Taxi Bill Not Fare On Tax Payer

The government’s calls for carbon reduction and increased use of public transport rang hollow today as a €1 million taxi bill for government departments in 2007 was revealed.

More than €2,100 of taxpayers money has been spent daily on taxis by ministers and their staff, and the bill for 2008 is already €80,000.

The huge bill seriously impacts on the message of the Power of One campaign, as ministers and staff choose to pursue one of the most inefficient and most expensive modes of domestic travel.

Fine Gael Cork East TD David Stanton, who obtained the figures, said: “If there’s a way departments can economise they should.

“The cost seems quite high. It is difficult to say whether it’s excessive or not without a breakdown on how they are being used.

“It would surprise me if ministers were using taxis because they all have their ministerial cars. But are they being used excessively by staff to move around the city, or are they being used understandably for foreign dignitaries — we just don’t know,”

Last November, an Irish newspaper revealed government ministers had spent a mere €155 on public transport in five months.

The biggest spender was the Department of Justice, employing 750 staff, the department managed to accrue up a taxi bill of €1,850 a week. While the Taoiseach’s department, employing about 300 people, spent €1,650 a week on taxis.

The Department of the Environment has been one of the fastest spenders on taxis so far this year, with a bill for €6,751 already.


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