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Government tried to deceive electorate on decentralisation

24 November, 2004

Sinn Féin Dáil leader and Finance spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin says the adoption of the reports of the Decentralisation Implementation Group by the government shows that Fianna Fáil and the PDs tried to deceive the electorate before June's European and Local Elections by making promises they knew they would not keep.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"These reports show that the last Budget was a fraud. Charlie McCreevy promised in that Budget to decentralise 10,300 civil service and state agency posts to a host of locations outside Dublin before 2007. This has now been reduced to under 3,500 posts with this phase of the process not complete until 2008. And many towns have been dropped off the list.

"Fianna Fáil and the PDs tried to deceive the electorate before last June's European and Local Elections. They dispensed the prospect of civil service relocation like jelly babies to towns all over the State. But the work of the Dencentralisation Implementation Group and of the trade unions has shown that the lavish promise of 10,300 relocated posts by 2007 was not based on any research into the number of workers seeking to move or the feasibility of relocation. It was a pre-election scam.

"In my own constituency the towns of Cavan, Monaghan and Carrickmacross do not appear on the lists published today and doubt must now hang over this Government's promised relocations to those towns.

"We also see that the Government is proposing a Public-Private Partnership approach to acquiring large premises for relocated offices. This is despite the recent report that showed schools constructed under PPP cost up to 13% more than they would if they had been constructed in the normal way by the State."ENDS

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