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Leo could net budget woe again; COMMENT 2nd floor, 9A Beckett Way, Park West Industrial Park, Clondalkin, Dublin 12 Tel: 01 868 8600, Fax 01 868 8626,

GOVERNMENT ministers gathered triumphantly to announce the future of rural broadband in Dublin last night, yet again.

This is not the first time, nor we suspect the last, we will see the Taoiseach proclaim a major success for the National Broadband Plan.

Nor can we even predict that Leo Varadkar will still be Taoiseach when the next major announcement to do with the extension of quality broadband to rural areas is announced.

And we definitely cannot trust this Government to come in on budget, even if [euro]3billion has been set aside for the plan.

All we have to do is look at the spiralling costs of the National Children's Hospital for comparison.

That was initially supposed to cost [euro]650million in 2015, which coincidentally is close to the ballpark figure of [euro]450million that was plucked out of the air for the NBP in 2014.

The hospital project has since rocketed to close to [euro]2billion, while the latest cap for the NBP is supposed to be [euro]3billion.

Government sources were quick to brief last night and say this would be the maximum, the very most the project would end up hitting the taxpayer. It was not a cost, but an investment, the advisers and ministers said.

But it could still all fall on its face yet, as it was telling to see the Taoiseach shaking his head when the Irish Mirror asked if it had been fully signed off.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 8, 2019
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