03/10/07 - DFI want an extra €40 per week for people with disability

October 3 2007


Press Statement Embargo to 12:15pm Wednesday 3rd October 2007

10% of Irish people experience some level of disability…

The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) briefed politicians on expectations for the sector in the next budget in the Mansion House today (12:15pm). One of five priority actions required of the government in the next budget is a demand for a cost of disability payment of €40 per week for all persons with disability. Close to 10% of Irish people experience some level of disability. The total annual cost of this measure would be €183m.

John Dolan, Chief Executive of the DFI said today,

"In this era of massive wealth for so many in our society, large numbers of disabled people continue to experience a lower standard of living and are at greater risks of poverty than the general population. A cost of disability payment would be an important anti-poverty measure, designed to offset the extra cost of disability and create a more equal society for all".

DFI also want the government to provide an additional €20m to address the core funding deficits which its member organisations have to fundraise in order to provide necessary health services. In Towards 2016, the government is committed to appropriately funding the sector, yet there is significant under resourcing of voluntary disability organisations due to the rising cost of service provision - caused mainly by inflation, pay increases and overheads. John Dolan went on to say,

"it is simply unacceptable that organisations, which are delivering key supports and services all around the country, are not being provided with the core funding required to function effectively. €20m is not a lot of money for Government and the current deficit must be rectified in our next budget. Organisations are struggling to maintain services and are increasingly reliant on fundraising to provide essential health related services"

DFI also asked politicians today to support three other commitments to the disability sector in the next budget as follows:

  • To deliver the commitment made that 'for each year of the Programme for Government, it will set out the objectives and outcomes to be reached in the NDS having regard to the vision and long term goals for people with disabilities as set out in 'Towards 2016'. This needs to be done explicitly as part of the Estimates and Budget Process.
  • Establish clear budget lines in the Government Estimates and Budget 2008 to identify the funding directed to disability specific services and separately to mainstream services. This is necessary to be able to accurately review, monitor and report on the progress of the Government's commitment to implement at least half of the NDS by 2010.
  • To commit to €5 million to fund the establishment of a Resource Support Centre for voluntary disability organisations. This Centre would provide information, and support organisational development to include collaborative working, governance, and financial management, within the overall context of maximising the impact of the NDS.


Further information contact:
John Dolan, CEO, Disability Federation Ireland, 086 8370072
Allen Dunne, Deputy CEO, Disability Federation Ireland, 086 8502112
Louise McCann, DFI, 01 4547978
Wally Young, Young Communications, 01 6680530, 087 2471520