Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (790)

Sean Fleming


798 Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Health the full list of allowances that are not subject to income tax and the rates applicable that are available to him and Ministers of State in his Department in respect of their official duties including allowances relating to periods when they are away from their offices, either within the State or abroad; the actual amounts claimed and paid since 9 March 2011 to him and Ministers of State; if these are currently under review; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35065/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health)

Ministers and Ministers of State are entitled to the same allowances as Members of the Oireachtas with some exceptions.

As the Deputy will be aware, the legislation providing for Oireachtas expense allowances is exempt from taxation under section 836 of the Taxes Consolidation Act which was inserted into the this Act by section 3(7) of the Oireachtas (Allowances to Members) and Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices Act 2009.

Ministers do not receive the Travel and Accommodation Allowance provided to Members of the Oireachtas.

Since 1 May 2011 Cabinet Ministers with the exception of Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Law Reform now use their own cars on official business. All Ministers are now paid for official mileage up to 96,540 kilometres or 60,000 miles per annum. Ministers of State have used their own cars on official business since 1984. This arrangement is currently under review.

Ministers do not receive overnight payments while in Dublin. Ministers on official overnight business in Ireland, away from their home or headquarters, may claim the vouched cost of a hotel room including tax and up to 15% in respect of any service charge. They may also claim an overnight subsistence allowance of €72.66.

Ministers travelling abroad are entitled to:

For overnight absences abroad (excluding US and Canada): Civil service conference rate increased by one-third.

For overnight absences abroad (US and Canada only): Civil service conference rate increased by one-half.

Conference rates vary from country to country.

The table below specifies the amounts claimed by myself and Ministers of State Shortall and Lynch for Travel and Subsistence since 9 March 2011.

James Reilly T.D.

Roisin Shortall T.D.

Kathleen Lynch T.D.