06/12/07 - Right Direction but Lacks Intensity!

October 20 2009


DFI's Pre-Budget Submission "Significant Commitments Demand Significant Delivery", called for an investment of €500m in relation to income and care in community for people with disabilities. Budget 2007 is clearly moving in the right direction, but has not delivered anything near that level of funding.

Government has made significant commitments to people with disabilities through the new Social Partnership Agreement, Towards 2016. As this is the first Budget of the agreement, it must be viewed in the context of how Government will deliver on its commitments' to people with disabilities over the next decade. Given the start it has made in Budget 07, DFI's assessment is; right direction, but lacks intensity!

DFI welcomes:

People with Disabilities

  • Increase of €20 per week in Disability Allowance.
  • An extension of entitlement to the full rate of Disability Allowance to all persons resident in institutions.
  • Additional funds for the development of personal advocacy service

Services for Persons with a Disability

  • The provision of additional residential, respite and day places, as well as an expansion in home support and personal assistance.
  • The appointment of additional front line staff and the range of multi-disciplinary support services available to adults and children with intellectual, physical and sensory disabilities and those with autism.

Mental Health Services

  • The provision of additional community based mental health facilities, including mental health day centres, day hospitals and community residential facilities.
  • The appointment of additional front-line staff and the range of multi-disciplinary support services available to adults and children with mental illness in line with A Vision for Change.
  • Additional funding to support the continued implementation of Reach Out - National Strategy for Action on Suicide Prevention 2005 - 2014.

Primary Care

  • The appointment of additional front-line staff to support the roll out of an extra 100 primary care teams in development
  • The development of a structured Chronic Disease Management Framework.

Fuel Poverty

  • The increase in Fuel Allowance by €4 per week.
  • The raised income threshold for entitlement to the fuel allowances

The Once - Off Allocations to:

  • Special Olympics Ireland
  • St Joseph's School for the Visually Impaired Drumcondra
  • Osteoporosis Society

While Government has recognised the need to build the capacity of the voluntary disability sector, DFI is dismayed that our modest request for €5m was not delivered on. It is equally disappointing that the Cost of Disability Payment was not introduced.

While Budget 2007 does respond to some of the issues raised in the DFI Pre Budget Submission, progress to meet the Governments' commitments to the National Disability Strategy and Towards 2016 lacks intensity.

Contact Details:

John Dolan, Chief Executive Officer, 01 4547978

Allen Dunne, Deputy CEO, 01 4547978