SNP MP Gavin Newlands has called on the Prime Minister to clarify changes to the Motability car scheme and provide detail on the UK government’s plans to review eligibility criteria which has resulted in thousands of disabled people losing their mobility vehicles.
Through the introduction of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), thousands of people who rely on a specialist motoring allowance have had their cars taken away after reassessment, some of them after having the vehicles for several years.
Next week, one of Gavin Newlands' constituents Margaret Gibson will lose her Motability car - which is a lifeline - despite a pending appeal and receiving the higher rate of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for the past twenty years.
In November last year, the Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work announced that her department had “been discussing with relevant Departments ways to enable PIP claimants to keep their vehicle pending appeal, and we are exploring options to allow those who are not in receipt of the higher Motability component to have access to the Motability scheme.”
Since this announcement no further information has been provided and still thousands of people across the UK are losing their Motability vehicles after being transferred over from the old benefit DLA to PIP.
Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:
“The UK Government’s cuts to social security are well known for the devastation that they have caused to some of the most vulnerable people in society. I have sadly witnessed this first-hand as I’ve seen the difficulty local people, such as my constituent Margaret, face due to the loss of their Motability vehicle.
“Motability vehicles are essential to the people who use them. However, this hasn’t stopped the UK Government from removing the vehicles from people and as consequence taking away people’s independence as well.
“It was a somewhat welcome relief that last November the UK Government appeared to change their tune on this by announcing that they were reviewing their policy - the Prime Minister must clarify this and confirm that the UK government will stop targeting people whose Motability vehicle is their lifeline.”