Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Ceisteanna (105)

Paul Murphy

Ceist:

105. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to abolish the practice of enhanced mileage rates applying to Ministers who have cars with higher engine capacity in view of the commitment to action on climate change. [46804/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The arrangements for paying mileage allowances to Ministers of State were introduced, following a government decision in 1983, to reduce the cost of providing Ministerial transport. This was achieved by allowing Ministers of State to use their own cars for official purposes and to employ civilian drivers instead of being supplied with ‘State Cars’ and Garda drivers. In 2011, this measure was further extended and it was decided that:

a) The President, the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and the Minister for Justice and Law Reform should continue to be provided with Garda transport and drivers, for security reasons in line with the recommendations of the Garda Commissioner:

b) The Chief Justice, by virtue of his position, should also have a Garda car and driver;

c) The Director of Public Prosecutions should be provided with Garda transport and protection commensurate with his security profile but this should not be an ex officio entitlement;

d) With the exception of the four members of the Government mentioned in subparagraph a) the arrangements currently in place for Ministers of State should apply for all Ministers, the Attorney General and the Ceann Comhairle.

At the time of the original decision, it was considered that for security purposes and to facilitate the very heavy travelling requirements associated with their office, it was essential for Ministers of State to be allowed to use larger cars. These conditions are reflected in the allocation of a rate for an engine capacity of 2001cc and over for Ministers of State.  Since 2011 the same arrangements apply to Ministers.

In the context of the Climate Action Plan it is intended to review rates for electric vehicles with a view to introducing civil service mileage rates for electric vehicles reflecting the costs incurred by drivers using their own vehicles for work on behalf of the State. In addition, the next periodic review of civil service mileage rates is scheduled to take place in 2020 and all relevant factors will be taken into account in the context of this review.