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Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 8 February 2022

Tuesday, 8 February 2022

Questions (247, 248)

Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

247. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance the reason for the delay in the appointment of members to a board (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6156/22]

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Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

248. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance the status of the appointment of new members to a board (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6179/22]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 247 and 248 together.

The Disabled Drivers & Disabled Passengers Scheme (DDS) provides relief from VRT and VAT on the purchase and use of an adapted car, as well as an exemption from motor tax and an annual fuel grant.

The Scheme is open to severely and permanently disabled persons who also meet one of six specified medical criteria, as a driver or as a passenger and also to certain organisations. In order to qualify for relief, the applicant must hold a Primary Medical Certificate issued by the relevant Senior Area Medical Officer (SAMO) or a Board Medical Certificate issued by the Disabled Driver Medical Board of Appeal. Certain other qualifying criteria apply in relation to the vehicle, in particular that it must be specially constructed or adapted for use by the applicant. In the event that a PMC is not granted by the relevant Senior Area Medical Officer an appeal may be made to the independent Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal (DDMBA) who operate out of the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire.

The members of the DDMBA wrote to me recently tendering their resignation from the Board. My officials are engaged with the Department of Health and the Public Appointments Service in terms of seeking expressions of interest from medical practitioners to participate in the Board. It is hoped to move this process along as quickly as possible so that appeals can recommence as soon as possible. I am informed by my officials that the Department of Health is in the process of finalising the expression of interest, working with the Public Appointments Service.

Requests for appeal hearings can be sent to the DDMBA secretary based in the National Rehabilitation Hospital. New appeal hearing dates will be issued once the new Board is in place. Assessments for the primary medical certificate, by the HSE, are continuing to take place.

Question No. 248 answered with Question No. 247.
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