Belfast Telegraph

Leo Varadkar says controversial printer costs are matter for Oireachtas commission

A report found that the total cost of the printer, including its installation fee, came to almost 1.8 million euro (£1.5 million).

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the costs associated with the printer are a matter for the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the costs associated with the printer are a matter for the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission.

By Cate McCurry, PA

Irish premier Leo Varadkar has distanced himself from the controversy surrounding the Dail printer and its associated costs.

It comes after a report found that the total cost of the printer, including its installation fee, came to almost 1.8 million euro (£1.5 million).

Members of the Committee of Public Accounts (PAC) called for further accountability over the fiasco during a meeting on Thursday morning.

The report, which was compiled by the clerk of the Dail Peter Finnegan, detailed the costs, which showed that that the cost of the printer, including VAT, was 1.369 million euro.

It emerged at the weekend that Oireachtas staff spent 808,000 euro on the printer, which did include structural costs.

However, when the printer was delivered in December last year, staff discovered it was too big and could not fit in the space.

It was put into storage until September this year.

It is understood that the machine has not yet been used as staff say they need training to use it.

Speaking in Dublin on Thursday, Mr Varadkar said it was a matter for the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission.

“I do want to be abundantly clear on this, I think sometimes people often lump everything in the public service all together as if it’s all controlled by the government, that’s not the case,” he said.

“This is a matter for the Oireachtas, the government doesn’t control the Oireachtas.

“It’s really going to be matter for the Ceann Comhairle, and the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission to resolve this, not the government. This isn’t isn’t our business, actually.”

Mr Varadkar stressed that the costs associated with the printer are public funds which are not controlled by government.

“This is not a government department,” he added.

“This is not a State agency.

“These are Houses of the Oireachtas, they’re controlled separate from government.

“It up to the Ceann Comhairle and the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission to account for that, and the opposition parties make up a majority of that commission.”

PA

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