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KPMG and PwC paid €14 million since 2015 for Government’s flawed broadband plan – Jonathan O’Brien TD

15 May, 2019 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Sinn Féin deputy spokesperson for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform, Jonathan O’Brien TD, has criticised Government for allowing PwC and KPMG to direct government policy.

This comes after it was revealed that €14 million has been paid to the firms in consultancy fees for the National Broadband Plan.

Speaking today, the Cork North-Central said:

“Today we were told by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton in response to a written question, that KPMG and PwC have been paid a combined €14 million in consultancy fees for the National Broadband Plan.

“Not only does it 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 public policy and the direction of taxpayers’ money and State resources.

“It won’t be lost on anyone that it was KPMG that audited the big banks before the financial crash, or that these firms often audit companies that are involved in scandals which the Government then pays them to investigate.

“It was KPMG and PwC that recommended the flawed privatisation model for broadband in December 2015 that will now see up to €3 billion transferred from the public purse to private shareholders, to build infrastructure the State won’t even own.

“Unfortunately, successive Labour and Fine Gael Ministers followed their advice despite repeated warnings from Sinn Féin.

“We have been advocating for a state-led approach to broadband since 2012, utilising the experience and expertise of ESB, and maintaining the infrastructure under public ownership. 

“Government should now undertake a detailed analysis of our proposal before it is too late.”

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