“Cuts have been applied to disability services since 2008, and the effects are being felt by disabled people and their families"
December 6 2011
Press Release 6th December 2011
John Dolan, CEO of the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) stated “On Monday, Minister Lynch stated that an efficiency saving of 2% has been applied to the budgets of disability services in 2012. This cut comes on top of substantial cuts to disability funding since 2008.”
In her press release yesterday, Kathleen Lynch TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People, stated
“An efficiency saving of 2% is being applied to the budget for disability services in 2012 but services will also have to make provision for savings in employment and procurement costs which are required of the health services as a whole next year”. She further went on to state that “the precise levels of savings required will vary depending on the profile of individual service providers and will be determined within the context of the HSE’s service planning process. Services will also have to meet anticipated extra demand from within their budgets in 2012.”
John Dolan stated that
“Cuts have been applied to disability services since 2008, and the effects are being felt by disabled people and their families. These new efficiency savings will have a direct impact on the services that people with disabilities will receive. We are very concerned about what the true extent of these cuts, just how far above 2% they could reach and to what extent they will impact on services. We are seeking immediate clarification from the Department of Health in relation to the cuts”.
In response to cuts to the direct payments for people with disabilities under 25 years of age John Dolan stated that
“Yesterday Minister Joan Burton had commented that the intention of the changes was to standardise levels of social welfare payments across the board, bringing them in line with jobseekers allowance.” He further stressed that “what people with disabilities need is greater equality of outcome. For example young disabled people on disability allowance are excluded from all the activation programmes announced to-date from the Department of Social Protection. This is despite the fact that a recent survey published by the ESRI and Office for Social Inclusion found that two thirds of this group were willing to work with the correct supports”.
He went on to say that
“Young people with disabilities require individualised supports to participate in mainstream life. DFI welcome that Minister Kathleen Lynch, on behalf of Government, has made changes recently to strengthen the monitoring and implementation arrangements for the National Disability Strategy. DFI also welcomed that the Taoiseach has this afternoon in the Dail stated that the Government now has two years to put in place a structure which would recognise the fact that people with a disability should not be sidelined in some laneway in terms of our society as they could not make a contribution”.
Mr Dolan concluded stating that
“the cuts in the Budget highlight the urgent need for all of the different government programmes and measures to be looked at holistically in terms of people with disabilities and that work on this needs to commence immediately”.
John Dolan, Chief Executive, DFI 086-8370072
Allen Dunne, SEO Operational / Deputy Chief Executive, DFI 086-8502112