Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle welcomes confirmation of review of disabled drivers scheme

Pringle welcomes confirmation of review of disabled drivers scheme

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, has welcomed confirmation, in response to his questions about the disabled drivers scheme, that the scheme will be reviewed under the broader review of Government transport and mobility schemes for people with disabilities.

Deputy Pringle said: “I asked the Minister for Finance if the comprehensive review of the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers Scheme had taken place and if there are proposals to change the outdated legislation on the strict qualifying criteria for the scheme.

“In response, the minister told me that he and Minister Roderic O’Gorman agreed that a comprehensive review of the scheme should be part of the wider review started in March 2020 to examine all Government-funded transport and mobility schemes for people with disabilities.

“The minister said the review was interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, but said Minister O’Gorman has asked his officials to reconvene the working group at the earliest opportunity. The Minister for Finance said his officials will work closely with officials from the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth to progress this review, and will bring forward proposals for consideration on the basis of that,” he said.

The scheme provides relief from Vehicle Registration Tax and VAT on the purchase and use of an adapted car, an exemption from motor tax and an annual fuel grant.

Deputy Pringle said: “I will continue to keep a close eye on the progress of this review and the proposals that come from it. There must be a better process for people with disabilities to avail of this scheme.

“In rural counties like Donegal, which has one of the highest levels of forced car ownership in the country, this scheme is particularly important,” he said.

Deputy Pringle said: “Today is the UN International Day for Persons With Disabilities, and making sure our society is fully inclusive and accessible for all our citizens is something we need to work toward every day.”

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