Just in case there’s a tribunal

Posted: May 27, 2009 in politics

I almost missed it, but back on May 10th the Irish Independent carried a story about the rents that the state is paying. The Indo in true tabloid fashion got hung up on all the well known rich people who are earning this rent. As if that were important.

The real interesting part of the story was the amount we spend on empty office space.

the OPW keeps one per cent of its property portfolio vacant so as to maintain a degree of flexibility in case a new tribunal or agency is formed

There you have it. At a time when there has never been more empty office space available to rent, and at a time when we should be cutting down on the number of agencies, we’re renting empty offices “in case” a new tribunal or agency is set up.

And how much are we wasting on this empty office space?

€1.127m spent renting empty office space

At a time when we apparently don’t have €10m to fund cervical cancer vaccines, we can blow over a million needlessly on empty office space.

On top of that, we’re overpaying by about €15m a year because the government hasn’t renegotiated rents despite huge falls in rents since the bubble burst. They of course excuse this by citing “Upward Only Rent Reviews”.

You’re the government for goodness sake, the biggest tennant in the country. You make the rules. If you can’t parlay that power into a bit of action, what good are you?

It’s not that there isn’t any way for the government to save money, it’s that there isn’t any will.

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