31,200 Disabled Scots Could Lose Motobility Vehicles
Patricia Gibson, MP for North Ayrshire & Arran has expressed fears that more than 31,200 disabled people across Scotland could lose their motobility vehicles due to cuts to disability welfare payments.
Nearly 14,000 disabled people have already had their specialist cars taken away from them after being reassessed as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) continues its roll out of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) benefit to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
The Motability Scheme allows disabled people to lease a new car, scooter or powered vehicle and helps towards the cost of adaptations, providing a level of independence for disabled people who otherwise would not be able to get to work.
According to Motability's latest annual report, 70,000 people in Scotland use the service and if the current rate of reassessment decisions continues then up to 31,200 people would lose their mobility vehicles.
Commenting, Patricia said:
"I am extremely concerned that taking away a disabled person's means of transport will make it impossible for them to travel to and from work - which flies in the face of the UK Government's aim of getting more people into employment.
"Personal Independence Payments should mean exactly that: a level of independence for disabled people and I urge Iain Duncan Smith to urgently think again about the threshold for the Motability scheme for PIP.
"Almost 14,000 disabled people have already had their specialist cars taken away from them following reassessment and if the current rate continues it would mean that 31,500 people in Scotland would no longer be able to access this vital scheme. This would leave those in rural areas, where public transport isn't always accessible or very regular, without any options whatsoever.
"And while there is an appeals process, it fails to protect disabled people. Apart from an appeals process putting undue stress on a disabled person, the latest figures show that 60% of decisions to remove mobility allowance were later overturned on appeal which suggests that the system just isn't working and must be urgently reviewed before even more disabled people are disadvantaged."
Link to Motability annual report: