Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will provide details of the rent allowances that are paid to public servants and officials of his Department if placed on overseas assignment in the United Kingdom and mainland Europe; and the way in which these rates for living accommodation are calculated or benchmarked.
REPLY (Minister Charlie Flanagan):
Officials serving the State abroad are assigned a rent allowance to enable them to rent suitable accommodation in which to live.
The Department uses an independent advisory service to provide information on the setting of suitable rent ceilings in all Mission locations, including in the United Kingdom and throughout Europe.
In setting rent ceilings, the Department also takes into account the size of the officer’s family. The choice of accommodation is subject to inspection and vetting with regard to its suitability, adequacy, and value for money and to the officer’s and their families’ security needs.
These rent ceilings are normally fixed for the duration of the Officer’s assignment abroad, apart from increases such as consumer price index increases which are provided for in the original lease.
Officers are personally responsible for all payments in respect of beneficial services such as heating, water, lighting, gas, telephone, TV, refuse collection, maintenance of central heating and any other such charges that would normally be paid by an officer resident in Ireland.
Details of the total rent paid in the United Kingdom and mainland Europe in 2014 are included below.