The Minister for Finance’s own Department plans on spending an extra €5.075 on consultants next year according to Sinn Fein Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD.
The figures were presented today to the Finance sub-committee on Finance.
Deputy Doherty said:
“These figures are totally unjustifiable. Minister Noonan failed miserably to explain what this extra €5.075m will be spent on and who will benefit.
“These figures represent a massive increase in public money being spent on external consultants. As we have seen in the past it is the usual suspects of accounting bodies and legal bodies who will benefit from these contracts. We have seen these few companies benefit from contracts from NAMA and other state bodies.
“The Department of Finance’s budget contains five programmes. Each of these five programmes’ budgets contain an increase in the amount allocated for ‘consulting and other services’. One programme (Financial Services Policy) contains an increase of €3m for “consulting and other services”. This is unjustifiable at a time when the most vulnerable are being asked to live on less yet Minister Noonan thinks an extra €5m is justified from his own department on consulting.
“The public are rightly questioning the use of external consultants given the debacle at Irish Water. For an important government like the Department of Finance to seek an extra €5.075m for consultants without proper explanation of what the money will be used for is unacceptable.”