Statement from Lord Sterling, Chairman of Motability.
In June 2019, we announced the intention of creating an endowment fund, which will provide an excellent long-term insurance policy for our beneficiaries and their ongoing mobility needs. The endowment fund will help us to continue to enhance the lives of disabled people by helping with their transportation needs and independence.
In late 2018, Motability received a donation of £400million from Motability Operations. The extraordinary size of this donation was made possible by the unusually buoyant second-hand market, in which cars have been selling consistently at values significantly higher than expected.
Work began in June 2018 to establish how any potential donation could be most effectively utilised and a comprehensive programme of consultation took place, regarding nine initiatives. These are currently in varying stages of development. They include expansion of our Drive-from-Wheelchair vehicle programme; increasing passenger Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle grant-funding; extending driving lesson support and funding; and accelerating support of the Family Fund Mobility Scheme, to help families with severely disabled children under the age of three who have significant mobility needs.
In early 2019, we approached the Department for Work and Pensions to discuss other areas in which they are involved with disabled people, in which our support could prove helpful. In July 2019, the Minister for Disabled People announced that we would extend our charitable contributions in two new areas.
Firstly, over the next three years we have committed to support all Scheme customers who lose eligibility to the Motability Scheme as a result of a stopped allowance, such as PIP to PIP assessment, with a Stopped Allowance Support Payment of £1,000. Based on available data, this will amount to some £60million. This sum is in addition to our ongoing commitment to spend some £175million supporting Scheme customers who lose their eligibility to use the Scheme following reassessment from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
Secondly, in order to help more disabled people gain access to employment, Motability is actively working with the Department for Work and Pensions to see if we can provide grants to pay the transport related Social and Domestic Contribution on behalf of disabled people who have applied for Access to Work support.
Today, Motability Operations has announced the decision to make a donation of £800million to Motability’s endowment fund. This donation comprises Motability Operations’ entire profits for the year, plus the release of capital reserves of £370million that was announced in June. This brings the capital reserve £370million below the September 2018 balance sheet position. The endowment fund, which will be called The Motability Foundation, will enable us to substantially extend and sustain our current grant-making programmes and introduce new initiatives, taking into account industry capacity and additional resource, for example the need for highly trained specialist staff.
This donation was made in addition to investing in initiatives which improve the service and package offered to Scheme customers, including a £100million release to support customers. Since 2008, Motability Operations has invested £1.37billion in initiatives to support customers, such as free and subsidised vehicle adaptations, subsidised Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle pricing, alternative transport such as taxis or hire cars when a Scheme vehicle is off the road, and payments to customers when they return their vehicles in a good condition.
Chairman of Motability