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Departmental Allowances

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 15 June 2010

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Ceisteanna (2, 3)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Ceist:

87 Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Taoiseach if his Department pays allowances to former Taoisigh to maintain personal assistants; the former Taoisigh to whom such allowances are or have been paid; the amount per annum of each allowance; the cost of the allowances in 2010; the total cost since their introduction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25352/10]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Ceist:

88 Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Taoiseach the facilities and allowances provided by his Department to former Taoisigh; the cost of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25353/10]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Taoiseach)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 87 and 88 together.

Under the terms of an initiative introduced by the Department of Finance in August 2001, my Department pays the salary of secretarial assistants employed by former Taoisigh, up to the maximum of the Higher Executive Officer (standard) scale. The initiative provides that a former Taoiseach may employ two secretarial assistants for a period not exceeding five years from the date when s/he was last Taoiseach. After the five year period has elapsed only one secretarial assistant may be employed. The initiative also includes provision for purchase of computer equipment necessary for this type of service.

While there are no guidelines in relation to the type of work for which secretarial assistants are employed by former Taoisigh, I understand that they carry out a normal range of secretarial duties to support the former Taoisigh in carrying out those aspects of work associated with their former roles which remain after their period in office has ceased. However, under the initiative the secretarial assistant cannot engage in constituency or active party political work.

The table below provides details of the costs incurred in providing secretarial assistants to former Taoisigh who have availed of the scheme since its introduction.

Former Taoiseach

Cost of Scheme by Year

Mr. Charles J. Haughey

2001 : €7,806

2002 : €32,475

2003 : €32,475

2004 : €35,538

2005 : €36,984

2006 : €54,609

Dr. Garret Fitzgerald

2001 : €2,602

2002 : €32,475

2003 : €32,475

2004 : €35,538

2005 : €36,984

2006 : €38,514

2007 : €41,857

2008 : €44,965

2009 : €38,055

Mr. Albert Reynolds

2001 : €6,824

2002 : €21,737

2003 : €35,034

2004 : €42,275

2005 : €52,051

2006 : €14,794

2007 : €19,145

2008 : €49,575

2009 : €44,890

2010 : €12,365

Mr. John Bruton

2001 : €26,020

2002 : €32,475

2003 : €18,943

2004 : €35,538

2005 : €36,984

2006 : €38,514

2007 : €40,635

2008 : €11,103

2009 : €0

2010 : €1,766

Mr. Bertie Ahern

2008 : €74,983

2009 : €114,369

2010 : €41,307

My Department also provided Dr. Garret FitzGerald with the use of computer equipment to the value of €1,913 during this period.

My Department also pays in respect of the use of airport VIP facilities and mobile phones by former Taoisigh. The costs for these in 2009 were €3,871 and €5,763 respectively. Former Taoisigh are invited to major State functions, e.g. the National Day of Commemoration, the 1916 Commemoration: cost figures are not compiled in respect of this.

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