Lack of Government action on transport schemes is making everyday life harder for disabled people in Ireland

Disabled people are being excluded from everyday life in Ireland because of the lack of suitable transport, according to Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns.

Deputy Cairns, who is the party’s spokesperson on Disability, said:

“For people with a disability, transport is about access to education, securing employment or just being able to meet with family and friends. Above all, it means being able to live independently.

“Lack of investment in public transport, especially in rural Ireland, along with disgraceful barriers to mobility support schemes, is making things harder for disabled people and affecting their quality of life.

“It is now a decade since the Government discontinued the Mobility Allowance and the Motorised Transport Grant after the then Ombudsman found the schemes to be in breach of the Equal Status Act.

“The independence, mental health and employment prospects of disabled people are being impacted by the failure of successive governments to replace these vital transport supports. A report from the Ombudsman in 2021 was unequivocal in condemning the lack of action on this issue.

“There are also difficulties when trying to secure a Primary Medical Certificate to access the Disabled Drivers and Passengers Scheme. This is a complicated bureaucratic process that seems designed to exclude as many people as possible instead of making it easy for those who need it most.

“The provision of transport supports is required by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) – yet the Government continues to ignore its obligations.

“People with disabilities deserve immediate and decisive action. What will it take for the Government to act?”

May 4, 2023

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