On taking office the Government reformed the transport arrangements for Ministers which has radically reduced the costs of travel.
The Government decision involved confining the use of State cars from 1 May 2011. As a result, the average cost of providing transport has been reduced by 65% - from an average cost of €280,000 per minister in 2010 to a current annual estimate of €100,000 per annum.
In line with the reformed arrangements, I now use my own car for official business. The travel /mileage rates payable depend on the car engine size and also incorporate a number of expense elements associated with the cost of running a car, such as road tax and insurance. The engine size of my car is 1400cc and the rate applicable is 46.25 cent per kilometre.
The mileage costs which I have claimed since 01 May 2011 to 31 January 2013 amount to €14,754.99.
I have two civilian drivers, both on a remuneration rate of €631.75 per week. The total salary costs involved to date has been €112,259.85.
They may also claim travel and subsistence allowances, in accordance with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform regulations for necessary absences on official duties from home and headquarters. Total cost of travel and subsistence claimed by my drivers to date is €2,298.04.
The total cost incurred in all of the above amounts to €129,312.88 for the period 01 May 2011 to 31 January 2013. This represents a significant reduction on the average cost of €280,000 per minister per annum under the previous system.
The previous practice whereby all Ministers were provided with State cars and Garda drivers fell within the remit of the Department of Justice and in this regard details of the costs involved in respect of 2010 would be a matter for my colleague the Minister for Justice and Equality.
There is no Junior Minister assigned to the Department.