Children's hospital review will cost 'up to €450,000 plus VAT'

A review by business consultants PWC, of the massive cost overrun linked to building a new children’s hospital, is likely to cost well in excess of the €450,000 originally mooted which does not include VAT or expenses.

The information has emerged on foot of a parliamentary question from Sinn Féin's Jonathan O’Brien who asked Health Minister Simon Harris for the revised cost of the PWC report.

In response, Dean Sullivan, HSE deputy director general, said the review will cost “up to €450,000 plus VAT and expenses".

Adding VAT at 23% would bring the figure up to €553,500 if the review costs the maximum amount. No information is provided in relation to what expenses might be paid or to whom.

Mr O’Brien said there was now the “ludicrous situation of a cost overrun on the review undertaken to examine cost overruns”.

We were told €450,000 was the maximum that would be spent, but we now realise it’s going to be well over that.

“I think the government needs to be more upfront when giving information to the public, the Oireachtas and the media,” he said.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar previously claimed the report would cost between €200,000 and €400,000 and not €450,000 as reported.

Mr O’Brien intends to raise the issue at this morning’s joint Oireachtas health committee meeting where he will deputise for party colleague Louise O’Reilly.

The incoming chair of the National Children’s Hospital Development Board, Fred Barry, will also address the committee.

The cost of the new hospital could yet exceed €2bn making it the second most expensive children’s hospital in the world.

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