Driving Minister Quinn


When is a ministerial Merc not a ministerial Merc.

When it’s an office.

The claim form from the Department of Education specifies that all mileage must be carried out as part of official Ministerial duties.

Asked whether this type of claim was acceptable, particularly in light of Labour’s previously hard-line policy on expenses claimed by Ivor Callely and John O’Donoghue amongst others, one of Mr Quinn’s special advisers said he was working in the car during these journeys.

His spokeswoman said: ”All of Minister Quinn’s claims for expenses and mileage are strictly in accordance with the arrangements outlined by the government.The Minister is often required to interrupt his holidays to attend official functions and undertake government business. In order to carry out his considerable workload at the Department of Education and Skills, the Minister carries confidential official papers in the car and works while on route to his destinations.  This is considered to be official travel.

Do try this with your boss today.

Go on.

Ruairi Quinn And His Galway Holiday Home Mileage Claims (ken Foxe, The Story.ie)

Previously: Call Us Old-Fashioned

Also: Small Business Minister Claimed €31,867 In Mileage Last Year

24 thoughts on “Driving Minister Quinn

  1. Andrew

    I don’t get it. Why is this a big deal? The guy may be guilty of being a workaholic – who gets up at 7am on their holidays to go to work in Athlone or Dublin!? But it’s pretty obvious he’s not fiddling expenses.

    The guy is clearly working his ass off – in broadsheet’s own words: “Ah here now”.

    1. Phil Hogans Relaxed Attitude To The Week Ahead

      Now in all fairness, when a minister is already earning several times the average industrial wage – does he really need to be seen to be screwing the nuts on the coffers so tightly to squeeze out the coinage as well?

    2. Clampers Outside

      If you are on holidays, you are on holidays.

      What if his holiday home was in France? Would you allow the same privileged attitude then? If he wants to work long hours, brilliant, well done Ruarí.

      But who the hell gets to claim expenses on their holidays!? A line needs to be drawn to differentiate the two.

      I’m delighted he is hard working, but milking the system for what it is worth is just f*ckoffery to the public considering the austerity the rest of us have to put up with!

      (“F*ckoffery” – I’ll tell you what to f*cking do and I’ll do what the f*ck I want, even on my holidays! Now, F*ck Off!!)

  2. Rob

    Exactly the kind of bullshít that Ruairi and buds would have condemned FF for not so long ago.

  3. James van der Kamp

    If he wants to work en route why not take the train 1st class to Galway? Is that not better for working than the back of a car?

    Hire car in Galway to finish the journey.

  4. Pedanto, The Hilarity Man

    So the closest to corruption we can find is someone who works in his car charging the petrol to expenses. Yet more evidence that this is the best government Ireland has had – certainly for thirty years, and possibly ever.

    1. Phil Hogans Relaxed Attitude To The Week Ahead

      Just curious, but what kind of important governmental work is being done while sitting upfront in a Mercedes?

      Didn’t some kid get dragged-up and banged-up full-speed there just last week for a burglary in Alan Shatters gaff – the explanation being there may have been ‘important and privileged paperwork’ stored in his house? Issues of state security, etc?

      What kind of documentation does the Merc contain?

      1. Pedanto, The Hilarity Man

        A vial of my blood is on the way, glowing dangerously.

        Which of our previous governments would you consider better than the current crowd?

        1. Phil Hogans Relaxed Attitude To The Week Ahead

          Back around 8000 BC, when those mad mesolithic hunter-gatherers migrated over from continental Europe for the craic. We ALL ruled back then.

        2. Paddy M

          The current crowd are extremely adept at spin (see the three-card-trick over the promissory notes last week that will actually result in an increase in our deficit this year).

          Let’s see how much actual substance results.

  5. Dee

    If Quinn and his buddies weren’t such hypocrites then this wouldn’t so nauseating.

    The Government made very big political capital from “getting rid of the mercs”.

    However, it turns out that instead of paying for garda drivers to drive Ministers around when they are on business, we now GIVE THE MONEY DIRCTLY TO THE MINISTERS IN THE FORM OF EXPENSES.

    Frankly I’d rather the money went to the garda drivers!

  6. Sido

    So what’s the deal here?
    I’m sorry I can’t follow it?
    Rauri gets to claim for the mileage on his chauffeur driven Merc?
    Does he have to put his own Diesel in?
    Does he have to pay for the chauffeur?

    1. James van der Kamp

      He gets two drivers plus a mileage allowance. The mileage allowance is so high that one minister managed to claim €31K in the last year. In addition, they get a travel/accom allowance of €12K-€37K/year tax free depending on how far they live from the Dail. The downside is that Ruairi has to use his own car whereas Kenny & Gilmore still get state mercs.

      This is socialism in action. Labour spent 14 years waiting to get into power to make Ireland more equal and I can feel the equality spraying all over my face whenever I see the rotund Labour front bench.

      1. James van der Kamp

        Yes he has to pay for his own diesel. Diesel costs about 10c/km. They get 34c/km in expenses. You do the sums.

        1. DFall

          They rigged the new system so that they make a profit from the expenses and try to argue that its a ‘reform for the taxpayer’!

          Well thats stroke Charlie Haughey would be proud of.

  7. Baz

    Looking at them hours, I have a whole new respect for him. Whilst working in the council I often seen normal civil servants claim €25+ per year in milage and there are thousands of them.

    1. SerialComplainer

      Baz, if you do work in a council, it’s a bit surprising that you don’t understand the difference between civil servants and public servants. Council staff are not civil servants. It would be very unusual for junior council staff to be picking up substantial travel expenses, but do feel free to post more specific details of what councils you’re talking about and what posts are involved. All information is available via FOI anyway, so you won’t be breaching any confidentiality.

  8. Shano

    That is not Ruari’s mileage expenses (they’ll require actual mileage) Dublin cork return is about 500k, and would be expensed from the department at 28.46 c / km so each of those cork trips would have 142.30 minimum (http://www.taxation.ie/guide-to-irish-tax/motor-expenses/ ) what we are looking at here is the subsistence expenses for the driver (his/her lunch money) that is claimed by the driver, separately

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