n 2007 it emerged that many junior ministers were claiming large amounts of mileage:
THE current system of paying junior ministers’ mileage has been described as a “farce” after it emerged a TD in Dublin claimed 100 times more in petrol expenses than a TD in Galway.
Figures seen by the Irish Independent show that Noel Ahern, who represents Dublin North West, ran up mileage expenses of €19,710 last year and €20,390 to date this year.
This is 100 times more than the €190 which was claimed last year by Noel Treacy, who represents the people of Galway East.
But last night, Mr Ahern claimed the figures supplied by the department about Mr Treacy were “ridiculous” and “wrong”. He said he is usually at the lower end of claims when a full list is compiled adding: “I don’t think that (€19,710) is necessarily that much.”
Figures show the Department of the Environment — which is headed up by the Green’s John Gormley — has covered the most road miles.
The biggest claim last year was lodged by Cork’s Minister of State for Environment, Batt O’Keeffe — who ran up a travel bill of €62,638 and has already run up expenses of €32,240 so far this year.