Public transport, healthcare, education and secure housing are the building blocks of life.
The market won’t deliver the public services that sustain communities. In the Seanad, I pushed for publicly built homes, vacant site tax, rental protection and better funding for community development and culture. I championed properly funded inclusive education, from early years to third-level research. I also introduced a Bill to put quality at the heart of the €12 billion spent on public procurement each year. We need to invest wisely in what matters most.
IN 2019, IRELAND spent €12 billion on contracts for goods, services and construction. This figure is set to rise considerably in the coming years as €116 billion in major capital works projects are rolled out under the National Development Plan.
The public has a right to expect that when money is spent on their behalf, it is spent in a way that delivers the best results. That requires a carefully thought-through approach to the quality of standards and performance in areas like sustainability, social impact, decent employment and design.