Donegal Deputy Charlie McConalogue has criticised the government for leaving hundreds of people with disabilities across the North West completely in the dark about the future of the Mobility Allowance & Motorised Transport Grant.
According to the Fianna Fáil TD, many people dependent on these payments have contacted him in an extremely distressed state about the ongoing uncertainty over the future of these supports.
Deputy McConalogue explained, “The government announced in February that they were abolishing the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant, with the cuts due to kick in from July last. This effectively meant a 20% reduction in support for around 300 people with serious disabilities across Donegal – support that allows them to continue to live independently.
“These schemes were scrapped without any alternative schemes ready to go in their place. Due to the severity of the situation, the Mobility Allowance had to be extended on a temporary basis. But there is still no word on a longer term solution, which is causing great distress to the hundreds of people in Donegal and across this region who are dependent on these payments.
“I have contacted the Health Minister James Reilly about this several times over the past nine months. He claims that ‘discussions’ on an alternative scheme are underway, but he has refused to say when the scheme will be up running.
“Minister Reilly has dragged his heels on this for far too long. The lack of certainty on the future of these supports is causing immense distress to the people who are dependent on them. It’s yet another example of the Minister’s mismanagement and lack of planning. The longer this rumbles on, the more people worry that further cuts to disability supports are coming down the line. I am calling on Minister Reilly to sort this out once and for all, and give the people dependent on these two allowances some certainty about their support in the future.”