Written Answers. - Disabled Drivers' Scheme.

John McGuinness

Question:

468 Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for Finance the reason a primary medical certificate was not issued to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny in view of his obvious disability; the stage the review of this scheme has reached; when new criteria will be put in place; and if he will review the file of this person. [19941/00]

It is a fundamental requirement for relief from tax under the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Regulations, 1994, that the disabled person meets the medical criteria specified in the regulations and is in possession of a primary medical certificate to that effect issued by the appropriate senior area medical officer, who is an official of the local health board. Where the issue of a primary medical certificate is refused, it is open to the applicant to appeal this refusal to the Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal, an independent body, whose decision is final.

It should be noted that neither my Department nor the Revenue Commissioners have any role in the medical assessment of disabled persons or the issue of primary medical certificates.

I understand that the person referred to has been refused a primary medical certificate and has appealed this refusal to the Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal. An appointment for assessment by the board of appeal will be notified to the person concerned in due course. The Deputy may wish to note that there are other State funded schemes aimed at mobility, namely a mobility allowance and a motorised transport grant, both of which are payable by the health boards.

The review of the disabled drivers and disabled passengers scheme, by an interdepartmental group which is chaired by an official from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, is ongoing. It would be imprudent of me to consider any amendments to the scheme until such time as the review is completed and its content is given due consideration.