People with Disability concerned that next Budget will wreak havoc on their services
December 6 2011
Press Statement from the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI), 8 October 2009
Speaking in Dublin to-day at the launch of the pre-budget submission, John Dolan, DFI Chief Executive said, "People with disability are reeling from the effects of what has happened to date by way of cuts in services and are fearful that worse is to come for the next two years. All this comes hot on the heels of the Governments proclamation in the National Disability Strategy to establish
"an Ireland where people with disabilities have, to the greatest extent possible, the opportunity to live a full life with their families and as part of their local community, free from discrimination. Where is this commitment now?"
John Dolan went on to say, "Disabled people require disability specific services but equally they require access to mainstream public services; otherwise they will continue to be excluded from society. Surely this is not what our Government and indeed our opposition parties would want – surely we can do better than this in 2009."
"As night follows day it is clear to DFI that the application of the "Bord Snip Nua" menu in the forthcoming Budget would wreak havoc on the disabled people of Ireland and their families. The NDS will not be worth the paper it is written on and the reputation of this Government will be severely compromised were that to happen".
Dolan went on to say, "I fully accept that the Government has difficult choices to make but those choices must demonstrate and reiterate clearly the States ongoing commitment to people with disabilities. Cuts to services and basic income of people with disabilities must not come before the challenging and difficult decisions that must be made between raising the levels of revenue through taxation, ending tax exemptions and / or reducing the cost of service provision through public service reform, reducing salaries and supporting more efficient ways of working. The income supports and the services that people with disabilities receive must be maintained, protected and unmet needs responded to.
The DFI also wishes to highlight some Preliminary Analysis of recent findings from their survey on the Impact of the Recession on DFI Members. The survey shows that:
- 75% of respondents reported that their organisation had been either ‘very significantly’ or ‘significantly’ affected by the economic downturn
- Just over three quarters of respondents (76%) reported that the level of their organisations income has decreased in 2009 compared to the previous year
- At the same time 72% of those who responded to the survey stated that the demand for their services has increased in 2009 compared to the previous year
- 91% of respondents stated that they have already reduced their costs in 2009. To date, and in advance of any cuts announced in Budget 2010, 35% of respondents have had to make direct cuts to their services.
"These preliminary findings from this research is providing us with very clear information on how this current recession is affecting people with disability and organisations who serve them"
John Dolan said
Full text of John Dolan’s address on www.disability-federation.ie
For contact, John Dolan, CEO, DFI, 086-8370072
Allen Dunne, Deputy CEO, DFI , 086-8502112
Wally Young, Young Communications, 016680530/087-2471520