Disability Federation of Ireland launches its 2012 Pre-Budget Submission

October 5 2011


The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) today (Wed 5th October 12pm) launched its 2012 pre-budget submission in the Mansion House. The launch was attended by representatives of all opposition parties in the Oireachtas and Minister of State Kathleen Lynch, representing the Government.

Speaking at the launch today, John Dolan, CEO of DFI said, “The disability infrastructure built up over the last decade, in particular, is on the point of collapse”.

John Dolan went on to say, “We appreciate that resources are tight and we all must work ‘smarter’ and differently, but we cannot accept that social justice priorities fly out the window when times get tough. When decision-making is driven by fire fighting alone, it destroys social investment and the prospects for people with disabilities. While we are committed to ensuring that people will no longer be forced to live in congregated settings we are allowing the daily erosion of services and supports that make community and family living work for people”.

Also speaking at the launch, John O'Sullivan, Vice Chairperson of DFI said, “We know that a disproportionate number of people with disabilities continue to have lower incomes and are in a lower social class. It is not surprising then that they are at greater risk of poverty, with twice as many disabled people experiencing consistent poverty compared with the general population. We also know that people with disabilities have a lower employment rate and are less likely to get out of the poverty trap. If we are not planning to improve the situation we are by default planning to let things get worse. That is our great fear”.

Last month the DFI joined with nine other organisations in calling on the Government to put plans in place to ensure that the National Disability Strategy (NDS) is implemented and that there is ongoing focus on the key areas of access to necessary services and income supports for those with disability.

The DFI is an umbrella organisation to 127 different organisations all around the country, many of whom were represented at today’s launch. John Dolan also said, “We hear accounts day in day out of people on the ground who are struggling to have any level of certainty in their lives. Many people are distressed not just with the challenge of dealing with their disability, but with the threat of further cutbacks and the uncertainty, which surrounds this. We urge the Government, through the forthcoming budget statement and Finance Bill, to restore some level of certainty in the lives of these people”

‘Close to 800,000 people in this country experience some level of disability. This impacts firstly on them personally, their families and their carers, but it also has a societal impact. If we fail to provide the necessary services and support for people with disability we fail as a nation and as a society” John Dolan said today.

ENDS Check also: www.disability-federation.ie

For Contact, John Dolan, CEO, DFI – 086 8370072,

Allen Dunne, Deputy CEO, DFI - 086-8502112

Wally Young, Young Communications, 087-2471520