Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle slams Fine Gael for privatisation of Broadband

 

Thomas Pringle TD – May 8th 2019

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Independent TD for Donegal Thomas Pringle has today slammed Fine Gael for what he calls “a continuation of the Political Party’s failure to deliver national infrastructure projects for the people of Ireland”.

“Fine Gael’s latest move on the National Broadband Plan reveals their inability to manage fiscal projects in this country. Once again Fine Gael are dedicated to giving away one of the few state-owned national infrastructure projects to the private sector, and we are paying €3b for that privilege.

“This is ludicrous thinking and is a tell-tale sign of Fine Gael’s incapacity to Govern with one failed scheme after another now part of its legacy. It is ironic that Fine Gael are seeking the rural vote by announcing the go-ahead of the Plan this week. I think people will see through this because they have waited long enough and have witness enough scandal throughout the National Broadband Plan’s progression.

“I know that the question on most people’s minds is what would I have done differently? I would say that considering the money we are putting into the National Broadband Plan we would be better off having bought out Eir to begin with, then rolling out the infrastructure across Ireland. That way the public would own the broadband infrastructure and its provider outright and could have done this in a timely manner.

“The problem is that Eir was allowed compromise the process when they absorbed over 300,000 homes making the National Broadband Plan unviable and in limbo as a result. Fine Gael’s mismanagement of the process means we were are left with one bidder, a consortium and without any knowledge of what the private companies are bringing to the table in terms of investment. Furthermore, the infrastructure is at risk of being sold off over and over again losing value of the asset each time it changes owner.

“Unfortunately this is the stage the National Broadband Plan is at given that Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are in power. However, big questions remain and we need to know what the bidder is contributing to this project. If we are gifting our public infrastructure to a small consortium of private investors they will be in the business of maximising their own profits. We need assurance that the needs of people and those in rural Ireland will be met and I will be looking for answers on the role of Fine Gael and the consortium in all of this” concludes Pringle.

ENDS

 

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