Response to Budget 2023

September 29 2022, 09:21am

Response to Budget 2023

The DFI response to Budget 2023 includes a press release and two member updates which were issued on Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 September. 

You can read the press release here, which also formed the basis of the first Member Update.

The Member Update on 28 September focused on the Disability funding and Health allocations in the Budget and you can read this below: 

Disability Services Funding

DFI are writing to Minister Anne Rabbitte to seek clarity on the disability funding in Budget 2023. In particular, we are seeking information on:

  • How the €65m funding to address inflation in community and voluntary disability organisations will operate
  • A full breakdown of the €29m funding for new service developments, including the exact funding to different service areas
  • How funding relates to the Disability Capacity Review and Action Plan, and clarity on the publication of the Action Plan

DFI welcome the €65m funding to address inflation in community and voluntary organisations. Many of our members are coming under increasing pressure to provide services in the context of rising costs, any support in this area is welcome. However, it is disappointing that there is no provision to address the recruitment and retention crisis facing section 39 disability organisations. 

The funding to advance the neurorehabilitation strategy is particularly welcome. There is also welcome investment in respite services, residential services, the joint working protocol between HSE and Túsla and assessment of need backlogs, however we await a full breakdown of the specific funding to each area.

It is deeply disappointing however that the funding for new developments of €29m falls significantly below the recommendations of the Disability Capacity Review. The government published this Review in 2021 which provides clear evidence of the funding needed. The government is failing to implement its own evidence in this Budget. 

Many questions remain in relation to disability service funding, including a full breakdown of funding to different areas, and how funding to different service areas compares to the Disability Capacity Review recommendations. This is necessary so that the 643,131 people with disabilities, their families and organisations that support them can interpret the announcement and understand what it means for them. Full transparency and accessibility of the funding announcement is vital. DFI will be seeking further details from the Minister, and will communicate this as we learn more.

What we know so far:

Minister Rabbitte announced a total funding package of €242m for disability services. This breaks down as follows:

€109m to continue at existing level of service

€29m funding for new developments including:

  • Residential services
  • Respite services
  • Supporting the joint working protocol between HSE and Túsla to support children with disabilities
  • Funding to advance neurorehabilitation strategy, including two community neurorehabilitation teams
  • A digital and assistive technology initiative in partnership with the World Health Organisation

The following once-off funding measures:

  • €11.5m to address assessment of need backlogs
  • €27m to address emergency cases due to COVID
  • €65m to address inflation in commuity and voluntary organisations

The DFI will have a full analysis of Budget 2023 on Friday 30 September. You can also follow us on Twitter for ongoing live reactions.