Written answers

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Department of Finance

Departmental Schemes

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Limerick City, Fianna Fail)
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186. To ask the Minister for Finance if he has plans to increase the funding available for disabled drivers for the purchase of a new car; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24044/22]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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The Disabled Drivers & Disabled Passengers Scheme provides relief from VRT and VAT on the purchase and use of an adapted car, as well as an exemption from motor tax and an annual fuel grant. The car must be purchased before applying for VRT and VAT relief, as applicable to the category of adaptations made to the vehicle.

The Scheme is open to severely and permanently disabled persons who meet one of six medical criteria, as a driver or as a passenger and also to certain organisations. In order to qualify for relief, the applicant must hold a Primary Medical Certificate issued by the relevant Senior Area Medical Officer (SAMO) or a Board Medical Certificate issued by the Disabled Driver Medical Board of Appeal. Certain other qualifying criteria apply in relation to the vehicle, in particular that it must be specially constructed or adapted for use by the applicant.

I gave a commitment that a comprehensive review of the scheme, to include a broader review of mobility supports for persons with disabilities, would be undertaken.

In this context I have been working with my Government colleague, Roderic O’Gorman, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. We are both agreed that the review should be brought within a wider review under the auspices of the National Disability Inclusion Strategy, to examine transport supports encompassing all Government funded transport and mobility schemes for people with disabilities.

This the most appropriate forum to meet mutual objectives in respect of transport solutions/mobility supports for those with a disability.

The NDIS working group, chaired by Minister Anne Rabbitte, with officials from both my Department and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth as well as others, held its first meeting on the 26th January 2022. A stock-taking exercise of existing transport and mobility schemes currently supporting people with disabilities is ongoing ahead of the next meeting of the group. The issue was also discussed at the most recent meeting of the NDIS Steering Group on April 13th, which included input from stakeholders.

My officials will continue to work closely with officials from the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, to progress this review, and on foot of that will bring forward proposals for consideration.

I cannot comment on any potential changes to the scheme in advance of these proposals.

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