Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Proceeds to be split three ways

Government funding is being targeted at poorly-insulated local authority homes
Government funding is being targeted at poorly-insulated local authority homes

The sale of the national lottery licence and part of Bord Gais will help fund 150 million euro of road repairs, new school buildings and home insulation, officials have said.

Split three ways, dozens of construction schemes will kick off in the summer, with the first tranche used on a facelift to fix road surfaces chewed up by two harsh winters.

Another 50 million euro is to be used for new state-of-the-art classrooms and facilities in 18 primary and 10 post-primary schools catering for more than 12,000 students. The final lot will be used to insulate the country's 25,000 least energy efficient local authority homes.

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar said the money has been allocated on top of 350 million euro already set aside for repairs at the start of the year. It will be spread across all 29 councils, primarily to keep tarmac up to scratch on regional and local roads.

Mr Varadkar said each local authority will decide on priority repairs but that the top-up for each will be "quite modest" to prevent them relying on the funding to cut their own roads budgets.

He added: "Many of these roads have been badly damaged through two severe winters. Work needs to be carried out this year."

In March, councils were told they could re-allocate 42 million euro already earmarked for road improvements, such as removing dangerous bends, to make emergency repairs including surface work.

The Government's spending plan - funded through the sale of a new lottery licence and the energy division of Bord Gais - also includes the energy efficiency scheme. The final piece of funding is being targeted at poorly-insulated local authority homes in a bid to reduce heating bills for tenants and create about 1,000 jobs.

The sale of state assets under the Troika bailout loan arrangements have put Bord Gais Energy on the market for more than one billion euro, with some reports giving it a value of closer to 1.5 billion euro.

The 20-year lottery licence is expected to be worth in the region of 600 million euro when sold. Money from it has also been earmarked for the new national children's hospital.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz