Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 23 September 2015
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Public Service Oversight and Petitions
Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant Scheme: Department of Health
Some of what I will say arises from the answers to date. I would find it invidious if one were to draw up a list. The problem is that the Department of Health has a list for medical cards, for instance and the Department of Social Protection has a list for the domiciliary care allowance and other schemes. It is not something that should be done but there are procedures in place.
It was only an inquiry about future administration. I do not want the Department to hand it over to somebody else to start all over again. I suggest that the transfer of such a function would be considered in legislation but that is a policy decision.
The Department has probably looked at this, but there have been cases where, for instance, the Department of Social Protection has ended one scheme and let it run for the existing cohort while a new scheme has been introduced for new claimants. I presume the Department is considering something similar to that approach.
In some ways my final question has been answered. It is not likely that any budget line for a scheme will be contained in this year’s budget if the Department is talking about only getting to Cabinet in the coming weeks with the heads of a Bill. A budget line for a scheme would be unlikely on 13 or 14 October or whenever the budget is this year. It appears that we are at least a year away from the full conclusion of a scheme given that the Bill would have to pass through the Houses and then statutory instruments or commencement orders would have to come after that. Is it safe to say that it will be at least a year before we see a new scheme in place and in operation?