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National Broadband Plan must be on Cabinet’s agenda tomorrow – Senator Conway-Walsh

15 April, 2019 - by Rose Conway-Walsh

Sinn Féin Senator Rose Conway-Walsh has criticised the lack of clarity from the Government as to why the future of the National Broadband plan will not be discussed at tomorrow morning’s cabinet meeting.

The Mayo based Senator was speaking after the Minister for Communications, Energy and Climate Action Richard Bruton confirmed that there are no plans to discuss the future of the plan.

Senator Conway-Walsh said:
"Last week An Taoiseach indicated that there would be a decision taken on the future of the plan before the Easter break.

"That means that with no cabinet meeting planned until after Easter, it is likely to be another month before we see any clarity.

"Today, Minister Bruton pleaded for more time while at the same time claiming that the Government were not dragging their heals on the issue.

"Without a clear explanation, most people will see this as nothing more than putting off making a decision, perhaps until after local and European elections.

"Last year the Minister said that some 80 civil servants and consultants were working on behalf of the government on this project.

"The Taoiseach himself has said that delivery of the plan was a personal crusade of his. Like many people, I simply do not believe the excuses now being offered.

"Any minister that sits at cabinet can lobby to have an item placed on the agenda. I am asking Minister Ring, and other representatives from Mayo who claim influence over Government, to act decisively this evening and ensure that the National Broadband Plan is on the agenda tomorrow.

"Delays in decision making at this stage could lead to delays of months or years in the long run and add significantly to the overall cost. The NBP was a promise in the 2011 Fine Gael manifesto. It is time tio show that they are serious about delivering it."

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