Dáil Éireann - Volume 578 - 29 January, 2004

Written Answers - Departmental Transport.

  9. Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the total cost of purchasing new cars for the ministerial car fleet for each year since 1998; the amount spent in 2003 and the amount allocated for this purpose in the Estimates for 2004; the running cost of the car fleet for 2004; if he has plans to consider cutting [1193] costs in this area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2501/04]

  Mr. McDowell:I have been informed by the Garda authorities that the total cost of purchasing ministerial cars for each of the years concerned is outlined in the following table:

Year

Cost

1998

480,350.35

1999

502,947.75

2000

551,408.28

2001

677,277.22

2002

597,438.75

2003

367,829.97

As expenditure on ministerial cars forms part of the total Garda budget for the purchase of vehicles under subhead D of the Garda Vote there is no specific amount allocated to the purchase of ministerial vehicles for 2004. As can be seen from the figures provided the cost of purchasing ministerial cars each year is somewhere between €500,000 and €600,000 per annum except for 2003 when €367,829.97 was spent. It is expected that expenditure on ministerial cars in 2004 will be in excess of previous years figures.

The provision of the garda drivers, cars, fuel, maintenance and depreciation of the vehicles are the key components of cost to the Exchequer in providing State cars. It is estimated that maintenance and running costs, excluding the cost of the provision of garda drivers, are in the region of €550,000 per annum.

The Garda Síochána is constantly examining ways by which the running costs of the garda fleet may be reduced and thereby increasing the efficiency of its fleet. The ministerial fleet will also benefit from any means to improve efficiency.