Irish environmental spending to rise

Investment in water and sewerage to increase as part of major infrastructural push

Capital investment in Ireland's water and sewerage infrastructure is to rise by 15% to I£184m (Ecu243m) in 1998, under government spending plans announced on Thursday. Major wastewater treatment schemes are to begin in Dublin, Cork and several other urban areas as a result of the extra funding, environment minister Noel Dempsey said yesterday. The Irish government has also promised a "major expansion" of the national water conservation programme in 1998. Overall, environmental current and capital spending is due to rise by 2.1% in 1988 to just over I£1bn. The increases in environmental spending are matched in other areas of infrastructure development, with an increase of 11% in the road building budget and a 14% increase for new housing. Part of the increased budget will go into a special fund for new water and sewerage infrastructure designed to increase the supply of building land, Mr Dempsey announced. Ireland's Environmental Protection Agency also benefited from the spending round, seeing its 1998 budget jump 17% to I£6.8m.

Follow Up:
Irish environment ministry, tel: +353 1 679 3377.

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