Kilkenny TD launches scathing attack on Government and warns cost of Children’s Hospital will soar to €2bn
OUTSPOKEN Kilkenny TD John McGuinness launched a scathing attack on the Government as he warned the cost of the National Children’s Hospital project could soar to a staggering €2 billion.
Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy McGuinness called for the Dáil spending watchdog to be given increased powers to prevent future State contracts from spiraling out of control.
The Fianna Fáil TD said: “We are now faced with the biggest scandal the country has seen for a long time, in that the estimated cost of the construction of the children’s hospital has moved from €600 million to €1.7 billion, and no one can guarantee that that figure will be the final cost. It may increase to €2 billion.”
He added: “Have we not learned from all of the other issues that have dogged Government over a long number of years in regard to overspend and poor value for money?
“When what can be done for the future is articulated here, the single thing the Government will not do for some reason is increase the powers of the Comptroller and Auditor General.”
Deputy McGuinness said the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General “should be skilled to the last” and given the resources the spending watchdog requires to monitor Government projects effectively in the future.
He told the Dáil: “We should be foursquare behind that office, the public and value for money. Let us put our foot down and stop it now … to improve what is necessary to get value for money.”