Written answers

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Department of Health

Mobility Allowance Decision

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal North East, Fianna Fail)
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334. To ask the Minister for Health when a replacement scheme for the motorised transport grant and mobility allowance will be finalised and introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47101/14]

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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The Department is seeking a solution which would best meet the aim of supporting people with severe disabilities who require additional income to contribute towards the costs of their mobility needs, while remaining within the available budget and satisfying all legal and equality concerns.

Conscious of the reports of the Ombudsman regarding the legal status of the Motorised Transport Grant and Mobility Allowance Scheme, in the context of the Equal Status Acts, the Government decided to close both schemes on 26th February, 2013. In November 2013, the Government decided that the preparatory work required for a new travel subsidy scheme and associated statutory provisions should be progressed by the Minister for Health.

Work is ongoing on the policy proposals to be brought to Government for the drafting of primary legislation for a new scheme. The challenge is to provide these benefits to a wider cohort of people, while continuing to cater for the 4,700 people already in receipt of a monthly payment, within a limited budget.

Once policy proposals have been finalised and approved by Government, the time frame for the introduction of a new scheme will become clearer.


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