The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, has confirmed that the Department of Agriculture has spent €5.7m on travel expenses so far in 2016.

According to Minister Creed, the largest component of the Department’s travel expenditure is used for home travel for the control of European Union schemes, animal health controls and meat inspection services.

Details of the Department’s travel expenditure spending follows a Parliamentary Question from Fianna Fail’s Robert Troy, who asked the Minister for the total travel expenses reimbursement costs incurred by the Department between 2011 and 2016 to date.

Over the period in question, the Minister said that the Department had spent over €46.9m on travel expenses.

Department’s expenditure on travel:

Breakdown of travel expenses by the Department of Agriculture

Breakdown of travel expenses by the Department of Agriculture

A large part of the travel expenditure, he said, includes the costs associated with meetings in Brussels related to the European Union.

He also said that additional foreign travel is undertaken for the purpose of increasing access to important third world markets.

One such trip was a trade mission to the Asia, attended by both Minister Creed and Minister Andrew Doyle.

However, he said, travel expenditure is continuously being monitored and activities that require regular travel are reviewed with a view to keeping travel costs to a minimum.

2016 Budget

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine had been allocated €1.3 billion in Budget 2016, in the form of €1,134m in current expenditure and €217 in capital expenditure.

This represented an overall increase of €109m on the year before.

Breakdown of funding available:
  • Rural Development Programme (RDP) – €494m
  • Agri–Environment Schemes (GLAS, AEOS and Organics) – €203m
  • Areas of Natural Constraint (ANCs) – €195m
  • Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) – €35.8m
  • Beef Data Genomics Programme (BDGP) – €52m
  • Basic Payments – €1.2 billion