Ministers claim more than €800,000 in travel expenses
25 Ministers and Ministers of State claimed for 1,979,425km of travel since taking office in 2011
Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation John Perry claimed mileage in relation to 179,218km, and travel and subsistence costs of ¤71,887 since taking office.
Ministers and Ministers of State have claimed more than €800,000 in mileage, travel and subsistence expenses since the current Government took office in 2011.
Information provided in reply to a series of parliamentary questions from Fianna Fáil TD Michael McGrath shows 25 Ministers and Ministers of State made mileage expense claims for driving 1,979,425km since the Coalition came to power in March 2011. This means Ministers and Junior Ministers have claimed expenses for an average of 79,177km each.
Ministers and Ministers of State claimed €803,876 in mileage, travel and subsistence expenses since the current Fine Gael/Labour Coalition entered government.
The highest mileage, travel and subsistence costs revealed in the reply to the parliamentary question relate to Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation John Perry. He is from Sligo and claimed mileage expenses for 179,218km.
Mr Perry’s total travel and subsistence costs between March 2011 and last July 14th came to €71,887.
The next highest claim was from Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan. From Co Kerry, Mr Deenihan claimed 174,150km in mileage expenses, and travel and subsistence expenses of €60,361.
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney from Cork claimed mileage expenses for 123,288km and travel claims of €60,047.
Where Ministers are claiming expenses from
The lowest amount, totalling €4,701, was claimed by Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, who lives in Shankill, in south Dublin.
However, this figure does not take into account the cost of providing Garda drivers and State cars for Mr Gilmore, which are paid for from the Garda budget.
The same arrangement is in place for Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Justice Alan Shatter. All three are provided with Garda drivers and State cars.
Although a similar arrangement was in place for all Ministers before May 2011, the Taoiseach changed this policy after entering office.
Ministers are now required to use their own vehicles but are provided with civilian drivers and mileage expenses.
A similar arrangement had been in place previously for Ministers of State.
The figures listed exclude mileage, travel and subsistence costs for Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar and two Ministers of State in the same department, Michael Ring and Alan Kelly.
Mr Varadkar said the information was being compiled and would be forwarded in due course.
Travel costs relating to Ministers of State in the Department of the Taoiseach are not included either. Figu[*MISC*]res provided by the Departm[/*MISC*]ent of Foreign Affairs only take into account travel expenses claimed in 2012 while the Department of Health provided figures for 2013 only, when Minister for Health James Reilly claimed travel, mileage and subsistence of €27,237.
The figures provided also exclude the cost of wages for drivers.
The full cost of providing drivers and mileage to 27 Ministers and Ministers of State last year came to €2.7 million.
That cost of transport provision for the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste, the Minister for Justice, President Michael D Higgins, Chief Justice Susan Denham and Director of Public Prosecutions Claire Loftus came to a further €2.2 million last year.