Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage continues

Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage continues

Postby SunnyDub » Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:48 pm

Well, I read the news today oh boy...sorry!

What a government we have, let's tax everyone to give people more mortgage interest relief when there's too many houses, let's spend money on a health service and civil service that never deliver, lets spend money on keeping people on the dole and welfare...where does it end....lets take money out of the economy but not get a handle on overpaid public service...but most importantly, let's repeat the last 30 years and never, ever, spend money on infrastructure that will give a return in the future...trains, roads, bridges, tunnels, water and waste infrastructure, no lets continue pissing your taxes down the drain and get nothing in return...let's start investing in trains and roads etc when economy turns up and it'll send inflation through the roof...again...and competitiveness will go...never ending cycle of bad governance...

you'll have to forgive my madness...but there you go...I'm not against gov spending or social spending just unbelievable waste and totally messed up priorities. Double health spending and have massive public sector wage increases over the last few years and what do you get for it, nothing except inflation. This gov has a lot to answer for.

I've one simple message for the government, if you don't have, don't spend it, except on infrastructure that pays off, investment and living within your means, now there's rocket science!!

I'm no fan of metro north for so many reasons but postponing it sends such a bad signal for infrastructure investment.

Yours,

mad as hell!! grrr!!!!
:mad:
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby PVC King » Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:31 pm

SunnyDub wrote:Well, I read the news today oh boy...sorry!



I'm no fan of metro north for so many reasons but postponing it sends such a bad signal for infrastructure investment.


I disagree and given the increased tax burden and swinging spending cuts I think it is high time the project was shelved until the market settles and there is some idea what damage has been done by recent economic changes.

I have no doubt that a rail link to Dublin airport is 30 years late already but the type of numbers in discussion are entirely off the beam for a 15-20kms light rail network. In hindsight the shoestring approach suggested by CIE and castigated for its hairshirt approach for 3 of the last 4 years since its launch really was a more sustainable one.

Medical cards are really what drive the body politic and public opinion; if a decent number of klingon's who have designed excessively specified and gold cost schemes survive this difficult fiscal environment then ministerial paycuts are not just painful for those taking them they are a wasted sound bite that has the civil service as bloated and overpaid as ever.

As John Fitzgerald of the ESRI said so brilliantly on newsnight last night Ireland was never a Celtic Tiger it is more akin to a wind up mouse that will start to move as slowly as the rest of Europe by 2020. Money needs to be spend carefully on targetted public transport interventions. The roads programme needs to be curtailed as well; in three years there will be scope for some form of underground in Dublin which will I hope reflect true cost and not cost €1.90 to the airport but a more realistic €5-€6 per journey; why not sort out the aircoach priority buslane in the interim and put a letting board in a certain Parkgate Street building until the public finances are back to their usual rude health?
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby Westie » Fri Oct 17, 2008 4:15 pm

PVC King wrote:I disagree and given the increased tax burden and swinging spending cuts I think it is high time the project was shelved until the market settles and there is some idea what damage has been done by recent economic changes.

I think that's the worst thing we could do. Sitting on our hands and waiting for the storm to pass overhead would be disastrous for the future viability of this country. Now is the time we should beg, borrow and steal to invest heavily in R&D and infrastructure. We operate in a global economy & getting people in, out and around this country efficiently is the be all and end all of our future competitiveness. It's often the deciding factor in a global companies decision to locate here, decisions that could be worth €100's of millions to the Irish economy which will in turn help pay for health, education etc etc. Considering some emerging developing countries have better transport infrastructure than we do, we need to get on the ball asap. If we dont take the hit now and get these projects up & running whilst their fresh in the public mind, they'll be shelved and will never see the light of day again. In the long term we'll end up paying a damn sight more than these projects now cost in terms of economic progress.
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby johnglas » Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:59 pm

[HTML]and not cost €1.90 to the airport but a more realistic €5-€6 per journey[/HTML]

Is this sort of 'reasoning' part of the reason why we have such poor public transport? What is the 'real' cost of using roads for under-occupied cars? Public transport should be subsidised and the immediate cost of travel should be reasonable, not excessive (cf. travelling by bus in Spain to the UK). Of course, there is no such thing as a free lunch and the differential will be paid through taxes, but so what?
All the 'little government' mythology needs now to be decently buried. Boston or Berlin? Was meinen Sie?!
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby PVC King » Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:06 pm

johnglas wrote:[HTML]and not cost €1.90 to the airport but a more realistic €5-€6 per journey[/HTML]

Is this sort of 'reasoning' part of the reason why we have such poor public transport? What is the 'real' cost of using roads for under-occupied cars? Public transport should be subsidised and the immediate cost of travel should be reasonable, not excessive (cf. travelling by bus in Spain to the UK). Of course, there is no such thing as a free lunch and the differential will be paid through taxes, but so what?
All the 'little government' mythology needs now to be decently buried. Boston or Berlin? Was meinen Sie?!


After writing that sentance I was sure I should have been clearer; I live in London at present and once one has an oyster card one pays £1.50 per tube journey which is right; however if one uses Heathrow connect this rises to £6.90 or Heathrow Express £15.50 per journey. The rational behind metro North is two fold firstly to provide a link to the airport and lets face it people will do anything to avoid long stay parking and at €6 it would still be significantly cheaper than short stay parking and the only other comfortable way to the airport the aircoach. Secondly the rational is to provide public transport to Swords which is expanding in a manner that required a rail link 10 years ago and still growing.

This would be delivered by charging €5-6 per person to the airport and then a local pricing structure to Swords or anywhere else to the network; to prevent abuse barrier control would be in place to prevent abuse of the twin tarriff approach.

Lets not forget the cost of this project in c€6bn for a 15 km light rail line which runs through very low density suburbs mostly built between 1920 and 1990; as a result the ridership pool is shallow and if the line is to break even it needs to think income maximisation from the honey pot that is every city airport that has a monopoly. Whatever happens this project on a stand alone cost benefit analysis is very much the white elephant side of subsidisation.
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby missarchi » Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:10 pm

PVC king how can valencia and madrid offer such cheap journeys to the airport?
Rome is worn out but still 1 euro a pop but not to the airport but the distance could compare...
I dont have a issue with 6 euro but if we get advertising and bare bones architecture and trams forget it... I would take the 10 year fixed ticket price of 2.50 euro...
The metro still will not be able to compete with the operating hours of aircoach
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby johnglas » Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:12 pm

I take your points, but we need to see public transport in its own terms and look at the wider social opportunity costs. To argue that a fare of eu5/6 would still be cheaper than airport parking makes my point: why argue for public transport in terms of its opposite? To be clearer; the 'real' cost of airport parking might be far nearer a factor of several times its current cost, as opposed to public transport which offers far more communal benefit and can justify a cost on the public purse.
Take your point about MetroNorth and the cost vs density argument, but would the 'solution' to airport travel not be a spur off the mainline heavy rail serving both Swords and the airport, with the city developing an efficient network of QBCs and light rail (i.e. on-street tramways) elsewhere? I'm not a transport buff, so don't dump on me too hard!
Here in Glasgow we have ONE circular subway line, dating from 1896 (!), no tramways left (alas!) and the most manic set of traffic engineers this side of LA; but we do have a dense system of suburban rail, which could be seen as a sub for a metro.
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby Peter Fitz » Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:25 am

If any kind of cost benefit was to be done of metro north v the interconnector, i'm quite sure which project would come out on top.

The airport spur from the northern line was always an attractive idea, but capacity of the line itself is an issue, really the line needs to be 4 tracked, and thats a nightmare of a job.
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby jimg » Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:17 pm

johnglas wrote:[HTML]and not cost €1.90 to the airport but a more realistic €5-€6 per journey[/HTML]

Is this sort of 'reasoning' part of the reason why we have such poor public transport? What is the 'real' cost of using roads for under-occupied cars? Public transport should be subsidised and the immediate cost of travel should be reasonable, not excessive (cf. travelling by bus in Spain to the UK). Of course, there is no such thing as a free lunch and the differential will be paid through taxes, but so what?
All the 'little government' mythology needs now to be decently buried. Boston or Berlin? Was meinen Sie?!

Ich habe Schadenfreude nicht gern.

This is at least the third time you've tried to steer a thread towards some ideological argument, no? Really there are plenty of fora to debate left v. right, atheism v. religiousity, Oasis v. Blur, etc. inhabited by plenty of enthusiastic participants. Generally it leads to nothing but a reinforcement of existing prejudices and blinkered ideological positions; balance, subtlety, erudition or a broad appreciation for the subject is never the goal anyway. Given your opening gambit re. "little government mythology", it's pretty obvious no reasonable debate could follow.
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby PVC King » Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:14 am

Its a fair point in the context of the discussion; if you built a metro to Ballymun and charged €5-€6 per journey you would be undermining the reason for its costly diversion there in the first place; with Swords you would do just as much damage as people in starter homes with large mortages equally could not afford €50 - €60 per week to commute to the city centre.

However on the 1 - 10 times people go to the airport annually they could afford it and given the massive proposed costs we deserve to see exactly how this is proposed to stack up on an annualised basis.
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby johnglas » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:43 pm

PVC King: thanks for that;
jimq: life cannot be an ideology-free zone and there are clear policy and practical outcomes from whatever position you adopt - free marketeers are generally very robust until the point they are challenged by an argument or until the realities hit them square between the eyes (cf. the bemused but arrogant and unrepentant Greenspan). You are free to inhabit a Know-Nothing world; I can't.
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby PVC King » Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:10 pm

Not a bother I've had a number of threads ransacked by people off on an ideological tangent; I'm sure our politics are very different but I'm clear we can find common ground on many aspects of an issue without having to concentrate on the baggage we bring to that issue.
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby missarchi » Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:20 am

speaking of which do you think we need baggage storage somewhere on this line???
I was even hoping for a garda station...
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby SunnyDub » Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:51 pm

While we're off tangent, the unrepentant Greenspan is not a free marketeer, the lowering of interest rates to close to zero and the easy credit are government policies, not based on free market interest rates. The Federal Reserve practices socialism for the rich.
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby johnglas » Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:47 am

SunnyDub: you said it (the corollary being that it does not for the poor). Any planner who thinks they inhabit an ideologically-free zone forgets both the origins of modern planning and the realities of society.
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby PVC King » Sat Nov 01, 2008 7:24 pm

I think planning has moved on a lot over the past decade; all major schemes involve a significant planning gain for local communities; much of this started in Tower Hamlets in the mid 1990's phases of development and most local authorities worth their salt have secured much for local stakeholders.

When you look at master-planned towns such as Adamstown you start to see entire communities created with vital societal elements a definite pre-condition. Of course developers feel resentful for these measures when they are introducde as they represented at introduction a 'new business cost' but in time these measures have been built into development land pre purchase viability analysis as are another costs such as stamp duty which is a tax that gives nothing to local stake-holders.

This is not the forum to debate macro-economics but save to say interest rates will be slashed into nextr year with both Euro and UK rates at 2.50% this time next year. This will happen not to line the pockets of anyone but because inflation will be at less than 1% this time next year and because there is no incentive for money to become productive when mega-rich people can take no risk and acheive a return of 6% for holding cash.

Missarchi I like the Garda station can the RPA be charged with not introducing integrated ticketing and ripping off the Irish commuter for the 3 years since they ignored their instructions to do so and simply introduced a single system prepay system only for their own network of 2 disconnected tram lines. We can't afford excess baggage in a recession
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby jimg » Sat Nov 08, 2008 7:28 pm

johnglas wrote:PVC King: thanks for that;
jimq: life cannot be an ideology-free zone and there are clear policy and practical outcomes from whatever position you adopt - free marketeers are generally very robust until the point they are challenged by an argument or until the realities hit them square between the eyes (cf. the bemused but arrogant and unrepentant Greenspan). You are free to inhabit a Know-Nothing world; I can't.

I don't understand your reference to a 19th century American political movement? Or was the capitalization an accident and the intention was simply to accuse me of ignorance?

Your problem here john is that hardly anyone is interested in the sort of 60s naive ideological battles any more, thus the lack of "bites" for your repeatedly offered bait. That sort of sophistry may entertain teenagers and the like but as soon as anyone starts reading a bit about history, economic theory and politics, the complex reality of the world simply does not fit into a model based on a simplistic binary dichotomy. Life thankfully can be and these days often is an ideology-free zone. Humanism and rationality over ideology for me every time.

For example, your insinuation that there is something obviously superior about "big government" over "little government" does not stand up to any type of scrutiny. During the last century or so, on the "big government" side we have the European fascist states, every single Marxist-Leninist state, the various autocratic Middle Eastern states, Putin era Russia, etc. Between them, these regimes - particularly the communist ones - have been directly responsible for more human slaughter, misery and suffering than any other human social organisation in history. On the "small government" side, we have the likes of Somalia, Afghanistan, Lebanon, various African countries, Westbank&Gaza, etc. Not great arguments in favour of extreme "small government" either but in utilitarian terms, preferrable to the extremes of big government. However I suspect your "ideology" has decided things for you rather than an open-minded consideration of the historical evidence.

I even find the Boston v. Berlin quip highly irritating as it suggests there is a simple choice available. For starters there is no unified European model except it seems in the minds of certain British and American commentators: there is what's called the continental European model (e.g. France/Germany/Benelux - generous welfare, government ownership, "protection" and control of major "strategic" companies), the Mediteranean model (Italy/Spain/Greece - little welfare - no dole for example - but government involvement in certain industries), the Scandanavian model (generous welfare but no government involvment in "protecting" strategic companies) or the ultra-liberal countries like Switzerland (miniscule government spending - not even on healthcare provision) . There is no common theme from what I can see. As for the "Boston" side, it is meaningless also given the diversity in the US; some US cities/counties are far more socialist than many European ones.

I just find your attempts at provoking a deliberately antagonistic and simplistic discussion on the subject very irritating, is all. I really don't see the attraction of childish Rangers v. Celtic, Tory versus Labour, us against them types of binary arguments.

I suspect the problem may be a cultural one. Many of my UK friends and aquaintances seem to have a propensity to simplify and stereotype in this way and in fact seem to find it frustrating when it's not entirely clear what "side" you are on. I have a whimsical theory that this urge is generally proportional to the size of your country of residence; people who live in bigger countries have less reason to look outside so they tend to see and judge everything in the world in slightly myopic simplistic local terms. The bigger the country the bigger this effect; the US is an extreme, but the UK is pretty large too. Ireland is the opposite; any natural curiousity draws you to consider the wilder world and so you develop less partisan (not necessarily more sophisticated) opinions. The country isn't big enough to support niche or partisan media to the same extent; there is no equivelent here to describing yourself as a Telegraph versus a Guardian reader; the same ideological fault lines don't exist in Ireland.
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby johnglas » Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:36 pm

jimq: no point in continuing a mock feud - clearly we have rubbed oner another up the wrong way. The Know-Nothings did know something - that they did not like their opponents (i.e. they were ideologues posing as Honest Joes). Equally, life is never merely a duality (and I do not think I ever suggested it was), but those who pretend to be 'ideology-free' are usually the worst sort of right-wing demagogues. Pragmatics first, last and all the time - but they don't come from nowhere.
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby SunnyDub » Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:37 am

Is it just me or is it looking like the Government has come up with some wheeze whereby some infrastructure projects are going to get the go-ahead even though they're going to try and tax their way out of the recession (which no country has ever done) ?!
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby SunnyDub » Thu May 21, 2009 7:17 pm

Interesting new ESRI report on public infrastructure spending in a recession:

http://www.esri.ie/publications/latest_publications/view/index.xml?id=2781

http://www.esri.ie/UserFiles/publications/20090519092749/WP298.pdf


"Abstract: In the past the first expenditure to be cut during an economic downturn was capital expenditure. However, the cuts in capital expenditure of the late 1980’s and 90’s had left Ireland with an infrastructure deficit. This note highlights a number of important issues, which should be considered before decisions to spend tax payer’s money to support the construction sector are taken. Overall the paper concludes that in the context of a relatively high cost per job created via public investment, public capital projects should be undertaken on the basis that they have a long-run return to the whole economy".


On the cuts so far:

"Capital expenditure in 2009 will be some €2 billion, or 20% in nominal terms, lower than in 2008. For the years 2010 to 2013 the average capital spending will be a further €1.3 billion lower compared to the 2008 level".

"Even under a very benign assumption of zero growth in 2010 followed by two years of 5% ‘catch up’ growth will the economy not return to the 2007 position until late 2012 at the earliest2. This implies a phase shift of 5 years and under a more pessimistic scenario a phase shift of at least 7 years would be expected.

If the planned expenditure announced in the Supplementary Budget is followed through, the infrastructure stock will have increased by some €40 billion in nominal terms between 2008 and 2013. If prices remain unchanged from the 2007 level (and it is argued below that they should fall substantially), then the stock of public capital will have increased by some €38 billion. In other words, the announced level of expenditure implies a significant reduction in any infrastructure deficit relative to the level of economic activity, which in 2013 will be close to the 2007 level
".

On the Western Rail Corridor Plan:

"The Western Rail Corridor which is supposed to act primarily as an inter city rail link along the western seaboard connects urban centres with relatively small populations and runs through sparsely populated areas. As such the potential ridership is very limited and in the context where few rail lines internationally are profitable, investment in this project will need to be supported by further substantial subventions of tax payer’s money3. In that context this project has been questioned by many economists".
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby SunnyDub » Thu May 21, 2009 7:18 pm

Public spending on housing can have 2 benefits according to the report:

"The Supplementary Budget cut the expenditure allocated to the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government by about 19%, of which some will no doubt have to be passed on to the social and affordable housing budget. However, as this accounted for some 16% of total capital expenditure this is still a very large proportion of the total. Given the significant overhang of finished unsold properties, which is estimated to amount to some 40,000 units, some of the allocated expenditure should be used by the State to purchase empty units at a rock bottom price (as opposed to buying them at some historical values). The purchase of vacant housing units for social housing would have a number of benefits. Firstly it will add to the social housing stock at a lower than originally expected cost. Secondly, it will reduce the overhang of unsold properties and thus speed up the transition to equilibrium supply in the housing market. Thirdly, it would put money back into the banking sector via the construction sector or indeed it may be an early windfall for the newly announced National Asset Management Agency (NAMA)".
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby SunnyDub » Thu May 21, 2009 7:20 pm

We might even be getting more for less:

"The Tender Price Index published by the Society of Chartered Surveyors has decline by more than 20% from its peak and might reduce even more as projects are getting scarcer. Likewise land prices have also fallen back by between 30% and 50%. Thus a cut in expenditure of 20% should actually imply no change in the volume of activity and as such should not affect the number of projects targeted for delivery. In that sense the cuts should be welcomed as a move towards better value for money".
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby SunnyDub » Thu May 21, 2009 7:20 pm

There's always a but:

"However, better value for money will only be obtained if the cuts are implemented via tough negotiations on pricing rather than the much easier route of cutting the number of projects but paying for projects on the basis of historic tender prices rather than current tender prices".
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby missarchi » Thu May 21, 2009 10:18 pm

tough negotiations...

They ask for one thing then ask for another and wonder why it costs more?
The biggest issue will always will be allocation...
What's so great about lower house prices if you don't have a job?
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Re: Hey there's a recession on, let's not invest in our infrastructure, wastage conti

Postby SunnyDub » Fri May 22, 2009 11:25 am

What's so great about high house prices when you don't have a job, or if you have a job?
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