Dáil debates

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions

 

12:10 pm

Richard O'Donoghue (Limerick County, Independent) | Oireachtas source

What is a primary medical certificate? A primary medical certificate allows a person with a disability to claim back VAT on a vehicle. It also allows for tax relief on the purchase and adoption of vehicles. For the past four years, the Minister for Finance has been embroiled in controversy over the criteria for this scheme. A case was challenged and went to the Supreme Court, and the Minister lost the case. Was this case warranted? How much did this court case cost? How many adults and children with disabilities could have been helped by the cost of this case? How can a person with a disability travel to a medical appointment, school, college or travel for their daily needs without this scheme being put in place? All five supreme judges ruled in favour against the Minister and the driver disability board on 18 June 2020. Yet, the Minister put nothing in place to substitute for the collapse of the scheme.

Why are disabled persons still getting replies and being put on a so-called list when the scheme does not even exist? I rang around the HSE and was told there were numbers in Limerick and Clare. Waterford had 54 and Kilkenny had 22. I was informed that in my neighbouring county of Tipperary assessments were being done virtually and Tipperary only has four. The authorities in other counties throughout the country are saying it is all being delayed over Covid-19 and that people cannot be assessed.

In Tipperary, however, they are doing it virtually and their list is down to four people. Is there a scheme or not?

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