Newsletter September 2010
Issued on September 1 2010
The Government has committed to developing a Recession Implementation Plan (The Revised Programme for Government 2009). The Plan has yet to be developed, but now Ministers and their officials are working away on preparing cuts designed to save €2bn in public spending next year, and there are further cuts planned for the years beyond.
If measures are not in place to ensure that the Budget is disability proofed there will be unintended and unsustainable cuts to vital services for disabled people and their families. This is without reference to the amount of unmet needs that also require attention. We have a disability strategy because there was, and still is, a significant level of unmet needs which prevents the full participation of disabled people.
Disabled people, their families and voluntary disability organisations will continue to do all that is possible to make services more effective and efficient. However, we need to know that there is serious intent across Government to reflect their commitment to the NDS in the decisions that are now being made in preparation for the Budget.
At the same time our own sector has challenges that go beyond funding issues. The NDS brought to the fore the long awaited human desire for full participation by disabled people in all aspects of Irish life. Each organisation needs to be critical of it”s own established practices so that it is directing it”s efforts and resources in a way that is fully compatible with maximising the independence, choice and autonomy of those that it was set up to serve. We are now in an environment where the expectation has gone beyond “protection” and “care” to one where full participation is the base line that should determine the way in which organisations operate, plan and strategise. DFI has been focusing strongly over the past years on organisational development and governance issues to assist in bringing the necessary change of focus at the corporate level and many organisations have started down that road. Continuing with the approach that “We have always done things this way” prevents progress towards activation and participation for those that we are committed to serving.
Yes, our Government has a way to go, but we can”t assume that we too don”t have serious challenges, challenges that would be here even without the recession.
Chief Executive Officer