Dáil Éireann - Volume 453 - 23 May, 1995
Written Answers. - Spending on Needs of the Disabled.
Miss M. Wallace Miss M. Wallace
78. Miss M. Wallace asked the Minister for Finance the amount and nature of all spending within his Department's aegis and by bodies under his Department on schemes specifically directed towards meeting the needs of people with disabilities. [9386/95]
Minister for Finance (Mr. Quinn) Ruairí Quinn
Minister for Finance (Mr. Quinn): The Office of Public Works is currently carrying out a comprehensive survey of all State-occupied accommodation to identify where facilities for people with disabilities are lacking or inadequate, and to establish what works are necessary to improve matters. The survey is expected to be completed later this year. A programme of works will then be drawn up based on the results of the survey.
In the course of works now undertaken by the Office of Public Works, the policy is to provide facilities for the disabled in all new buildings. It is not practicable to identify separately the expenditure incurred on facilities specifically catering for the needs of people with disabilities. Where practicable, such facilities are also provided in any sizeable works to existing buildings. Examples would include ramps, toilets, wider doors and lower counters.
Under the income tax code the following personal allowances are available:
* The £1,400 relief is allowed only in the case where both spouses are blind.
** This relief of up to £5,000 per annum is in respect of the cost of employing a person to care for a permanently incapacitated person. The relief is available to the taxpayer directly if he-she is the incapacitated person or to the spouse of an incapacited person.
In addition to the above allowances, tax relief is available, although not specifically directed at disabled persons, in relation to non-reimbursable medical expenses under section 12 of the Finance Act, 1967. This is of considerable benefit to the disabled.
Dáil Éireann 453 Written Answers. Spending on Needs of the Disabled.