Revisiting the NDP

The government has released its revised National Development Plan for the period to 2016.   The documentation includes a short leaflet, Investing for Growth and Jobs: Infrastructure Investment Priorities 2010 – 2016.   With a bit of chutzpah, the document claims the 40 percent cut in capital spending as “stimulus” for the economy.   The emphasis is on new priorities and not on the overall cuts.   Fortunately, the Department of Finance has also released Infrastructure Investment Priorities 2010 – 2016: A Financial Framework, which makes a more sober case for the shift in strategy (see, in particular, Chapters 2 & 3).   The arguments of Colm McCarthy for just-in-time infrastructure provision (based on the time value of money) and more broadly for cost-benefit analysis – as championed on this site and elsewhere by Edgar Morgenroth – would appear to have been influential in the overall approach.   Of course, the precarious state of the public finances looms large behind the change in strategy.