Saturday 10 December 2016

Bank Inquiry: too little, too late and too expensive

Was this the greatest waste of taxpayers' money since the boom

Published 29/11/2015 | 02:30

Teflon Taoiseach: Bertie Ahern was in his element as he fielded questions at the Banking Inquiry
Teflon Taoiseach: Bertie Ahern was in his element as he fielded questions at the Banking Inquiry

Amidst all the agonising and the arguing that has gone on among the members of the Banking Inquiry, the only thing we can be sure of at this stage is that the final report into the causes of Ireland's banking crisis will make for expensive as opposed to compulsive reading.

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With the costs of the investigation set to run to €5m, a crude calculation shows that the final version of the disjointed and unusable 750- page draft presented by the inquiry's investigators to the committee will cost the taxpayer between €12,500 and €20,000 per page if estimates that the completed report will run to between 250 and 400 pages prove to be accurate.

Given those numbers, it's hardly surprising that individual members of the banking inquiry team have rushed to defend the value of the work they have been doing in the bowels of Leinster House in calling politicians, bankers, developers, civil servants and regulators to account in person for their actions in the years of the boom and the bust that followed.

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