Posted on Friday, January 20, 2012
in Family, Strange and Unusual
So this first-born of mine… Laughingboy, you all know him by now maybe, but if you don’t, let me fill you in.
He was diagnosed with Otahara Syndrome at the tender age of three months. It’s a seizure condition that affects wee small babies but given that he’s now ten years old, his diagnosis has morphed into a very vague ‘Controlled Seizure Disorder with Global Developmental Delay’. We’re entirely lucky to still have him. He lights us up. He’s my dude, and my God.
He can’t do stuff for himself. He needs a wheelchair. He can’t sit on the couch with us and watch The Simpsons because he has no head-support and would fall over. He’s a whopping 33.5kg child who hasn’t progressed beyond the development of a three-month-old baby, but he is his own person who loves Drum and Bass and who is slowly appreciating a love for R&B against all my wishes.
So he needs a mode of transport, right?
We had one, but he grew out of it. We bought it for €13,000. We had means, at the time.
Our panic to find a new vehicle was sincere more recently, being a family of now fewer means. I earn Carer’s Allowance which isn’t much considering I’m doing the Government a huge favour by personally looking after a disabled kid (It feels weird saying that, seeing as not a hundred years ago, said kid would’ve been hidden away or smothered with a pillow for fear of being a burden on society. Is a disabled kid worthy of society? That’s a can of worms and a half). My husband has a severely debilitating condition too… he has Degenerative Disk Disorder, a condition that means that he is on constant opiates, is in constant pain, and most definitely cannot work. That too, is a can of worms and a half.
My point is, is that we have a minimal amount of incoming money.
This is why it seemed like a blessing when a friend of means of ours chose to sell/lease us a vehicle, a beautiful vehicle at that; one that could not only carry Laughingboy, but any one of his other wheelchair-bound friends at a time. It has six gears. It guzzles the diesel, but it’s worth it. And it’s almost paid-off.
But guess what! Because we didn’t buy the vehicle from an ‘approved dealer’, it means we don’t get to avail of the wonderful Tax-Free Grant that usual vehicles of disablement would ordinarily possess. To avail of free annual motor tax, we must buy a new vehicle at a cost of €23,000 or more, but hey, at least we’d get the VRT back, worth €3,000 or so, in said case. Ooooo. ‘Yay’. I would be less sarcastic, if I had that much money just lying around.
It means that we now have to pay a vehicle tax on our vehicle of comparatively ill-gotten means by roughly €1,100 a year. That much money would heat our house for well over a year and a half, plus change.
So, it seems we should sell our vehicle to a registered dealer, then buy it right back off them again, just to avail of free vehicle tax that should normally be entitled to us.
Does that not seem like fraud to you?
Or should we just sell said vehicle to pay for said house-heating and limit Laughingboy’s travel to public services… an hourly shuttle-bus that doesn’t facilitate wheelchairs?
What the fuck is going on with this system???