Ger Deering, as Ombudsman has been entirely consistent on the subject of supports for the personal transport of people with disabilities for many years, appearing in several Oireachtas Committees.
As he alludes to, we have heard Minister Kathleen Lynch saying a new scheme was imminent. Minister Finian McGrath had a proposal for a new scheme rejected by Cabinet. The latest report recognises the need for new schemes but admits not assigning leadership responsibility to accomplish this.
Personal transport is what helps get a disabled person educated, retrained and available for work. It enables households to be part of the army of 270,000 unpaid carers. It is not a social assistance; it is an economic enabler.
The existing schemes date from 1968 and there is less available now in 2023 than there was in 2013. Despite all the advances that people with disabilities have made, it is sad that the political vision on this subject is smaller than it was 55 years ago.
If you would like some background to this issue this article gives a good overview - https://www.noteworthy.ie/lift-out-pt-3-5516190-Aug2021/