Dáil Éireann - Volume 571 - 30 September, 2003

Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

  1290. Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he has allowed local authorities to introduce a means test on the DPG scheme; if so, the number of local authorities which have already changed the terms of reference of the scheme to include a means test; if the means test is uniform throughout the counties that have changed the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20489/03]

  Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. N. Ahern): The administration of the disabled persons grant scheme, including the processing of applications and approving of grants, is a matter for individual local authorities. The [775] framework for the operation of the scheme is laid down in statutory regulations and, as far as practicable, is designed to give an appropriate degree of flexibility to local authorities. I understand that, in the light of substantially increased demand for grant assistance, a number of local authorities have sought to prioritise applications by having regard to the medical and financial needs of the applicant. A review of the scheme is being finalised in my Department. On completion of the review, I will be in a position to determine the changes, if any, required to the regulations governing the scheme.