Browne lambasts government over handling of disabled transport supports

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A Tipperary TD has highlighted the concerns raised by the Ombudsman in relation to access for people with disabilities to personal transport schemes.

The report from Ombudsman Peter Tyrell said many people with disabilities are trapped at home and unable to engage on an equal basis in employment or in their community.

It also found personal transport supports for people with disabilities are inadequate, unfair and inequitable

Speaking in the Dáil this morning Tipperary Sinn Féin Deputy Martin Browne pointed out that similar concerns were highlighted back in 2012 and accused the government of doing nothing to tackle the issue in the intervening years.

“The problems that he has identified in the report are the problems that I’m sure every constituency office has received from people in need of support through these schemes.

“It outlines the absolute injustice that is being experienced by people with disabilities through the inadequate transport supports from previous governments and have been perpetrated by the current one.

“It’s been a year and a half since this government was cobbled together yet we’re no further along. How many more damning indictments are going to be published before you do right by people with disabilities?

Responding in the Dáil on behalf of the Government Minister of State at the Department of Health Frank Feighan said work is ongoing on the policy proposals for the provision of transport supports for people with disabilities.

However Deputy Browne said this wasn’t good enough.

“Minister, you can speak for all the strategies, reports, reviews and working groups that you like but the fact remains that for nearly a decade governments have withheld these schemes from a considerable number of people.

“If you share the same concerns – like you’ve just said – I urge you to speed up the process.

“We don’t need another review – it’s nine years since Emily O’Reilly gave her report. Nine years as far as I’m concerned and especially people with disabilities will tell you is more than enough for any review or any process to be put through.”