A Fine Gael Minister has questioned how people can trust Fianna Fáil after their U-turn on the rollout of rural broadband after months trying to derail the project.
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, said, “This is astonishing. After months trying to derail the process, Fianna Fáil has now admitted they will follow through on the National Broadband Plan (NBP) which was signed under the Fine Gael-led Government.
“We saw endless fear mongering and political games on this issue from FF deputies over the past year only to see the party claim in their manifesto that they will implement the National Broadband Plan. How can they be trusted on this vital issue?
“If FF had had their way in the past year, the contract would not have been signed and the process would have been re-started – leaving rural Ireland waiting longer for broadband.
“We in Fine Gael were steadfast in our commitment to delivering rural broadband.
“While Micheál Martin’s party tried to make a political football out of this important infrastructure, Fine Gael pressed ahead with the rollout of the NBP.
“It means we will be one of the first countries in the world to ensure that every home, business and farm has access to high-speed broadband.
“The number of households with access to high-speed broadband has increased from 52% in 2016 to 77% in 2019 and we will increase this to 100%.
“It is clear that FF’s candidates have heard a loud and clear message from people around rural Ireland that the delivery of broadband is vital and they have now decided to flip flop on another issue.
“For months we have been challenging FF to outline their plan to deliver rural broadband. Once again it seems FF have been exposed as having no policies of their own, instead opting to plagiarise ours.
“While people say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, there is nothing sincere about the promises FF are making in an attempt to hoodwink people into returning them to Government,” Minister Ring concluded.