Kerry Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly has said there are 174 people with severe disabilities in the Kerry who still face a 20% cut in State support as a result of the government’s indecision on the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant.
According to the Fianna Fáil Senator, the temporary reprieve provided by a short-term extension to mobility allowance payments only adds to the uncertainty, distress and confusion over future supports for those with severe disabilities.
“There was uproar when Fine Gael and Labour axed the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant in February without any warning or consultation with those affected. This decision directly impacts approximately 174 in the Kerry who faced a 20% cut in support as a result,” said Senator Daly.
“The Government had absolutely no replacement scheme in place when it announced this decision. Four months later, it still has no replacement. As a result of the excellent efforts of people with disabilities, their families and carers, the Government has now been forced to extend mobility allowance payments until October. However, Ministers made it clear that the scheme is in fact closed, no new applicants can apply and this extension is merely temporary. In addition to this, they have made no commitment whatsoever in relation to the Motorised Transport Grant.
“The Government’s indecision, procrastinating and refusal to make any long-term commitments is causing extreme distress to people with severe disabilities who have no idea what kind of income they will have beyond October. Many of these people cannot work, cannot leave their homes without help and are dependent on this funding to live. They simply cannot take another 20% cut in their incomes on top of all the other cuts to disability supports introduced by this Government.
“Fine Gael and Labour have been engaged in a sustained attack on people with disabilities and their carers over the past two years. Enough is enough. The Government needs to make a firm commitment that it will not end the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport schemes without have other schemes in place that will provide at least the same level of support and will apply to those over the age of 65,” Senator Daly said.