Minister for Transport Shane Ross has rejected any suggestion that a possible general election in the next year influenced decisions taken in the new national plan, which is set to be published later today.

He said the plan will focus on long-term development and not things that people will see straight away.

"I don't think it has influenced it all. I haven't seen any evidence of that whatsoever," he said.

Speaking before the Cabinet meeting in Sligo to sign-off on the plan, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said Project Ireland 2040 was well thought out and strategic.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys has confirmed her department would be setting up a €500 million fund for new technology companies.

The cabinet meeting is under way at the Sligo Institute of Technology and the plan will be published at 2pm.


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Minister for Finance Pascal Donohoe has said he will stand over the planning framework in the Dáil.

Speaking to RTÉ News, Mr Donohoe said the plan was different from past plans that had been done on the basis of "one for everyone in the audience".

He said the plan was integrated with investment decisions, which would ensure the country's money was wisely spent.

Mr Donohoe said the plan would be paid for through pubic investment arising from projected growth in the economy over the next ten years. 

"We have looked at how the economy is expected to grow over the next decade  and within the resources that will be generated we have made the decision to prioritise some of that growth for public investment," he said.

He added that while the bigger projects to be announced today had specific delivery dates, some of the other medium-size projects would be decided "on a case by case basis, budget by budget". 

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said there is nothing party political about the plan.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Mr Coveney said the Government plans to invest heavily to rebalance the country over the next 20 years.

He said the plan would counteract the complete dominance of Dublin through building and extending roads and rail, and using funds so that towns like Sligo and Letterkenny will be better places to live.

He said local authorities will be able to compete for money to dramatically improve urban areas, while provisions were also included to allow smaller towns to improve significantly.