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Government paying €10m a year on parking for public servants

OPW says that renting a Dublin parking space costs the state an average €2,428 a year.

CORRESPONDENCE FROM from the OPW to the Public Accounts Committee last week showed that the government owns 9,479 parking spaces, of which 3,291 are in Dublin and the remaining 6,188 are “regional owned”.

The document also shows that state rented 2,967 spaces in Dublin in February 2012, at an average cost per space of €2,428 a year.

The OPW says these spaces carry an annual cost of €7.2 million. A further 1,608 spaces are being leased by the government outside of Dublin at an average cost per space of €710 and an annual cost of €1.14 million, bringing the total annual bill for parking space leasing to €8.34 million.

However, the OPW also notes that it estimates that a further €2 million a year is spent on car parking costs:

On certain leases, we have no specified information on car parking costs (as it is included in the rent per annum). However, based on our average estimates, this could amount to an estimated additional value of €2m.

Parking levy

Commuters who park in Dublin, Galway, Cork, Limerick and Waterford cities have to pay €200 a year for the use of their workplace parking space under the  parking levy announced by the government in 2008.

The measure was introduced by then-Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan in Budget 2009, but the commencement order which brings it into effect has never been signed.

Under the parking levy, employers are obliged to deduct the €200-per-space charge from their workers’ pay. Self-employed persons are exempt from the charge, but their employees are liable.

It was expected to be piloted in Dublin in January 2011 before being rolled out in full, but the commencement order was not signed by the Minister for Finance and the scheme did not get underway. They also said that the preparatory work has been done on the move and that it would not be difficult for the government to proceed with it.

Yesterday, Minister Brian Hayes told RTÉ News that he had called for a review of the plan and that he supports its introduction.

A spokesperson from the Department of Finance told today that the measure was introduced by the previous government and that the current government taking office did not consider it a priority at the time of taking office.

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