Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue has called on the Ministers for Finance and Health to establish a review of the criteria for the Primary Medical Certificate.  The cert provides a tax relief or fuel rebate to disabled drivers and passengers, and in many cases these reliefs can be used to help them adapt their vehicles.

Deputy McConalogue explained, “The current application criteria is extremely restrictive, and excludes a large number of people with disabilities from qualifying for the scheme.  In simple terms, in order to qualify for the scheme, a person has to be without a limb or completely without the use of a limb.  The fact of the matter is that in many cases, the conditions that affect a person’s mobility are not so clear cut.

“This rule is being applied so rigidly that people with conditions such as Cerebral Palsy, MS and Spina Bifida are disqualified from the scheme.

“The situation is being further exacerbated by the fact that the last Government scrapped the Mobility Transport Allowance and has failed to introduce a replacement scheme.  The tax relief available under the Primary Medical Certificate is currently the only option available to some of the most vulnerable people in our society and regrettably, under the current criteria of the Primary Medical Cert, they are facing a brick wall as they do not meet the excessively strict criteria.

“The responsibility for this scheme falls between the Department of Finance and Department of Health.  I am calling on both Ministers to review the current restrictive criteria and allow for some discretion so that disabled drivers and passengers can be supported effectively”.