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State Spends At Least €204 Million In Legal Fees

 

Please see PQs attached

On foot of Parliamentary Questions asked by Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD information has come to light that well over €204 million has been spent on Legal Fees by various Departments. Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has called for greater Oireachtas Oversight to ensure that taxpayer monies are not being wasted and where possible to save money for the taxpayer.


An Teachta Tóibín: “For some time, I have been concerned about the area of legal fees incurred by the State which has previously been known to be a gravy train for friends of the government. I submitted PQs to various government departments trying to get records of legal fees for the past twenty years. My office is still waiting on responses from the Departments of Defence, Finance and Education. In government departments, we already hire solicitors and legal counsels – why then are we expending so much to outside law firms and legal professionals in additional fees?


Responses from several departments for various periods between 2000 and 2020, put our legal fees bills for those departments at least €204 million – with that figure certainly being higher. Figures provided excluded legal fees for many years with no figures as of yet for several other departments. The Department of Justice spent over €167 million in legal fees since 2004. The Department of Public Expenditure has engaged three sizable law firms since 2012 . The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has seen their annual legal fees increase fivefold since 2012. The Department of Social Protection has seen increased their annual spending legal fees more than 800% since 2000. For the Departments I have received responses from, there are over 20 years’ worth of legal fees unaccounted for.”


“Why then are we spending taxpayer money on hiring solicitors and legal counsels within State Departments, when we continue to spend hundreds of millions of euros on legal fees to outside law firms and legal professionals? Expenditure on legal fees by this government is going up, and taxpayers are left wondering why there taxes are going towards more and more legal advice as opposed to social housing or expanding healthcare capacity. It is clear that Legal Fees is an area that has gone unchecked for far too long, and greater Oireachtas oversight is needed to protect taxpayer money.”


*** 2000-2020, Department of Transport: €17,827,613; 2011-2020, Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage: €2,000,696; 2004-2020, Department of Justice: €167,124,867; 2003-2020, Department of Foreign Affairs: €808,762; 2000-2020, Department of Social Protection: €15,550,448; 2012-2020, Department of Public Expenditure: €1,222,389; 2016-2020, Department for Communication, Climate Action and the Environment: €10,129,435

Dept of Social Protection Legal Fees PQ

Dept of Education Legal Fees PQ

Dept of Foreign Affairs Legal Fees PQ

Dept of Public Expenditure Legal Fees PQ

Dept of Finance Legal Fees PQ

Dept of Environment Legal Fees OQ

Dept of Justice Legal Fees PQ

Dept of Defence Legal Fees PQ

Dept of Housing Legal Fees PQ

Dept of T, C, A, G, S & M Legal Fees PQ

Dept of Transport Legal Fees PQ

Dept of Environment Legal Fees PQ

 

By Aontú Press | 11 May, 2021



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