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Disability Services

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (642)

Patricia Ryan

Question:

642. Deputy Patricia Ryan asked the Minister for Health if he has read the recently published report by the Ombudsman entitled "Grounded: Unequal access for people with disabilities to personal transport schemes", a commentary by the Ombudsman; his plans to address the issues raised in the report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61690/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Ombudsman issued commentary on three transport support schemes for people living with a disability. Those are the now closed Motorised Transport Grant and Mobility Allowance Schemes and the Revenue Commissioners Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Scheme.

The Government decided to close the Motorised Transport Grant and Mobility Allowance administrative Schemes in 2013, on foot of the Ombudsman reports in 2011 and 2012 regarding the legal status of both Schemes in the context of the Equal Status Acts.

Other transport supports available to people with disabilities, include;

- The Free Travel Scheme operated by the Department of Social Protection;

- The Revenue Commissioners’ Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Scheme; and

- Measures funded under the Department of Rural and Community Development CLÁR Programme, to provide grants to voluntary organisations providing transport for people with significant mobility issues.

Under the National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017 - 2021, the Department of Transport has responsibility for the continued development of the availability of accessible public transport and is committed to this in recognition of the importance of such services to the lives of people with disabilities.

Work is continuing on the policy proposals for the provision of transport supports for people with disabilities. Recent developments which will impact on the policy options include the following:

- The ongoing progress by the Department of Transport in providing accessible public transport nationally and that Department's review of active travel and public transport policy, including accessible public transport;

- The Cost of Disability Study, commissioned by the Department of Social Protection, which will inform policy direction in relation to the provision of adequate supports to meet the needs of people with disabilities, including transport costs;

- The Working Group established under the National Disability Inclusion Strategy to lead a review of all Government funded transport and mobility schemes for people with disabilities; and

- The Department of Finance's commitment to review the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Scheme.

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