MINISTER FOR Transport Leo Varadkar cast doubts on the Government giving the go-ahead to the Dublin Metro North rail project during its term in office.
He said it was a good project and would benefit his Dublin West constituency enormously.
“I would love to be able to deliver it to my constituents during my term in office, but it is the most expensive project by a mile and requires both private and public finances, neither of which are available, apparently, although this may change,” he added.
Mr Varadkar said the Government would not do anything to prevent Metro North, the Dart underground and the Luas BXD line going ahead in the future.
“If it is not possible for all, or any, of those projects to proceed during the term of this Government, we will ensure they get to the end-of-railway stage and have planning permission so that they will be shovel-ready when it is possible to proceed,’’ he added.
Dessie Ellis (SF) said Metro North had so far cost €150 million. He said the Government was talking about raising €5 billion, some of which would go towards job creation.
“I am not necessarily saying I agree with the selling off of State assets, because I do not, but I believe this project would deliver a lot of jobs,” he added.
Mr Varadkar said he had previously expressed the view that he would favour the sale of State assets if the money could be reinvested in the economy.