Government failing drivers with a disability - Gerry Adams TD
Six years ago the then Fine Gael/Labour government scrapped the motorised transport grant and the mobility allowance for drivers who are disabled.
At the time a commitment was given that it would be replaced with a new scheme. In the 2016 Programme for Government there is a commitment by the current Fine Gael led government to produce a new mobility scheme.
The Bill which is to facilitate this is the Health Transport Support Bill which has been on the government’s legislative programme for years.
Gerry Adams raised this issue with the Taoiseach today in the Dáil.
Teachta Adams said:
“The absence of a mobility scheme is adversely impacting on thousands of citizens with a disability across the state and in Louth.
"I raised this issue in the Dáil last month and eventually received correspondence from Minister Finian McGrath which shed no new light on the government’s plans to introduce the Health Transport Support Bill.
"I was told that Ministers Harris and McGrath brought proposals for a new Transport Support Payment Scheme to the Cabinet in May last year but that the proposals were withdrawn. There was no explanation given for this.
"Minister McGrath said that it was their intention to go back with revised proposals. But there is no timeframe for this to be done."
In his response the Taoiseach said that they have to prepare new primary legislation for the scheme and it has to be "affordable from the point of view of the tax payer. It’s run into quite some difficulties.” Consequently, he was unable to give a timeframe for the introduction of the legislation.
Teachta Adams continued:
"This is unacceptable. Citizens with a disability are also tax payers and two Fine Gael led governments have publicly committed to its introduction. The Government needs to honour its commitment to citizens who are disabled.”