15/03/2011 – 16:32:50
These were the headlines in March
Cabinet Ministers are to lose their garda drivers under radical changes to official Government transport announced today.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny, President Mary McAleese, Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore and Justice and Defence Minister Alan Shatter will retain the facility for security reasons.
But from May 1 the other 12 ministers and Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett will be forced to supply their own vehicles and have civilian drivers hired, as has been the case with junior ministers.
From June, former Taoisigh and presidents will also lose the trappings of power except for important state occasions after the Cabinet signed-off on the cost-cutting plans.
Both Fine Gael and Labour pledged in the Programme for Government to halve the cost of the transport fleet and free up garda drivers to return to front-line duty.
The cost of running state cars for the last two years has totalled €11m.
The Chief Justice John L Murray and the Director of Public Prosecutions Director James Hamilton will also retain their State vehicle.
In addition to transport cuts the staffing of ministers’ private offices will be cut from 10 to eight and from six to four in constituency offices.
Junior ministers will have staff cut from seven to five in private offices and five to three in constituency offices.
“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,” a government statement said.
The outgoing Fianna Fáil-Green government revealed it was scaling back the trappings of power when Budget 2011 was unveiled last December.
The then Government faced a backlash from the public after ministers were seen driving into a Budget Cabinet meeting at the lush Farmleigh estate in separate sleek cars last October.
Read more: http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/no-more-garda-drivers-for-ministers-497398.html#ixzz1LCa2ZrKw
But Today May 2nd
these are the headlines
Government set to retain 20 Garda drivers despite shift to private cars
01 May 2011 By Niamh Connolly Political Correspondent
At least 20 of the current 54 ministerial drivers are likely to be retained from the ranks of the Garda despite today’s shift to private cars and civilian drivers, say Garda sources.
Some 12 cabinet ministers will return their ministerial Mercs and supply their own cars with civilian drivers as a result of the first decision to be announced by the new government on taking office.
Former taoisigh will lose their ministerial cars and drivers from next month, except when they attend official functions. State cars and drivers will still be retained for the President, Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Minister for Justice, Director of Public Prosecution and Chief Justice, who will each require two Garda drivers on shift duty, totalling 12 gardaí.
Sources said a further ten drivers would be needed to ‘‘substitute’’ for those drivers when they were unavailable for duty, and to be available to former taoisigh attending official functions.
The move to civilian drivers is expected to save about €4 million of the current €11 million cost for the service over a two-year period.
Meanwhile, negotiations are to take place on behalf of retiring Garda drivers for the payment of outstanding overtime in pensions, and the matter may yet go to conciliation
This is yet another broken promise from the new government when will the people wake up I suspect we will be facing a lot more broken promises for example higher taxes on the way and more job losses .
I would be surprised if we don’t lose at least another 65,000:00 jobs this year! With the governments lofty growth expectations all but rubbished by the central Bank last week the true nature of the depression in Ireland has yet to be acknowledged. The borrowings requirement will pile on the pressure even more on the countries meagre finances so what does the Fine Gael government decide to do compensate Barristers and tribunal lawyers Well done now go to the back of the class Edna and take out the Fine Gael manifesto and see if you can find any more promises that you can renege on!