Mileage and travel expenses for Ministers at the Department of Health amounted to €110,402 for 2020 and 2021, and increased by €13,118 last year, according to new figures obtained by the Medical Independent (MI).
The figures, released to MI following a Freedom of Information (FoI) request, show the total amount paid for mileage and travel expenses for Ministers at the Department amounted to €48,642 in 2020. This expenditure rose to €61,760 the following year.
These are combined payments for mileage expenses and “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 the FoI response. Most of the expenses related to mileage.
The Departmental Ministers 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 Departmental Ministers from the Government of the 33rd Dáil, which was formed in June 2020, are Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly; Minister of State for Disabilities Anne Rabbitte; Minister 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 is based in Galway, received the highest amount overall. Her total expenses over the two years were €29,361 (€10,823 in 2020 and €18,538 in 2021).
Minister Donnelly received €7,387 in 2020 and €12,555 in 2021, amounting to a total of €19,942 over the two years.
The total expenses for other Ministers at the Department over the period were as follows: Minister Feighan (€26,623); Minister Butler (€21,017); Minister Daly (€8,170); Minister Harris (€4,002); Minister McGrath (€810); and Minister Byrne (€477).