DFI calls on the government to close the gap in Budget 2024

June 29 2023, 04:57pm



The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI), is calling on the government to close the gap and to invest in people with disabilities in Budget 2024.

In our Pre-Budget Submission, published today, we outline the high levels of poverty and exclusion that people with disabilities continue to live with. This is despite the growth of the domestic economy and strong finances.

We are calling for a range of interwoven measures in Budget 2024 to ensure disabled people have an equal opportunity to live independently in the community, with choices equal to others. This includes appropriate housing, adequate income and individualised social care supports with access to timely integrated healthcare.

We are also calling on the government to take action on the crisis affecting the very services that disabled people avail of. These services are under threat and funding is needed to ensure their sustainability, to increase pay by 15%, and to re-instate the link to public sector pay for disability organisations.

Speaking at the launch of the Pre-Budget Submission, DFI’s CEO John Dolan said, “The current government has just two Budgets left to deliver on its significant Programme for Government commitments to disabled people and their families. Measures must be introduced to reduce the extremely high rates of poverty and to support meaningful inclusion and improved quality of life for disabled people.

“The government also needs to progress Ireland’s UN CRPD implementation plan. While some progress has been made we have had slow progress in many areas such as the Disability Capacity Review Action Plan.

“It’s past time now to close the gap, to address the cost of disability by properly investing in people with disabilities and their families.”

In addition, we are calling for a fully clear Budget Day announcement so disabled people can understand the implications of the budget for them - particularly in the areas of health and housing.

DFI’s Director of Advocacy and Inclusion, Dr Emer Begley, said, “Previous budgets have not been clear or transparent about the funding allocated. This has been further exacerbated by delays in the publication of the HSE National Service Plan which this year was not published until March. This creates additional uncertainty and a disruptive time lag in clarity about service allocations.

“Disabled people and critical services are left in the dark on changes to funding and subsequent service provisions for months following the Budget announcement.”

The Pre-Budget Submission is available on the DFI website www.disability-federation.ie/Budget24


Photo caption: Disability activists Michael Meere from Clare and Carolyn Akintola from Dublin with DFI CEO John Dolan and Dr Emer Begley Director of Advocacy and Inclusion.