Fine Gael is failing to manage large infrastructure projects at a massive cost - Tóibín
Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín has stated that “Fine Gael is failing to manage large infrastructure projects at a serious cost to citizens. The impact of this cost is the loss of billions of euro in taxes and the lack of vital infrastructure. The overrun of just the National Broadband Plan and the Children’s Hospital is likely to be well north of €3 billion and both plans have been dragging on for years.
“Ireland is fast becoming a city state. Dublin is overheating, a third of the country is turning into a sprawling commuter belt and many rural and regional areas are emptying out. A driver in this damaging phenomena is the complete lack of infrastructure such as broadband in many parts of the country.
“Fine Gael started the National Broadband Plan process started in 2012 and yet procurement is still not complete. The process is cumbersome and slow and the technology is advancing at a faster speed. The process was so complex that two of the bidders pulled out. Immediately questions should have been raised with regards the business case of the tender. The proposed tender is getting radically more expensive while much of the customer base is being serviced by private suppliers.
“Any tendering process that has one bidder is by definition suspect in my view - the supplier power is far too great. The size of the tender rules out competition of smaller suppliers, many of them potentially Irish.
“The last remaining consortium is reminiscent of “Trigger’s Broom” the components have changed so much. It’s questionable whether it would pass the pre-qualification questionnaire , which potential bidders had to submit.
“Aontú believe we need this technology and we need it fast. However we do not believe that this project is viable. The size of the tender should be broken up to make it more accessible to more bidders and manageable to the government. Also the broadband solution is going to have to be a tailored one. Different geography and topography will necessitate different solutions.”