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Boylan raises fuel cost for commuters and need for public sector relocation

24 June, 2008

Sinn Féin MLA, Cathal Boylan, has raised the issue of fuel mileage allowances available to civil servants who travel each day to work with the Minister for Finance and Personnel, asking if he would consider raising the amount which can be claimed in light of the spiralling cost of diesel and petrol.

In response Minister Dodds stated he was committed to ensuring civil servants are '…properly reimbursed…' and that he '… has asked his officials to review current rates in order to determine if they are still appropriate…'

Following on from this initial reply the Newry and Armagh Assembly member then asked 'That given the current fuel crisis and the commitment to combat Climate Change and protect the Environment, would the Minister agree that it is imperative that the relocation of public sector jobs throughout the North - not only to deal with those concerns, but also with the imbalance in the distribution of jobs- should be given serious consideration by the Executive.'

The Minister replied that this wider issue was currently subject to a review by George Bain and he hoped proposals would be brought forward as quickly as possible, and that people travelling in their own cars and fuel costs would be one of the issues which would be taken into account in the review.

Commenting, Cathal Boylan said,

"The rising cost of fuel is making it very difficult for everyone at this moment, especially those who depend on their cars to travel to and from work. Anything which can be done to alleviate this extra financial burden will be welcomed. On the broader picture of the regional imbalance in public sector jobs, this issue is further proof that it makes sense to relocate jobs throughout the North saving people the cost of fuel and helping to cut back on the environmental effects of less use of cars." ENDS

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