Disability Federation of Ireland Newsletter April 2007
Issued on April 1 2007
DFI recently launched 'A Lot Planned, All To Do', DFI Programme for Government (2007 - 2012) at a gathering of Oireachteas members, political parties and member organisations. In addition to the event, DFI met with spokespersons from each of the Parties to encourage them to put our issues into their Election Manifestos. DFI's Support Officers are also involved in many events at local level.
There are just eight weeks approximately to the Election. It is up to each organisation to do what they can to raise the profile of disability issues among the candidates and the electorate. A lot of promises and commitments have been made by the outgoing Government with regard to the reshaping of Irish society for people with disabilities. 'A Lot Planned, All To Do' seeks action on those commitments in very real and practical ways which will affect the lives of people with disabilities.
We are not wishing to become part of the current 'auction politics' scenario but we do want firm decisions and timelines on all that has been promised. To signal commitment to deliver the NDS, we want the next Estimates and Budget to introduce a Cost of Disability Payment and comprehensively address under funding of existing services by voluntary disability organisations
From now until Election Day there will be a lot of 'election noise' going on. All of the different interest groups will be looking for their commitments. We need to keep disability live and in the mind of the candidates and the electorate. Remember the disability issue is not dealt with, what is dealt with is the planning. We need to focus hard on what needs to be done, now the NDS will be delivered.
'A Lot Planned, All To Do', DFI Programme for Government (2007 - 2012) seeks:
"That the next Government, will commence progressive implementation of the Cost of Disability payment".
"That the next Government, will adequately resource current service delivery by voluntary disability organisations".
"That the next Government, will identify for each year of the programme for government the objectives and outcomes for the National Disability Strategy, having regard to the vision and long term goals for people with disabilities as set out in 'Towards 2016'."
It is vital to keep disability in the minds of the candidates and Parties at local level - please do whatever you can. At national level we will be keeping the pressure up in every way we can throughout the election campaign, during the period of the formation of the government and beyond.