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Upper age limit for mobility allowance must be removed

25 October, 2012 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD this morning criticised the Tánaiste for not delivering on the Government’s commitment to remove the illegal upper limit of 66 for the mobility allowance.

Speaking during leader’s question Deputy McDonald told the Tánaiste politics is about choices and questioned Labour’s determination to stand by the Health Minister’s chaotic style of management over the health service.

Deputy McDonald said:

“The Troika will conclude their review of Ireland’s bailout programme today and no doubt there will be more gold stars and pats on the head for the Taoiseach and his cabinet.

“The reality for citizens is of course very different. The Government’s plan is not working, particularly for those relying on our health services. Sinn Féin has no confidence in Minister Reilly; he has presided over mayhem in the health services.

“The Tánaiste himself seems to have little confidence in Minister Reilly given that he has taken to having his advisors keep a watching brief on his handling of the new Children’s Hospital. Perhaps now is the time for Labour to open a file on some of the health Minister’s other failings.

“Will Labour open a file on the revelation that the Department of Health has been illegally operating the mobility allowance scheme for the past 12 years? Despite agreeing in April of last year to remove an illegal upper age limit of 66 years the department has failed to do so.

“Will Labour open file on Jennifer Banks, a Multiple Sclerosis sufferer who is unable to get medication she needs to deal with chronic pain because of hospital bed closures?

“The Tánaiste knows full well this is all about political choices. The Government chooses to pay out unsecured bonds to the tune of billions of euro. Yet when it comes to mobility supports for elderly citizens the Government is quite comfortable with flouting the law.”


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