Sligo/Nth Leitrim TD and Minister of State, John Perry has topped the 'spending polls' again.
Earlier this month the Ballymote native succeeded in achieving the
highest spend amongst all TDs and ministers for a personal Public
Relations allowance. He clocked up over €40,000 which was more than the
combined spend of both the Health Minister Dr James Reilly and the
department's junior minister, Roisin Shorthall. See SligoToday.ie 14/4/12
This followed his earlier mileage claim, again the highest in Dáil
Eireann, at €31,867, which was over €10,000 above his nearest claimant.
See SligoToday.ie 2/4/12
Figures released yesterday have confirmed that Minister Perry has
claimed a staggering €131,386
in transport costs. The whopping claim is
over €53,000 higher that that the claim paid to his 'boss', Minister for
Jobs Richard Bruton’s whose costs were €78,267.
The Irish Times
reported that Transport costs for the Cabinet, Ministers
of State and other office holders including the President, Chief
Justice and Director of Public Prosecutions amounted to just over €7.2
million, according to Government statistics.
The expenditure including cars, drivers and mileage allowances totalled
just under €2.6 million in the past year for 12 members of Cabinet and
the 15 Ministers of State.
The cost for the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Minister for Justice and a number
of other State office holders in the period since February 2011 was a
further €4.6 million. This is just under €3 million less than when the
old transport arrangements applied.
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said records of costs for office
holders who have a Ministerial car and Garda drivers “have not been
maintained in a manner which would allow for the identification of costs
associated with individual office holders”.
However, he said the Garda authorities had indicated the cost from
February last year to March this year was €4,626,296. Mr Shatter said
that in 2010 under the old transport system, officer holder expenditure
amounted to €7.5 million, and “significant savings have been achieved”.
Under the old system a car and Garda drivers were provided to more than
20 office holders including the entire 15 member-Cabinet, all former
taoisigh and presidents and the Government Chief Whip.
Office holders including the President, Chief Justice, Attorney General,
and Director of Public Prosecutions retain a State car and Garda
drivers for security reasons under the new arrangements.
These were introduced on May 1st last year to cut costs and the only
Cabinet members still provided with a car and Garda drivers are the
Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, for security reasons.
The 12 remaining Ministers had to give up their State car and operate
under the same system as Ministers of State, employing civilian drivers
who are paid by the State and claiming mileage allowances.
Since June 16th, 2011, former taoisigh and presidents who used to have a
car and Garda driver for life are now only supplied with official
transport for significant State occasions.
Fianna Fáil Limerick TD Niall Collins asked the cost of Ministerial
transport, in a series of questions across all Government departments.
Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton’s costs were €78,267.57 while Minister of State for Small Business John Perry was
Minister for Health James Reilly gave just the total cost for himself,
and Ministers of State Kathleen Lynch and Róisín Shortall as €222,811.
Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte said total costs were €195,033
for himself and Minister of State Fergus O’Dowd, including a combined
mileage expenses for the two Ministers of €31,083.
Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn’s civilian drivers’ salaries were
€73,885 from May 2011 to March 2012 and his mileage allowance was
€15,745 for the same period.