Time for Varadkar to reveal communications cost – Howlin

03 October 2017

Labour leader Brendan Howlin has today called on the Taoiseach to come clean on the real cost of the expansion of communications staff in Government.

Responding to a question from Deputy Howlin on Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil today, Leo Varadkar said he did not yet know the net cost of the new unit, despite previously promising that this unit would be ‘cost neutral’.

Deputy Howlin commented:

“It’s clear that the Taoiseach has not been up-front about the true cost of his new Strategic Communications Unit. We were originally told that this new unit- which represent a significant investment in Government communications- would be ‘cost neutral to the Exchequer’.

“However today the Taoiseach revealed that he does not yet know how much this new team will cost.

“This admission comes after we have seen jobs filled in the Strategic Communications Unit, and also in individual Government Departments, as well as a tender issued over recent weeks for monthly tracking polls that will cost the taxpayer €130,000 plus VAT.

“The taxpayer is entitled to know if it is paying for Government communications or party political research. If we are to believe that the Taoiseach is indeed prioritising substance over spin, then coming clean on the intended level of communications spending would be a good place to start.”



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