TAXPAYERS were today counting the cost of the Government's €230m decision to abandon a series of key infrastuctural projects.
Transport Minister Leo Varadkar has admitted that the decision to abandon Metro North comes after more than €150m was splashed out on the planning stage alone.
And a staggering €40m was stripped from the public purse on the Dart underground -- a project that was also dramatically axed as part of the State's four-year capital spending plan.
And it has emerged today that Dublin City Council may be hit with hefty legal bills to cover the compensation costs that it must pay out to two consortiums, Celtic Metro and Metro Express.
Some €2m has already been paid out to the bidders -- who were shortlisted following a successful procurement process.
A total of 40 national road projects have been chopped, along with the Navan Rail line, the Western corridor and the Luas line to Lucan.
The hundreds of jobs set to be created with the construction of Thornton Hall Prison have all been abandoned.
A massive €43m has already been splashed out on the North Dublin jail.
The Department of Transport has confirmed that it will spend €4,646m on capital projects over the next five years -- a cut of €1,045m on the National Recovery Plan figures published 12 months ago.
Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin bluntly conceded: "The country simply cannot afford to do everything it wanted to do."
Fianna Fail's public expenditure spokesperson Sean Fleming has claimed that the savage cuts will cost the country 9,000 jobs next year alone.