The Carers Association is appalled at what Government has called an ‘agonised’ two year decision where an initial review of the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant, has resulted in a complete cut of both allowances with no immediate alternative in place. This decision was taken with no consultation with those affected or representative groups.
This decision flies in the face of An Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore’s statement last year when the age discrimination issue for the Mobility Allowance was identified. He said, “It is not Government’s wish to withdraw the mobility allowance… We do not wish to cause undue distress to people with disabilities.”
The announcement comes on top of the 19 per cent cut to the Respite Care Grant announced in Budget 2013. Both the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant are vital for those with disabilities and their carers to retain employment, get to essential medical appointments and, for a number of family carers, transportation to respite care.
These cuts will have a major impact on the lives of the 5,000 people in receipt of the payments, their families and family carers. Those in rural areas will be particularly affected.
“These payments give people with disabilities independence, as well as helping family carers with transportation for their loved ones. This is a huge blow and by announcing these cuts, Government has shown, yet again, a callous disregard for the lives of vulnerable people.” said Catherine Cox, The Carers Association.
“Government’s attempt to make the scheme more equal, has in fact resulted in withdrawing payments for everyone! This is completely unacceptable and there is no information on the timeline for review and what the criteria will be. Government has made these cuts, without consultation and leaving many unanswered questions.”