and live in this country but today we did not take it. While budget 2021 talks about an interdepartmental group to consider remote working, a similar announcement was made last year to look at hot desking of vacant desks in public buildings throughout the country for civil servants who were commuting into Dublin. We have seen no movement on that initiative 12 months later. There is no new provision for funding for the national broadband plan. In fact, the spending announced today was spending that I secured as Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment some years ago. As a result, disappointingly, there is no indication of a fast-tracking of the delivery of the national broadband plan to isolated rural homes as promised in the programme for Government.
Budget 2021 also talks about a recovery fund but there is little detail of what it will do to reform our economy to live with Covid-19, to allow more people to work and study remotely, or to support new ways of doing business.