Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Ceisteanna (55)

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

55. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Finance his plans to review the qualifying criteria for the disabled drivers and disabled passengers scheme; the primary medical certificate which underpins it; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40773/18]

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 be permanently and severely disabled within the terms of the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Regulations 1994 and 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 c €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 the scale and scope of the scheme, I have no plans to amend the qualifying medical criteria at this time.