With one month to go to Budget 24 the Disability Federation of Ireland calls on the government to invest in people with disabilities 

September 10 2023


Press Release - Sunday 10 September 2023 - Immediate

With just one month to go to Budget 2024, the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI), is renewing its call to government to close the gap and to invest in people with disabilities.

Despite the growth of the domestic economy and strong finances, people with disabilities continue to live without access to appropriate social and health care supports.

DFI is calling for a range of interwoven measures in Budget 2024 to ensure disabled people have an equal opportunity to live independently in the community, with choices equal to others. This includes individualised social care supports with access to timely integrated healthcare, appropriate housing, and adequate income. 

DFI is also calling on the government to take action on the crisis affecting the very services that disabled people avail of. These services are under threat and funding is needed to ensure their sustainability, to increase pay by 15%, and to re-instate the link to public sector pay for disability organisations.

DFI’s CEO John Dolan said, “The current government has just two budgets left to deliver on its significant Programme for Government commitments to disabled people and their families.

"While I welcome the Taoiseach's comments this past week on the upcoming budget, in which he highlighted the cost of living, the needs of carers and people with disabilities, I reiterate that significant measures must be introduced to reduce the extremely high rates of poverty and to support meaningful inclusion and improved quality of life for disabled people. This includes addressing the chronic unemployment experienced by disabled people in spite of the improvements in education participation over the past two decades.

“The government also needs to progress Ireland’s UN CRPD implementation plan. We are seeing a rising number of children, families and individuals having significant difficulty accessing essential and specialist community supports. This is pushing them into unnecessary crisis”.

“It’s past time now to close the gap, to address the cost of disability by properly investing in people with disabilities and their families.”

DFI is also calling for a fully clear Budget Day announcement so disabled people can understand the implications of the budget for them - particularly in the areas of health and housing. 

Previous budgets have not been clear or transparent about the funding allocated. This has been further exacerbated by delays in the publication of the HSE National Service Plan which this year was not published until March. This creates additional uncertainty and a disruptive time lag in clarity about service allocations.

Disabled people and critical services are left in the dark on changes to funding and subsequent service provisions for months following the Budget announcement.

Notes to editors:

Disabled people and their families are the human faces behind these numbers and statistics: 

  • Disabled people live with extra costs of €8,700 - €12,300 a year, not covered by existing social welfare provision (Indecon, 2021).
  • Ireland ranks 24th of the EU 27 for disability poverty, and lowest in the EU for disability employment rates and the disability employment gap (Roadmap for Social Inclusion Progress Report, EDF 2023).
  • One in two disabled people who are unable to work (44.3%) live in deprivation (CSO SILC, 2022).
  • 1,250 people with disabilities under the age of 65 are inappropriately living in nursing homes (RTÉ via FOI, 2023)
  • The number of disabled people on the housing list declined by half as much (5%) as those without disabilities (10%) in recent years. (2020 Housing Agency, Summary of Social Housing Assessment).

The DFI's Pre-Budget Submission is available on www.disability-federation.ie/Budget24

For media contact: Brenda Drumm, Communications Manager, Disability Federation of Ireland, 086 076 4114 brendadrumm@disability-federation.ie. 


Image is Michael Meere from Clare, Carolyn Akintola from Dublin, DFI CEO John Dolan and DFI Director of Advocacy and Inclusion Dr Emer Begley.