MACDONALD WELCOMES LAUNCH OF BADGE BILL CONSULTATION
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 14:18
Falkirk East MSP, Angus MacDonald has welcomed the launch of a bid to strengthen the current law relating to the Blue Badge Scheme in Scotland.
Blue Badge misuse and fraud have a cost to the public purse and represent an injustice to those with mobility issues who would benefit most from the scheme. The ‘Use and Value of the Blue Badge Scheme’ report suggested that misuse is seen as a major problem by the majority of Badge holders.
The consultation was launched by SNP MSP for Aberdeenshire West, Dennis Robertson. Mr Robertson - a Blue Badge holder - aims to introduce enforcement powers to ensure powers to cancel and confiscate badges for misuse whilst providing an appeals process for applicants who are refused a blue badge on eligibility grounds.
Commenting on the launch of the bid Mr MacDonald said:
“I support my colleague Dennis Robertson’s bill, strengthening the powers of local authority parking attendants and police to prevent misuse will act as a deterrent and prevent the continued misuse.
“Whilst I support further efforts to prevent misuse, I also feel that the public should understand that not all disabled people are wheelchair users nor totally unable to walk. If Blue Badge misused is suspected this should not be an excuse to indulge in the harassment of disabled people.
“The consultation will enable consideration to be given to how best to ensure that these parking concessions are used for the purpose for which they were intended – to help severely disabled people retain their independence and live full lives."
Mr Robertson, who has had backing for his proposal from the Equal Opportunities Committee of the Scottish Parliament, said:
"I am proud to be able to launch a consultation on a bill which will provide better enforcement of Blue Badge misuse, helping to ensure that those who need a Blue Badge can get the benefit from its use.
“Finding suitable parking spaces, particularly in towns and cities, is difficult at any time. However, if you have a disability it can be even more difficult to find a parking space close to your destination, whether it is for work, education or leisure.
“I’m looking forward to hearing the views of blue badge holders, stakeholder organisations and other MSPs to ensure that this legislation represents the best interests of disabled people and blue badge holders.”