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Minister Bruton must answer questions on Broadband plan cost escalation - Brian Stanley TD

7 May, 2019 - by Brian Stanley TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Communications Brian Stanley TD has said time must be set aside in the Dáil this week to discuss the National Broadband Plan.

This comes after the Government today signed off on the plan at a cost of almost €3bn, six times the original estimate.

Teachta Stanley said rural Ireland desperately needs broadband but we need to see how the costs associated with the plan have escalated so dramatically.

The Laois TD said:

“This Government is now costing the taxpayer billions of Euros.  The cost overrun in the National Broadband Plan is set to be bigger than the one at the National Children’s Hospital.

“We cannot continue to treat taxpayers’ money in this way.  It is unacceptable, and we must get to the bottom of how this came about.

“I am calling on Minister Bruton to appear before the Dáil this week to answer questions about the plan. 

“Opposition spokespeople were previously promised a briefing on the issue but that never materialised.

“Rural Ireland desperately needs broadband but the government has made a complete and utter mess of this process and we now need to see if there is value for money in this plan.

“The gap funding model is a flawed model and the Government made a mess of the tendering process leaving us with just one bidder.

“The Government plans to use taxpayers money to bankroll this process to the tune of €3bn yet at the end of it all the taxpayer will not own the network.

“Government needs to explain why they are now going against the advice of his most senior adviser in his department.

“I have contacted the Ceann Comhairle today to ask that time be set aside in the Dáil this week for Minister Bruton to come in and answer questions on this matter.”

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