Disability Federation of Ireland Calls for Prioritisation of People with Disabilities in Budget

December 2 2011



The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) today calls on Government to prioritise people with disabilities by protecting their basic income and their access to services in Budget 2012.

John Dolan, CEO of DFI has said, “The Programme for Government commits to “tackling Ireland’s economic crisis in a way that is fair, balanced and which recognises the need for social solidarity”. People with disabilities have already been subject to the cuts in income and services that have applied in recent budgets. The HSE disability services programme has been reduced every year since 2008; this is four years of on-going reductions while demands for services are growing. Disability payments have also been effected by the across the board cuts in social welfare payments. Social solidarity requires that these disabled people, who are found right throughout our society and in every age group and situation, are protected from a double or extra hit due to their disability.”

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”

John Dolan went on to say that “Minister Kathleen Lynch, on behalf of Government, has made changes recently to strengthen the monitoring and implementation arrangements for the National Disability Strategy. These changes are reinforcing the whole of Government approach to the issues that face people with disabilities. It is very timely therefore that the Budget sends a clear message of intent that disabled people and their families will have prioritised support across departments and public bodies when it comes to the provision of necessary services and supports. DFI and its members are eager to work in partnership with Government to ensure that people with disabilities can continue to have access to these necessary supports and services in order to live ordinary lives in their communities.”

Note to Editor: John Dolan CEO has written to the Taoiseach and Tánaiste outlining his strong views on the needs of people with disabilities


John Dolan, Chief Executive, DFI 086-8370072

Allen Dunne, SEO Operational / Deputy Chief Executive, DFI 086-8502112