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Private firms dictating Government policy as consultancies are paid over €25 million for botched National Broadband Plan – Pearse Doherty TD

27 August, 2019 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has questioned the Government’s use of private consultancy firms to dictate public policy after the Minister for Finance disclosed that the Government had spent in excess of €25 million in consultancy fees for the National Broadband Plan..

Teachta Doherty said:

“A letter from the Finance Minister to the Budgetary Oversight Committee revealed that to date over €25 million has been spent on consultancy fees for the Government’s botched National Broadband Plan.

“This Government has spent over €25 million of taxpayers’ money for the private sector to recommend a flawed privatisation model that will see €3 billion transferred from the public purse to private shareholders; and for infrastructure the State won’t even own.

“While Sinn Féin have called for public ownership from the beginning of this process, what is worrying is that the source of public policy in this State comes from private firms rather than elected representatives. Should it be any surprise that private consultancies would recommend options that benefit the private sector above all else?

“We know that the Big Four alone have been paid over €80 million in consultancy fees by the Government since 2011.

"Not only does this raise concerns about the ability given to the civil service to carry out its own functions, it also raises questions about the influence these consultancy firms have over Government policy and the direction of taxpayers’ money and State resources.

"The question should be asked; are these private firms dictating public policy?”

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