Belfast Telegraph

Pay and perks cut for ministers

The Government is scaling back on the trappings of power in the wake of public anger over the luxury of state service.

Ministers' pay will be slashed by more than 10,000 euro and the Taoiseach's wage of 228,466 euro will be cut by up to 14,000 euro.

And their comfort in transport has been hit with former office holders, including taoisigh and presidents and "other users", now forced to share cars under a new pooled transport system.

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said Cabinet members had already taken a hit in their pay.

"Nonetheless the Government has decided to introduce another reduction in the salaries of the Taoiseach, Tanaiste and Ministers," Mr Lenihan told the Dail.

The style of state cars may also be scaled back, with the Budget stating that slashing engine size to two litres or less would save money as the ministerial fleet is replaced.

The number of Garda drivers taken off frontline duty to drive politicians is also being reduced.

The 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.

The Government Gulfstream jet, one of two aeroplanes used for state business, is nearing the end of its life and will not be replaced, the Budget stated.

The remaining Lear jet is a smaller plane and will be used for essential business to European destinations.

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