I’m a T5 paraplegic, having acquired my disability 7 years ago.
Our public transport system is non existent in rural Ireland.
I get 15 hours per week of PA hours. It’s just enough for me unless I have to go to Dublin for hospital visits. In that case I have to request the support of family members who have to take time off work, or I’ll use up 2 days worth of PA services.
If I didn’t have my own transport I wouldn’t get out my own door. I bought my first vehicle, and was able to as I was except from VAT. Then last year the government changed the criteria for exemption from 2.5 cc engine down to 1.9 unless I’m a disabled passenger.
I’m stuck now between a rock and a hard place as my van is 2.3 cc diesel engine. It means I don’t qualify for all the exemption for VAT. Now, as a disabled person I’m limited. It seems to me that this is a discrimination.
There’s a pure lack of amenities for wheelchair users. We’re lucky locally to have tescos etc to get around. My vehicle is a side entry vehicle and with that in mind I have to be extremely careful to ensure I can have enough space for the ramps to come out. I’ve had occasion where I couldn’t access my car because I was blocked by illegally parked drivers.
Does that seem fair to you?