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Sisk calls for more state spending
By Geoff Percival
Saturday, March 05, 2011
ONE of the country’s largest construction-related businesses has urged the new government not to hold back on investing in infrastructure, even though the economy remains weak — pointing out that now is the time to plan for the future.
Addressing yesterday’s Institute of Directors in Ireland spring lunch, in Dublin, Sisk group chief executive, Liam Nagle said: "Good countries, like good companies, need to invest in difficult times. We must recognise the value of investment when costs are low and we’ll see the benefits of investment when market conditions improve. The time to plan for tomorrow is not tomorrow — it is now."
"The objective for a family business with a long-term view is the same as the objective for a country — it is not to simply seek good results for the next quarter," he added.
While the Sisk group has, in recent years, diversified its interests to take in the healthcare and home product markets, it is still mainly linked with the construction industry, via its main John Sisk & Son subsidiary. Mr Nagle pointed to recent building developments like Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport, the redeveloped Lansdowne Road/Aviva Stadium and the National Convention Centre as "iconic buildings that will represent our investment in the country during its prosperous times."
He went on to urge the incoming government to continue to invest in upgrading the country’s road, rail and marine infrastructure, "having clearly seen the benefits of PPP [public/private partnerships] projects such as the Luas and the Shannon tunnel in recent years."
Last month, the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) called for more transparency over the awarding of public building contracts, after figures detailing how just €78m worth of state construction tenders were announced in January showed that Government infrastructure investment plans are "off course".