As the Deputy is aware in April 2013 the European Court of Justice ruled that the excise relief on fuel element of the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers Scheme is incompatible with the EU Energy Tax Directive. My Department has informed the European Commission of my intention to remove the excise relief element of the scheme at the end of 2014 and replace it with a fuel grant scheme in 2015. The European Commission and has raised no objections.
Officials from my Department have been engaging with other Departments and the Revenue Commissioners in order to examine all the legislative, financing and payment implications of a new fuel grant scheme. I have instructed my officials to design the new grant scheme in such a way to provide as seamless a transition as possible between the two schemes.
When all the details of the new scheme have been worked out and finalised, the members of the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers Scheme will be informed.