Free Cars For The Disabled Part II (some ‘expert’ opinions on it)

I’ve had trouble writing anything this week. Not through lack of inspiration but rather too much of it. Things I read, conversations I’ve had, have all been pretty overwhelming. Personally, I’ve had a really good week but hearing and reading about how other disabled people, who are already really struggling are going to affected by the Welfare Reform Bill has been upsetting/ frustrating/ angering. I’ve found it hard to process my thoughts and feelings into anything anybody would find interesting or useful to read and as appealing an alternative as it’s been, I’ve resisted the temptation to just post lists of expletives to summarise my mood, as I realise I already swear too much.

So whilst I’m working on something else vaguely intelligent, I thought I’d post something that couldn’t be described as that at all – still on the Motability issue – some of the comments from some of my most favourite people who read my favourite newspaper. I’ve added some short simple responses to some of them for the benefit of anyone who can’t be arsed to read my very long post on the subject.

(I saved my particular favourites from a number of different articles on the Motability Scheme, I’ve removed names, locations and dates but I can assure you they are all genuine and most likely still available online. I’ll stick them up as they are, with spelling and grammatical mistakes left in, because as much as I want to correct them, I don’t want to help any of the contributors to appear any less silly than they are)

“You should have to prove your need to be mobile to qualify , eg disabled but in employment”

Need to be mobile? Right, so no job = no need to be mobile. Cool, let’s start a programme whereby we amputate all the unecessary limbs of anybody unemployed. Including pensioners and children. They don’t need them. You don’t need to be mobile to do anything else in life and it’s not like being mobile is an important prerequisite for acquiring a job is it?!

“I wrote on these pages a couple of days ago about this very subject and received nearly 200 thumbs down. The trouble is, the scheme is abused by the vast majority of blue badge holders. Make them all pay Road Tax, Insurance, etc. then see how many want a car. After all they are disabled not skint and if they get caught cheating the taxpayer take their benefits off them”

The scheme is abused by THE VAST MAJORITY OF BLUE BADGE HOLDERS? Well no, no it isn’t actually. Many disabled people could not afford to have a car if they had to pay the road tax and insurance, that is the point. Many disabled people are in fact often skint. They usually have far greater living costs than the average able bodied person and often find it difficult or impossible to find employment because they are not physically capable or healthy enough. Sometimes they don’t have jobs because they have difficulty getting around. Another point of the Motability Scheme.

“Go back to the days of the little blue invalid carriage. cant abuse the system then”

Aye, because those little blue invalid carriages were suitable for all the wide ranging, complex and very different needs of all disabled people and God forbid we allow any disabled person to drive anything other than a heap of junk. While we’re at it let’s go back to the days when all disabled people died prematurely, were house bound, neglected, isolated and abused. The good old days.

“If they are too disabled to work how do they afford top range cars, and if they work they should be lumped in with the rest of us…The scheme is not necessary”

Those who are too disabled to work can’t afford top range cars, you have to pay an additional payment for the top of the range cars. It is a lease scheme, you are not given the car, you are lent it. You do not own the car, you have to give it back. Some disabled people who are in employment will be forking out for a PA to assist them enabling them to work and paying for mobility aids or adaptations to their houses. By the time they have been taxed and paid for all these they will have considerable less disposable cash than “the rest of” you. The scheme is absolutely necessary for this precise reason.

“I don’t know how widespread this problem is, but I do know that it happens. However, without being unkind to the disabled, surely there is a way to cure this problem. First of all, remove the luxury cars from scheme. Nobody, whether able or disabled actually NEEDS a big BMW, Audi or any other “must have” vehicle. This would remove the “look at me and my posh car” brigade who like to be seen driving their relative’s free car as though it’s theirs. Secondly, when leasing the car, the disabled person must show their driving licence, to prove that they will be driving it. If they have a licence then they get the car under the scheme, if they do not, then although they still get the car, the tax and insurance and roadside assistance must be paid for by the people who will be getting the most use out of it”

A “must have” vehicle to a disabled person is one that is suitable for their needs. Sometimes this is a big BMW because they have a family as well as multiple mobility aids such as wheelchairs or scooters to carry around with them. Some disabled people have personal assistants or relatives who act as their full time carers who drive their Motability car because they are unable to. So we ask that PA’s who are very unlikely to be on a generous wage because they are paid out of limited funds a disabled person has, pays road tax and insurance for their own car as well as the disabled person’s they work for? Relatives who are full time carers recieve less than minimum wage for working often double the amount of hours because their disabled loved one is dependent upon them. Most simply cannot afford to.

“There would be far less people claiming for disability cars if all they could get was the Reliant 3 wheelers they used to drive when I was young. If its mobility they are after then give them wheelchairs and let them take the bus and save most of the £1.4 billion of taxpayers money”

I would love to be able to use the bus. If I could get to a bus stop. If when I got to one the bus was accessible. If those accessible buses ran at the usual times people need to get out and about, if all the bus drivers and general public were considerate of a disable person trying to get on the bus. If the bus routes taken by such buses were places I needed to go…

“what was wrong with the old system of using ACcars which was a 3 wheeled invalid carriage solely for the use of the disabled person and their wheelchair it would be interesting to see how many people would apply?

Everything was wrong with it. It would be interesting to see how many MPs still wanted to be MPs if we did away with the expenses system, can we do that too?

“Easy solution, let genuine applicants choose from a basic range of vehicles that should all support commercial advertising on the side of the car. Every way the tax payer wins by less costly cars being leased, less applicants because the adverts would suggest they are driving a free car and a contribution from the private sector for the advertising”

Aye, and a big sign on the side that says “Easy Target, as a disabled person I am likely to take more time than the average person to get into this car thus giving you ample opportunity to mug/assault/car jack me.

“It should be only cheap bottom of the range cars it is outrageous that expensive cars are available, give them Ford Ka’s and Corsa’s and nothing above that”

Once you show me how exactly I can get my smaller than average light weight rigid framed wheelchair easily in and out of a Ford Ka or Corsa, I will be delighted to take one. You can then proceed to show me how you get an elephant into and out of a fridge, Harry Fecking Houdini.

“For all those who are telling us that these motability cars don’t come cheap, well they are a hell of lot cheaper than anything we can afford plus you don’t pay tax or insurance and you can park it anywhere. What I still don’t understand is how someone in full time employment earning 30+grand a year is entitled to one of these cheap motors”

Do you borrow your car? Does it need expensive adaptations to enable you to drive it? Would you like to pay £12.99 to RENT a dvd for a couple of days? Or would you like to pay a couple of grand to RENT a golf buggy. I can park it anywhere can I?! I’ll be round to park it in the middle of your living room then. How about you pay somebody HALF your 30 grand a year wage to enable you to stay in full time employment :)

“Stopping this is one quick way the government can save some money. Many disabled people cannot drive, so having a car is unnecessary. One person I worked with told me that his brother who was diagnosed with cancer had over £333 mobility payment paid into his bank account every month even though he ran a successful business and did not need the money. Apparently it was saved for presumably other things than a car. Just because you are disabled does not mean that you should qualify for a top of the range car, which will ultimately be driven by able bodied people”

Stopping this system would cost the government huge amounts of money as many disabled people would have to stop working, thus paying tax and many others would become wholly reliant on NHS services, their local council and social services in order to stay healthy and take care of themselves.

“Simple, if they can drive give them a car for only them to use…if they can’t drive don’t give them a car!! The burden should be on friends and family to ferry people around who would other wise struggle on their own… “

Aye, lets make life unfeasibly difficult for the relatives of disabled people who no doubt have jobs and responsibilities of their own. Lets make a rule that if you have a disabled relative you don’t need to work as long as you agree to ferry them about. The tax payer will support you all in this because it is definitely far more cost effective.

“I know people with a mobility car that just use it to take the dog for walk, what happend to the three wheeler with a single seat that use to be supplied to to these people on benifits I wonder if they would be so keen if the govenment brought them back, it would be a lot cheaper for the tax payer”

People?! You know people who do this? More than one person? A multiple number? Oh do me a favour.

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