Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Department of Education and Skills
Question 251: To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he uses a State car; the type of car that is used; how often he has used it since coming to office; the cost of the person employed to drive the car; the cost of their salary; the cost of their vehicle expenses; if the person employed as their driver was previously a State employee; if that person is also in receipt of a State pension; the total cost of the service to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9714/12]
In March 2011, the Government agreed new measures for Cabinet Ministers in relation to the provision of official transport to take effect from 1 May 2011. On my appointment as Minister from 9 March 2011 until 30 April 2011, I was provided with a State car. Since 1 May 2011, in line with the revised procedures, I have used my own car. I am provided with the services of two civilian drivers who are retired members of An Garda Siochána and are in receipt of a Garda pension. They are paid a wage of €631.75 per week and any appropriate subsistence allowances in respect of their official duties. The total subsistence payments for the two drivers for 2011 amounted to €1,468.11. Up to 31 December 2011, I claimed €10,966 in respect of travel expenses. It should be noted that the travel arrangements for Ministers in the previous Fianna Fáil - Green Party Government cost the taxpayer an average of approximately €280,000 per annum per Minister.