Disability Federation of Ireland Newsletter March 2007
Issued on March 1 2007
We are seeking to have three core proposals embedded in each party's general election manifesto and for inclusion in the next programme for government. These proposals are strongly based around the implementation of the National Disability Strategy (NDS) as recently agreed to by all social partners with Government. They relate to:
- putting necessary day to day cost of living money directly into the pockets of disabled people to finally put them on a par with others.
- shoring up the capacity of voluntary disability organisations to provide their current level of service provision to acceptable standards in preparation for implementing the National Disability Strategy.
- ensuring that the National Disability Strategy is implemented fully in an efficient and effective way.
The voluntary disability sector urgently needs to have its confidence in Government commitments reassured. The Cost of Disability payment and under funding of current service provision by organisations are issues that have not been sorted in spite of promises going back over a decade.
The NDS, if implemented, will ensure that people with disabilities can openly and freely participate in all aspects of life in Ireland. The day to day lived experience of people with disabilities continues to be one of restriction and exclusion.
The commitments in the NDS will not implement themselves, they need to be driven strongly by the incoming Government. Five years from now we will be half way through "Towards 2016". We should be half way to effectively implementing the National Disability Strategy. Our three proposals, if committed to, can be progressed in the first week of any new Government.
We have no reason to be hopeful that a new suite of commitments, namely the NDS, will be delivered effectively. The NDS is a massive cross Government and public service project, not only requiring resources, but also change. Experience of the health service reform programme confirms our concern about the capacity of our public administration system to effectively manage major social programmes.
In conclusion, we are seeking to have these proposals headlined in each party's Manifesto and in the next programme for government:
- "Commence progressive implementation of the Cost of Disability payment".
- "Adequately resource current service delivery by voluntary disability organisations".
- "Identify for each year of the programme for government the objectives and outcomes for the National Disability Strategy, having regard to the vision and long term goals for people with disabilities as set out in "Towards 2016".
Details of the Oireachtas briefing and media launch of "A Lot Planned, All To Do" DFI: Programme for Government (2007 - 2012) are on page 2, along with details of regional events which DFI is supporting on page 3.