Written answers

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Department of Finance

Primary Medical Certificates

Photo of Sorca ClarkeSorca Clarke (Longford-Westmeath, Sinn Fein)
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183. To ask the Minister for Finance the steps he has taken to ensure the expected changes to the eligibility criteria policy for a primary medical certificate are implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32809/22]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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The Disabled Drivers and 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  both agree 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. 

We believe that this is the most appropriate forum to meet our 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 26 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 13 April, 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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