DFI welcomes Minister Heather Humphreys to its SGM meeting on the #CostOfDisability

November 29 2022, 05:43pm

HEather Humphreys

DFI welcomed Minister Heather Humphreys to its SGM on 29 November which focused on the extra cost of disability. A video of self-advocates Catherine Cooper and Mark Mitchell in which they highlighted some of the extras costs of disability was shown at the meeting. Questions were put to Minister Humphreys on a number of issues including the extra costs incurred when a child is in hospital and costs of disability that were there before the cost of living crisis intensified.

Anna Gunning, CEO of Children in Hospital Ireland, raised the additional costs that are incurred by parents when one of their children is in hospital, often leading to one parent having to give up their job to care for the child. In response Minister Hunphreys said she is happy to engage on this issue and that her focus is to keep people out of poverty.

Paul Ginnell of European Anti-Poverty Network gave a broader context of the #CostOf Living crisis facing households at the moment saying that 50% of households are having difficulty making ends meet. He raised the further burden this places on people who also live with the cost of disability. Minister Humphreys said that “Support for people with disabilities has to be a whole of Government approach.”

DFI’s CEO John Dolan, offered words of thanks to the Minister for her attendance. He also acknowledged the €500 one-off payment given in Budget 2023 but stated that this cannot be a once-off payment and is required annually. He said the #CostOfDiability was there before the energy crisis and the cost of living crisis and that it will be there afterwards. He acknowledged that a door has been opened now and that the Minister has a deeper understanding of the issues. DFI and its Members will continue to work with the Minister on this matter.