Post Budget 2011 Press Release 7th December 2010
December 8 2010
Grave Concern of Poverty Risk for People with Disabilities but Protection Welcomed for Disability Services in Health
"The €8 per week cut in income supports, as announced in the detail of today's budget, is a serious blow to disabled people and their families. Government has long acknowledged that people with disabilities have extra costs in relation to their ordinary day to day living on items such as food, heating, clothing, and transport. This further cut comes on top of the 6% last year and is again being made on means tested income. It must be remembered that disabled people are also subject to cuts in general and to the extra demands being made on their income. There is no evidence here of protection for this vulnerable group and this will bring more disabled people into poverty.
A recent publication from the ESRI found that the consistent poverty rate, which combines income poverty and enforced absence of at least two items from the deprivation scale, was much higher among those unable to work due to illness or disability. There were almost twice as many households headed by an ill or disabled person among consistently poor households than among income poor households.”
“Government has put a plan in place to deal with the banking collapse and more recently to deal with our deficit. It committed, over a year ago, “to prioritise the interests of people with disabilities and actively advance the implementation of the National Disability Strategy throughout the recession” by putting a plan in place. That plan is still not agreed by Government. DFI has been calling for this multi annual plan since the Budget of April 2009”
“DFI welcomes the earlier commitment from the Minister for Health and the confirmation from Minister Moloney this evening 'that special consideration given to disability and mental health in budget 2011, through a maximum reduction of just 1.8% in the allocation for the two sectors'. This recognises the work underway to reform and modernise the way that services and supports are delivered and the level of unmet need amongst people with disabilities. It is imperative that the HSE now works in partnership with voluntary disability organisations to best implement the cuts and to change how services are provided to people with disabilities to get better value for money and make sure that necessary services are provided.
For contact, John Dolan, CEO, DFI, 086-8370072
Allen Dunne, Deputy CEO, DFI, 086-8502112
Wally Young, Young Communications, 01 6680530 / 087-2471520