Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Questions (329)

Thomas Pringle


329. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of establishing the transport support scheme to replace the mobility allowance; if this is due to take place as part of budget 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36987/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The clear instruction from Government is that eligibility criteria for a new Transport Support Payment scheme must focus on those with the greatest need who have the least resources available to them.  In order to make the eligibility criteria for the scheme very broad, opening up newer categories of eligibility the effects of which are difficult to estimate, would carry major budgetary implications.  Competing demands within the disability budget and elsewhere must be considered.

In line with the Government decision in 2013, persons who were in receipt of the Mobility Allowance at the time that the scheme closed have continued to receive the monthly payment.  I can assure the Deputy of our efforts to find a solution which is fair, financially affordable and legally sound. 

With regard to the Deputy's reference to Budget 2020, as Minister for Disabilities it is not appropriate for me to comment on budgetary matters.