Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Disability Colm Keaveney has hit out at the Government for failing to introduce a replacement scheme for the Mobility Allowance, which was scrapped in 2013. Almost 3 years after Fine Gael and Labour’s decision to discontinue the Mobility Allowance and the Motorised Transport Grant, vulnerable families across the country are still waiting for a new scheme to be announced.
Deputy Keaveney commented, “Thousands of people across the country have been left in limbo following the scrapping of the Mobility Allowance and the Motorised Transport Grant in February 2013. These supports were essential in insuring that people with disabilities could get to work or go to appointments without any difficulty. In many cases this has led to people feeling disconnected and isolated and for some it has placed huge limitations on their ability to carry out everyday jobs.
“The launch of the Disability Equality General Election campaign yesterday put the human rights aspect of disabilities front and centre. It emphasised the right of access for people with disabilities, the right to get to and from work, the right to get out and about. However this access is being denied to thousands of people with disabilities in the absence of the Mobility Allowance and the Motorised Transport Grant.
“As far back as the 26th November 2013, the Government recommended that the preparatory work for a replacement travel subsidy scheme should be progressed by the Minister for Health. However, more than 1,000 days later we are still waiting as the Government has failed to bring forward an alternative support scheme. Does the Government hope that these people will simply go away?
“People with disabilities have waited far too long for the supports they need. It is not good enough that they are left to put up with interim and temporary measures. The absence of certainty on the future of these supports is causing immense distress to many people. It’s yet another example of Fine Gael and Labour’s maladministration and lack of planning.
“This issue needs to be addressed without delay. People with disabilities must be given some certainty about their future and not brushed aside by a cruel and uncaring Government”.