Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Department of Finance
The Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Ministers and Ministers of State have all accepted a voluntary pay cut of 10% in their salaries. Their salaries are also subject to the public service pension levy. If the salaries of all Ministers, including the Taoiseach and Tánaiste, were reduced further to €100,000, and those of Ministers of State to €85,000, the savings arising would be €2.43m in a full year.
I understand that the Deputy is referring to domestic motor travel and subsistence arrangements for Ministers and Ministers of State. Ministers of State are reimbursed for official travel up to a limit of 96,540 km (60,000 miles) per annum. Their mileage rates were reduced by 25% from 5 March 2009. Ministers are provided with a State car and Garda drivers and have no expense allowance in this regard.
Subsistence is payable where a Minister is absent from their headquarters and home on official business in Ireland and abroad. In Ireland Ministers may claim the vouched cost of a hotel room, including tax and up to 15% for service charges and a subsistence allowance of €72.66 per night. The latter amount reflects a reduction of 25% from 5 March 2009 and is designed to provide for meals and a small amount for incidentals. I am responsible for the policy for the travel and subsistence regime of Ministers excluding State cars which is a matter for the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform.
As regards the savings that would arise from a further reduction in travel and subsistence arrangements, this would depend on the expenses arising in each case. Individual Departments and offices are responsible for the day to day allocation and management of expenditure on travel and subsistence for Ministers.