THE GREEN PARTY has criticised the merging of the Digital Hub into Dublin City Council, saying it sowed a “lack of any initiative” from the Government in promoting the internet economy.
Brendan Howlin, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, released a list of rationalisation measures in State agencies. The Digital Hub, which aims to “foster innovation” in the Irish tech and digital industry, is to be absorbed into Dublin City Council. This is the result of a review of a proposed merger of the Digital Hub Development Authority with Enterprise Ireland and the IDA.
The review found “that Dublin City Council would be a better merger partner for DHDA”. Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte later said that the reasons behind this included the fact that DCC was committed to making Dublin a centre for digital enterprise and that it had vast experience of managing city properties.
However, Ossian Smyth, Greens spokesperson on Communications, said this evening that the move was based more on the hope of “short-term budget savings”. He claimed that the Digital Hub had not received proper support from the Government:
Dublin City Council will say that they can do the same job but it will need the same resources to do so, which calls the level of real savings into question. We will be left with the clear message that this Government does not do digital and the city and country will be the poorer for that.
However, DHDA CEO Philip Flynn told Silicon Republic’s John Kennedy this evening that it would be “business as usual” at the Hub and Minister Rabbitte said that there was a transition plan in place.
Brendan Howlin’s review said that “the merger will be implemented on an administrative basis by end-year with necessary legislation to be progressed in 2013″.