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Ministerial Transport cuts and staffing reductions

The Government has announced cuts in Ministerial Transport and staffing reductions:

The Government at its meeting this morning agreed new arrangements for the transport and staff support for Ministers in line with the terms of the Programme for Government.

These will produce very substantial savings, more than halving the cost of transport for Ministers and a reduction of 25% in the permitted staffing of Ministers’ Offices and 33% for Minsters of State.

Garda drivers and State cars will be retained only for the President, the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and the Minister for Justice and Equality for security reasons. Ministers, together with the Ceann Comhairle and the Attorney General, will supply their own cars and civilian drivers will be hired, as has been the case for Ministers of State for some years.

In addition, official cars and Garda drivers will no longer be provided to former Taoisigh and former Presidents (except in respect of important State occasions).

The new arrangements will come into effect for Ministers at the latest on 1 May, and in 3 months in the case of former Taoisigh and Presidents.

The effect of this will be the release of a substantial number of Gardaí to regular duties, as well as more than halving the cost of Ministerial transport.

This decision does not affect the provision of a State car to the Chief Justice and the current Director of Public Prosecutions.

The permitted staffing of the Private Offices and Constituency Offices of Ministers and Ministers of State is being reduced with immediate effect (from 10 to 8 and 6 to 4 respectively for Ministers and from 7 to 5 and 5 to 3 respectively for Ministers of State).

The combination of these measures will make a significant impact on the cost of Government and reflects the determination of the Government to establish a momentum for political reform.