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Officials warn Government may cut €1.5 billion from other capital projects because of Broadband fiasco – O’Brien

9 May, 2019 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Sinn Féin deputy spokesperson for Finance, Public Expenditure & Reform Jonathan O’Brien TD has called on the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Pascal Donohoe to clarify how he will fund the National Broadband Plan after his own officials warned that cuts of €1.5 billion may be required from 2020 to 2027 to fund the government’s latest procurement fiasco.

Speaking today, the Cork North-Central TD said:

“Documents released yesterday relating to the National Broadband Plan raise serious questions about the future of the National Development Plan.

“Memos from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to Minister Donohoe revealed that €1.5 billion will be required from other departments to fund Government’s botched broadband plan under the current National Development Plan.

“By way of example, Department officials indicated that this could cause the cancellation or delay of projects such as 2,000 social housing units, 18 primary schools, 9 to 10 primary care centres, flood relief schemes, and local and regional roads.

“This is in addition to cuts that must be found over the coming years as a result of the National Children’s Hospital scandal.

“The Minister must explain how he will account for the extra funding required, and whether it will be achieved through cuts in other departments and projects.” 

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