Connaughton calls for action on mobility allowance issue

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East Galway T.D. Paul Connaughton has asked Minister Joan Burton to move quickly to establish a new programme to support the mobility needs of people with severe disabilities.

‘When a decision was made in February of this year to discontinue the mobility allowance to new applicants, many people expressed concern as to what the future held in terms of transport for people with severe disabilities.  In June it was announced that payment of the allowance to people currently in receipt of it was to be extended pending the establishment of new provisions to support the mobility needs of people with severe disabilities.

‘A review group was established to seek an alternative method to support the transport needs of people with severe disabilities in a manner that would not be contrary to the Equal Status Act and an interim report has issued a report which has been considered. I believe that new provisions must be put in place as a matter of priority and these new provisions must recognise the additional costs that are incurred in terms of transport for people with severe disabilities.

‘Prompt action is needed on this issue as it will alleviate the stress and anxiety being experienced by these vulnerable members of society and their families. I understand that the inter-departmental group is to report back to the Government in coming weeks and that monthly payments will continue until such time as the group’s recommendations are put in place but I would urge that action be taken as soon as possible on this measure as so many vulnerable people are awaiting the outcome of this group’s deliberations.’