Gerry Adams TD calls for progress on Mobility scheme for citizens with disabilities
Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams today raised the failure of the government to progress the Health (Transport Support) Bill which is about providing a new scheme for citizens with disabilities who need transport supports.
The Mobility Allowance Scheme and the Motorised Transport Grants were scrapped in 2013. There are almost 5,000 citizens' with disabilities still receiving these supports but no new claimant has been accepted since February 2013.
Speaking in the Dáil Gerry Adams reminded the Taoiseach that;
“In February 2013 the Government scrapped the Mobility Allowance Scheme and the Motorised Transport Grants because it was claimed they were not in compliance with the Equal Status Act and the Disability Act.
"This was done despite a recommendation from the Ombudsman for the scope of these schemes to be widened. The government took the decision because, as then Minister Kathleen Lynch said, it would cost too much.
"Instead of equality for citizens with disabilities we got an accounting exercise by government. A replacement scheme was promised but not delivered. This has caused much hardship for those excluded from these resources.
"The Health (Transport Support) Bill has languished on the legislative programme for five years. According to the current legislative programme this Bill is now a priority piece of legislation for publication. However pre-legislative scrutiny is still to be determined.”
The Sinn Féin leader asked the Taoiseach if he had any actual date for the publication of the Health (Transport Support) Bill.
In his response the Taoiseach said that the government was looking to bring the Bill forward next year and to include costings for it in the next budget in October 2018.