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While politicians debated grand designs, other projects withered and died

Colm McCarthy


The Public Spending Code was put in place to stop capital programme overshoots — but elites have ignored attempts to rein in their grand designs

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Former Health Minister Simon Harris in 2017 with a model of the National Maternity Hospital, when it was being costed at under €300m. Today, the estimated cost is over €1bn

Former Health Minister Simon Harris in 2017 with a model of the National Maternity Hospital, when it was being costed at under €300m. Today, the estimated cost is over €1bn

Former Health Minister Simon Harris in 2017 with a model of the National Maternity Hospital, when it was being costed at under €300m. Today, the estimated cost is over €1bn

Ambitious targets for public investment over the next several years cannot be delivered, due to overshoots on the bill for major projects. The initial cost estimates were unrealistic.

Even when the construction cost index was flat, many big projects were costing way more than had been provided for — so it’s not good enough to blame the recent inflation surge.


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