Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Questions (185)

Enda Kenny

Question:

317 Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Finance the recommendations of the ten made by the interdepartmental review group on the disabled drivers and disabled passengers tax concessions scheme that have been accepted by his Department; those which have been implemented to date; the timeframe for implementation of the remaining recommendations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25096/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Finance)

The report of the interdepartmental review group sets out in detail the genesis and development of the disabled drivers and disabled passengers tax concessions scheme including the current benefits, the Exchequer costs, the various requests to broaden the eligibility criteria and various recommendations for changes to the scheme.

Following on from two of the report's recommendations concerning the appeals process, amendments to the regulations governing the scheme were drafted to improve the operation of the medical appeals board. These were signed by the Minister for Finance on 23 July 2004. The amendments provide for changes to the existing regulations by expanding the panel of medical practitioners serving on the medical board of appeal from three to five. They also amend the appeals process by introducing a six-month waiting period between an appeal and a subsequent application and by introducing the requirement for a second or subsequent application to be certified by a registered medical practitioner to the effect that there has been material disimprovement in the medical condition of the appellant since the previous application.

The Government has agreed that the Minister for Finance will consider other recommendations in the report on an ongoing basis in the overall budgetary context having regard to the existing and prospective cost of the scheme.