Posted on

Mileage and travel expenses for Ministers at the Department of Health increased by €13,118 between 2020 and 2021, according to new figures obtained through a Freedom of Information (FoI) request. The figures show the total amount paid for mileage and travel expenses for the Department of Health in 2020 amount to €48,642. In 2021, total expenses paid were €61,760.

These figures are combined payments for the cost of mileage expenses and the “subsistence payments for overnight stays more than 100km away from [Ministers’] homes and normal places of work which occurred due to work commitments”, according to a Department FoI spokesperson. The majority of the expenses paid related to mileage. The Minsters in question from the Government of the 32nd Dáil, which dissolved at the end of January 2020, were: Minister for Health Simon Harris; Minister of State for Disabilities Finian McGrath; Minister of State for Health Promotion and National Drugs Strategy Catherine Byrne; and Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly.

The Ministers from the Government of 33rd Dáil, which was formed in June 2020 are: Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly; Minister of State for Disabilities Anne Rabbitte; Minster of State for Public Health, Well Being and National Drugs Strategy Frank Feighan; and Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Mary Butler. Minister Rabbitte, who was part of both Governments and is based in Galway, received the highest amount overall.

Her expenses were €29,361: €10,823 in 2020, and €18,538 in 2021. Of current serving ministers, Minister Donnelly had the least travel expenses and mileage paid in both years, at €7,387 in 2020 and €12,555 in 2021. Minister Rabbitte and Minister Donnelly had no travel expenses relating to overnight stays in 2020. Minister Feighan and Minister Butler had expenses €156 and €222, respectively. From the previous Dáil Government, only Minister Daly had overnight travel expenses, which amounted to €1,052. The overall total of travel expenses and mileage across the two years was €110,402.