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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 19 May 1999

Vol. 505 No. 1

Written Answers. - Disabled Drivers Scheme.

Liz McManus


140 Ms McManus asked the Minister for Finance his response, if any, to the submission by the blind car owners and users seeking relief. [13069/99]

For the Deputy's information, my response to the blind car owners and users seeking relief under the disabled drivers and disabled passengers scheme is set out in the reply to the Adjournment Debate held on 2 March 1999 and in my reply to Parliamentary Question Nos. 141 and 145 dated 27 April 1999.

The present medical criteria for access to the scheme relate essentially to disabilities which seriously and permanently impair the physical mobility of the person concerned. This reflects the origins of the scheme as a relief for disabled persons who were confined to wheelchairs but nevertheless were capable of driving suitably adapted motor cars.
A review of the scheme is being undertaken by an interdepartmental group chaired by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform. The existing medical criteria for qualification is one of the issues that have been raised with that group. I await their report.
However, the current scheme is costly and opening it up to wider ranges of disabilities would significantly add to this cost. I must caution, therefore, against an expectation that a broader range of persons who suffer from some form of disability or disablement will be admitted to the scheme as a result of this review.