Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Ceisteanna (89)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

89. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Finance his plans to amend the criteria for the disabled drivers and passengers scheme; his further plans to make amendments following recommendations from the Ombudsman (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18242/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

As you may be aware, the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Scheme provides relief from VAT and VRT (up to a certain limit) on the purchase of an adapted car for transport of a person with specific severe and permanent physical disabilities, payment of a Fuel Grant, and an exemption from Motor Tax.

To qualify for the Scheme an applicant must be in possession of a Primary Medical Certificate. To qualify for a Primary Medical Certificate, an applicant must satisfy one of the following conditions:

- be wholly or almost wholly without the use of both legs;

- be wholly without the use of one leg and almost wholly without the use of the other leg such that the applicant is severely restricted as to movement of the lower limbs;

- be without both hands or without both arms;

- be without one or both legs;

- be wholly or almost wholly without the use of both hands or arms and wholly or almost wholly without the use of one leg;

- have the medical condition of dwarfism and have serious difficulties of movement of the lower limbs.

The Scheme represents a significant tax expenditure. Between the Vehicle Registration Tax and VAT foregone, and the fuel grant, the scheme cost €65m in each of 2016 and 2017. This figure does not include the revenue foregone in respect of the relief from Motor Tax provided to members of the Scheme. 

Given scale and scope of the scheme, I have no plans to amend the qualifying medical criteria at this time.