No More Budget Cuts to People with Disabilities
November 30 2012
30th November 2012
Budget 2013 undercutting further the services and benefits on which people with disabilities depend would be unjust, uneconomic and destructive of people’s capacity to continue to participate in community life, according to the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI).
Mr Dolan said, “The headlong retreat from community participation is well underway for people with disabilities and their families and this Budget is going to speed that process up. The decisions being made by Government are running counter to their stated policy of ensuring that people can live and participate in the community with family and friends.”
John Dolan, CEO of DFI, explained, “People with disabilities fought hard to get the supports that enable them to live ordinary lives in the community, but they have seen their gains washed away in the flood of Budget cuts over the past five years. They are deeply troubled about what is in store for them under Budget 2013 in terms of cuts to essential services and income supports”.
“In 2012 this Government cut disability health and personal supports expenditure by 3.7% on top of previous cuts to services and to incomes. At the same time many other important areas were hard hit, such as funding for social housing and Community Employment schemes.”
Mr Dolan pointed out, “These cuts have been coming across the range of services and income supports. Added together, they deny people their basic rights as citizens. They contradict the stated policy of Government, namely to support people to live in the community and avoid expensive services. They also fly in the face of the increasing need for services due to Ireland’s aging population and improved life expectancies.” He referred to the Government’s own statistics that reveal the damage being done because people cannot get the normal supports that allow them to get on with their lives. For example as many people are waiting for Personal Assistant services as are currently in receipt of the service.
“Everyone in Ireland should be able to live with a basic level of dignity. That will no longer be possible for many people with disabilities if Budget 2013 makes additional cuts targeting them.”
Note to editor
Census 2011 reported that 595,335 people had one or more disabilities.
Sample of waiting lists for essential services by people with disabilities
Number receiving service
Households with disability waiting for social housing*
Persons with physical / sensory disabilities waiting for Personal Assistant *
Persons with physical / sensory disabilities waiting for Home help*
Persons with physical / sensory disabilities waiting for physiotherapy*
Persons with physical / sensory disabilities waiting for audiology services*
Children waiting for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
active case load 16080
Source Health Research Board "Annual Report of the National Physical and Sensory Disability Data Base (NPSDD); DOECLG Housing Needs Assessment 2011; Third HSE Annual Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Report."
* These are undercounts because enrolment of the NPSDD is voluntary and it doesn’t cover people over 65 years. Also the lack of supply discourages people from going through the burdensome application processes.
John Dolan, CEO, 086 7957467
Allen Dunne, Deputy CEO, 086 8502112