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Topic: UK Welfare- Free Cars?
Username: raffik
Posted 2012-11-14 16:16:46 and read 1450 times.

I don't want this to become a bashing of disabled people here but it relates the the Motobility scheme in the UK, where as a disabled person, you have an allowance which should pay for you to have a car, and includes servicing and insurance costs. It was established to keep disabled people on the move...

I don't want to come across as jealous.. because I'm not, but..

I have just found out that somebody on my road suffers from a bad back and is eligible for the motobility scheme and has a brand new Nissan Qashqai- kitted out with leather, giant alloys, automatic etc on the scheme.

I don't begrudge disabled people being mobile but this woman works full time and her husband is an accountant.
They are always off on cruises and send their two children to an exclusive private school nearby. And the Waitrose van visits twice a week, so they're obviously not short of a bob or two.
However, it is beyond me that two people who are working full time and have a good income could qualify for a "free" car.
For those of us, like me, who have to work AND finance my own vehicle and associated running costs, it seems a little unfair that benefits are paid to those who aren't necessarily in need of them.
Surely they should be means tested- so if you do have enough money to finance your own car, you should?
What are your thoughts?

Topic: RE: UK Welfare- Free Cars?
Username: go3team
Posted 2012-11-15 04:27:39 and read 1450 times.

That's how entitlements work, they go to the people that don't need them. Kind of like going to the grocery store and seeing someone paying with WIC or Foodstamps. They buy nice stuff, and then roll all of their stuff out to their nice car in the parking lot.

Curious, does the scheme allow for fuel allowances?

[Edited 2012-11-15 04:31:18]

Topic: RE: UK Welfare- Free Cars?
Username: garpd
Posted 2012-11-15 04:32:00 and read 1450 times.

You're not the only one. I grit my teeth all the time when I see this around me.
Though the vehicles are technically not for free as if you qualify for the mobility scheme you have to choose from either an increase in benefit payouts or a vehicle, you shouldn't get both. However that's not the point of your argument.

What particularly boils my blood when you see these people and their families in mobility cars (usually denoted by "Mobility" stickers in the rear windows) hop out of their huge 4x4's and walk off down the street without a single limp or any sign of struggle between them.

IMO, Mobility vehicles should be limited to mid range specification saloons or hatchbacks up to £20.000. That is unless their disability requires a larger vehicle for access (wheel chair ramp, stowage and/or modifications to the controls)

My guess is, the people you described in your post are "playing" the system.

On the same vein, another thing that gets by blood boiling with benefits is the winter fuel allowance, designed to help the less well off pensioners with the increased costs of heating their homes in the Winter.
The budget for the allowance is, as I understand it, finite and some don't get it.

I know for certain my friends Gran (living on a £36.50 a week pension) was told she does not qualify as she earns enough!
Meanwhile, the likes of Sir Alan Sugar or affluent pensioners living in Spain but still on a British Passport _are_ getting these winter fuel allowances!

Topic: RE: UK Welfare- Free Cars?
Username: Dano1977
Posted 2012-11-15 10:32:42 and read 1450 times.

Quoting raffik (Thread starter):

People who qualify for disability, are not all laying in bed dribbling away.

To qualify for motorbility you have to be on the higher rate of disability benefit, but the motorbility component.

Not everybody gets it, and has to applied for.

For a basic vehicle on disability, you have to pay a minimum of £200. For a vehicle like my partner and I have for our daughter who is severely disabled and requires a converted van with wheel chair clamps and an electric ramp, we had to find £3000.

Yes, you do get free servicing and insurance and Road Fund licence and free breakdown cover.

But this is to make sure the vehicle is maintained to high standard, so the resale value is higher.

You are also only limited to 15000miles per year. If you go over that limit, then you pay £0.15 per mile over.


You can also specify any car you like - providing you are willing to pay

Topic: RE: UK Welfare- Free Cars?
Username: 1stfl94
Posted 2012-11-15 11:19:35 and read 1450 times.

I think the thread starter is incredibly inaccurate. Motability is not a free car, the only major freebie is the fact that they often VAT exempt if adapted.

Also many of the posters are reflecting an increasingly negative attitude based simply on someone not appearing classically disabled, you don't know who in the family is disabled or they may be fine some of the time and in crippling pain at other points. Also these vehicles are provided to increase people's independence, therefore reducing their burden on the state.

Quoting garpd (Reply 2):
IMO, Mobility vehicles should be limited to mid range specification saloons or hatchbacks up to £20.000. That is unless their disability requires a larger vehicle for access (wheel chair ramp, stowage and/or modifications to the controls)

Why? If someone can afford a nice adapted vehicle then why shouldn't they have it.

Topic: RE: UK Welfare- Free Cars?
Username: Dano1977
Posted 2012-11-15 11:36:59 and read 1450 times.

Quoting 1stfl94 (Reply 4):

All I will say to the opening poster is... If he wants a car, then I will swap my daughters disabilities for his (assuming) normal life.

My daughter has:-

Mitochondrial Cytopathy
Encephalopathy
Lactic Acidosis
Epilepsy
Scoliosis

Topic: RE: UK Welfare- Free Cars?
Username: rutankrd
Posted 2012-11-15 12:21:40 and read 1452 times.

Motability is NOT free but is a subsidy for kitting out the vehicle with special controls for the register disabled

They have to pay back the lease And there can be substantial over mileage charges applied. The lease is normally three years and ends as the MOT is due.Thre controls get moved to the replacement vehicle and new lease agreements are set up

It is designed to make the individual employable and therefore most are in work !

Again it's a misnomer that its a free car

Motorbility grants replaced the little blue glass fibre three wheelers collocally and derogatorily known as spaz chariots some years ago.

My neighbour is spastic and has a Citroen C4 with hand controls fitted by the scheme and pays
around £100 a month on lease !

Topic: RE: UK Welfare- Free Cars?
Username: braybuddy
Posted 2012-11-15 13:01:52 and read 1450 times.

This sounds like one of those urban myths that go around. Years ago I remember hearing that immigrants to this country were given grants to buy cars to help them socialise, and were also given money to help them with their particular diet. Also, there was the story of the (again immigrant) woman with a child in a buggy who went to board a bus and took the baby out, leaving it behind. The driver mentioned to her that she'd forgotten her buggy and she replied that it didn't matter as she'd get another from the welfare officer. All very interesting and infuriating stories, but all completely untrue.

Topic: RE: UK Welfare- Free Cars?
Username: Quokkas
Posted 2012-11-15 16:50:35 and read 1450 times.

My understanding from reading the UK Government's web site on the scheme is that nothing is actually free. You are eligible for the Motability Scheme if you receive the Higher Rate Mobility Component (HRMC) of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS) and have at least 12 months remaining on your allowance. This allowance may be used to pay towards the cost of leasing a vehicle. As others have pointed out, you may choose to adapt and accessorise the vehicle if you choose to pay extra.

The problem with means testing in general is where to set the cut off point. Set too high and people "who could afford to pay" benefit. Set too low and it acts as a disincentive to becoming more independent. Either way it is unnecessarily intrusive. This is why I prefer a scheme whereby people benefit based on physical/ medical need and that if they are then able to work their income should be assessed for taxation purposes in the normal manner. Over time the benefit to society is greater as it increases independence and reduces the higher costs that become associated with people in need being isolated.

Without knowing the family in question, my only thought would be does access to the scheme allow the person to have sufficient mobility to follow a career and make a net contribution to tax and the economy? If so, that is a decided advantage to the community.

Topic: RE: UK Welfare- Free Cars?
Username: raffik
Posted 2012-11-16 02:11:34 and read 1450 times.

Quoting 1stfl94 (Reply 4):

I think the thread starter is incredibly inaccurate. Motability is not a free car, the only major freebie is the fact that they often VAT exempt if adapted.

My argument is that the benefit is not means tested against household income. How can somebody whose total household income is in the region of £70k per year, who have a £395k home and send their children to the best private school in the area qualify for a benefit for a new car? Sorry, but people who also holiday 5 times per year in America, the Carribean etc in my mind should not receive this sort of allowance. The lady in question has a back ailment of some description yet she is in work every day, and I've seen her in her back garden on one of those giant trampolines for the kids.
She is always walking her dog along the beach etc. It makes me sick to the back teeth to think that whilst some very ill people are not getting urgent treatment they need because there are no hospital beds or not enough doctors, the government are allowing people who are wealthy to get a free vehicle.

And yes, they are changed every three years and servicing is included, plus the cost of new tyres. My best friend who is genuinely housebound without a car and who has no money at all has got one and I don't begrudge anybody who needs one, but there is much abuse of the system. The motorbility scheme costs already nearly £2bn per year to keep going- surely this allowance should only be paid to somebody who desperately needs a vehicle.

Quoting braybuddy (Reply 7):
This sounds like one of those urban myths that go around. Years ago I remember hearing that immigrants to this country were given grants to buy cars to help them socialise,

Actually, all of the information about the motorbility scheme is online- it is not a myth. You have to qualify for the DLA payment and you can use this for a car rather than have the cash itself. My other blind neighbour receives this- he also works full time but he has a genuine need for it.
Interestingly, the majority of fraudulent motorbility claims originate from Northern Ireland.

Lastly, I am not against anyone who GENUINELY needs the scheme- it is about the many that falsely claim- it isn't fair on the rest of society!

It

Topic: RE: UK Welfare- Free Cars?
Username: ajd1992
Posted 2012-11-16 03:00:21 and read 1450 times.

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 6):
My neighbour is spastic and has a Citroen C4 with hand controls fitted by the scheme and pays
around £100 a month on lease !

Quite sure the official word is no longer "spastic" any more....

Topic: RE: UK Welfare- Free Cars?
Username: PlymSpotter
Posted 2012-11-16 03:29:37 and read 1450 times.

Quoting garpd (Reply 2):
My guess is, the people you described in your post are "playing" the system.

  

Or just being plain fraudulent:

Quoting raffik (Reply 9):
The lady in question has a back ailment of some description yet she is in work every day, and I've seen her in her back garden on one of those giant trampolines for the kids.
She is always walking her dog along the beach etc. It makes me sick to the back teeth to think that whilst some very ill people are not getting urgent treatment they need because there are no hospital beds or not enough doctors, the government are allowing people who are wealthy to get a free vehicle.

That statement would make me question the ailment, specifically the trampoline, not the system. Whilst I obviously don't know what injury this woman has, I know a couple of people with a back injury/condition and that getting on a trampoline just isn't physically possible unless they want to end up in extreme pain/hospital. Ditto for dog walking - they mustn't do it because, if the dog pulls, it can lead to serious pain/injury.

If you feel strongly you can report it.


Dan  

Topic: RE: UK Welfare- Free Cars?
Username: flipdewaf
Posted 2012-11-16 04:50:36 and read 1450 times.

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 10):
Quite sure the official word is no longer "spastic" any more....

It is, my uncle is a spastic.

Fred

Topic: RE: UK Welfare- Free Cars?
Username: moo
Posted 2012-11-16 05:06:10 and read 1450 times.

Quoting garpd (Reply 2):
What particularly boils my blood when you see these people and their families in mobility cars (usually denoted by "Mobility" stickers in the rear windows) hop out of their huge 4x4's and walk off down the street without a single limp or any sign of struggle between them.

My wife qualifies for higher rate DLA, a blue badge and home care - and she would 90% of the time fall into the category you just defined.

We park up in a disabled space, get out and its as if there's nothing wrong. But you don't see the fact that she runs out of steam after 100 yards, or how hard she is holding on to me.

The other 10% of the time, she can't even roll herself over in bed - she swings wildly from one extreme to the other, but DLA and other disabilities all require you to declare on the form your worst day, and her worst day is "paralysis in both legs, left arm and extreme fatigue", and that occurs three or four times a year and can last for a day or two or months at a time. But on her good days, you see us jogging around the park or walking the dogs out on the broads.

Its all about what you don't see - a huge amount of disabilities are hidden away from normal life, basing judgements on snatches of what you see doesn't do it justice.

Oh, my wife doesn't get a Mobility vehicle btw.

Topic: RE: UK Welfare- Free Cars?
Username: ajd1992
Posted 2012-11-16 06:18:15 and read 1450 times.

Quoting flipdewaf (Reply 12):
It is, my uncle is a spastic.

OK, let me rephrase that:

It's offensive. The word is not spastic or at least not if you don't want to offend people.

Topic: RE: UK Welfare- Free Cars?
Username: flipdewaf
Posted 2012-11-16 06:32:22 and read 1450 times.

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 14):
OK, let me rephrase that:

It's offensive. The word is not spastic or at least not if you don't want to offend people.

Anything can be offensive if you use it in a certain way.

My uncle has spastic diplegia, it causes a tighness in muscles and makes him very stiff and find it difficult to move, he suffers from it a lot in his hands and fingers and struggles with fine motor skills, opening containers, writing lifting small things (his fingers wont bend properly). Luckily he has no trouble holding a pint glass  

Fred

Topic: RE: UK Welfare- Free Cars?
Username: RussianJet
Posted 2012-11-16 11:50:32 and read 1450 times.

Quoting go3team (Reply 1):
That's how entitlements work, they go to the people that don't need them

Not if you means-test them properly, which is what we are sorely lacking in many areas.


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