The Government is very conscious of the needs of people with a disability who require transport supports from the State and also conscious of the position of the Ombudsman that the Mobility Allowance and the Motorised Transport Grant schemes are illegal in the context of the Equal Status Acts. Following detailed consideration of the issues involved, the Government decided on 26th February that it is no longer possible to allow the two schemes to continue as they presently operate and to devise an alternative solution for meeting people's needs.
The Revenue Commissioners operate a Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers Scheme, whereby a family member of a disabled passenger can qualify for tax relief linked to the purchase of vehicles, provided he/she is living with and is responsible for the transport of the disabled person in question, has acquired the vehicle for that purpose and the disabled passenger is the holder of a Primary Medical Certificate. Applications for Primary Medical Certificates are processed by the Health Service Executive (HSE) through local offices. Determination of eligibility for a medical card is the responsibility of the HSE. I have referred this aspect of the Deputy's question to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.