Disability Federation of Ireland 'shocked' at axing of mobility allowance27/02/2013 - 07:03:03
There has been angry reaction to the Government's decision to cut mobility payments to people with disabilities.
The Department of Health last night confirmed that it was axing the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant with immediate effect.
It follows a report from the Ombudsman which found the Government was in breach of equality legislation because eligibility for the schemes discriminated against the over 65s.
The Disability Federation of Ireland said last night it was shocked to suddenly learn that the Government was cutting these payments to people with mobility difficulties.
It says the Mobility Allowance is means tested and is mostly paid to people who live on a disabillity allowance of under €190 a week.
Living without the payments, according to the DFI, will lead to isolation and withdrawal from the community for people with disabilities.
But the government said it is mindful of the Ombudsman's position that the schemes are illegal and it said it is looking for alternatives to meet people's mobility needs.
It is not about saving money, the Government insists. People currently in receipt of the mobility allowance will get it for four more months.
The Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly said the Government's move is "regrettable".
She said: "Eailure to tackle the matter in a timely, rational manner, has now imposed hardship on more than 5,000 people with disabilities."
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