Fine Gael Carlow TD, Pat Deering, has welcomed the Government’s work on a new Transport Support Scheme that will replace the discontinued Motorised Transport Scheme.
“The Government is aware of the continuing needs of people with a disability who rely on individual payments which support choice and independence. In that regard, monthly payments of up to €208.50 have continued to be made by the Health Service Executive to 4,700 people who were in receipt of the Mobility Allowance.
“Following on from raising the issue in the Dáil with An Taoiseach, I am very pleased that the Government decided that the detailed preparatory work required for a new Transport Support Scheme and associated statutory provisions will be progressed by the Department of Health.
“I can confirm that Minister Harris is committed to its progression as soon as possible. Work on the policy proposals are at an advanced stage and the Minister anticipates that these will be brought to Government shortly. In that regard, the Health (Transport Support) Bill is included in the Government’s legislative programme. The proposals will seek to ensure that:
- There is firm statutory basis to the scheme’s operation;
- There is transparency and equity in the eligibility criteria attaching to the scheme;
- Resources are targeted at those with the greatest needs; and
- The scheme is capable of being costed and it is affordable when introduced and on an ongoing basis.
“The Department is seeking a solution which would best meet the aim of supporting people with severe disabilities who require additional income to contribute towards the costs of their mobility needs, while keeping within the available budget and satisfying all legal and equality concerns.
“The challenge is to develop a new scheme on a statutory basis, within a limited budget, targeted toward those with the greatest need as a priority.”