The poor management of the National Children’s Hospital and the knock-on effect it has had on spending in other Government departments has been lamented by independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

Commenting on the matter, he said: “Poor accountancy decisions taken as part of the National Children’s Hospital project are now coming back to haunt us.

“The project was originally estimated to cost under €800 million, but it could potentially reach €2 billion. This debacle is having a knock-on effect in all departments, with budgets being squeezed at every opportunity.

“For instance, we are hearing at the moment that the Department of Rural and Community Development will be decreasing the number of projects admitted under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme for 2019 compared to the previous year.

“Meanwhile, it is common to hear of instances where people’s requests for home help are being rejected, or granted but there is no budget available to follow through on the commitment.

“The fair deal scheme is also under-funded at the moment. If this is the situation at the moment, what will it look like next November or December when the number of people visiting hospitals around the country are sure to increase?

“It seems as if the Government is hell-bent on driving on projects in Dublin at the expense of those living in rural areas. This has been evident with the National Children’s Hospital project, where costs have spiralled completely out of control.

“I fear that spending in other departments will continue to be affected by the mismanagement of the hospital project, which I still believe should have been situated in a site more accessible to the rest of the country rather than where it is,” Fitzmaurice concluded.

Michael Fitzmaurice TD – 0861914565

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