Wednesday 22 November 2017

Leo Varadkar: I’m no jet setting minister

Anita Guidera

TRANSPORT Minister Leo Varadkar has revealed he is no jet setter.

Speaking at the MacGill Summer School today, the minister confessed he had never been on the government jet.

In fact he claimed the jet was so underused, out of fear of media criticism, that its pilots have to go on training flights without passengers so they can keep up their hours.

But the Minister said that the ongoing policy of not using the jet was time consuming and if not reversed, would prevent Ireland doing its job properly when it holds the EU presidency next year.

“To feed the lions, Ministers travel out the night before for meetings in Luxembourg, stay in a hotel at the expense of the taxpayer and lose most of the next day travelling home just to attend a two or three hour Council meeting,” he said.

In the process, Dail debates were being missed and important meetings at home were put off.

“With a European Presidency coming up, and the demand to spend a few days a week in Brussels, Luxembourg or Berlin, it is hard to see how continuing the current policy will allow us to do our job as Presidents of Europe properly, let alone well,” he said.

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