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Written Answers - Ministerial Transport

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 762 No. 1

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 157.  Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness  asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  further to Parliamentary Question No. 282 of 28 February 2012, the way the estimated saving of €4 million on the use of State cars for senior Ministers was calculated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19735/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter In March 2011 the Government decided to significantly reduce the number of Office Holders for whom official transport would be provided by An Garda Síochána. One of the consequences of that decision was that the transport arrangements in place for Ministers of State became applicable to Government Ministers, subject to very limited exceptions on security grounds. In addition, it was decided that former Presidents and Taoisigh would only be supplied with official transport for important State occasions.

In the context of the proposals considered by the Government prior to the taking of its decision, a comparison was made between the average cost of providing Garda transport to an Office Holder under the arrangements in place at that time and the average costs associated with the provision of transport for Ministers of State in 2010. This was the main basis on which it was estimated that potential savings of in the region of €4 million could be realised in a full year under the proposed procedures. Moreover, account was also taken in this process of the fact that official transport requirements would only arise in the case of former Office Holders in very limited circumstances.

The revised transport arrangements came into operation for Government Ministers on 1st May 2011 and for former Office Holders on 16th June 2011. I am aware that they have led to significant savings within the Garda Vote and I also understand that overall they have considerably reduced the level of expenditure on Ministerial transport.

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