It’s emerged that FAS, the State training agency which is under fire for its cavalier use of public money, spent over €2.65 million on renting properties in Waterford City over the five-year period 2004-’08.
The figures were revealed in response to a parliamentary question tabled by local Fine Gael TD John Deasy, who sought an annual breakdown from Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mary Coughlan on the cost to the Exchequer, and the individual units involved.
Deputy Deasy has questioned the decision-making behind the payment of vast sums in rent on various properties at Parnell Street, Kilcohan, the IDA Northern Extension and Durands Court – upwards of €100,000 per annum in some instances – rather than building a dedicated FAS training centre on a single site instead.
The amounts paid in rent were: 2004 – €412,668; 2005 – €423,111; 2006 – €543,256; 2007 – €597,000; 2008 – €675490.
From the table issued by the Department, it would appear that some of the leases have a number of years to run.
Mr Deasy has tabled a further Dáil question asking to whom exactly the rents were paid.