Examples of Cuts for People with Disabilities since 2008

Issued on October 3 2012

October 2012


  • Monthly threshold for the Drugs Payment Scheme increased from €100 to €120 in 2010, and then to €132 in 2012.
  • Prescription charge of 50 cent for medical card holder to a monthly ceiling of €10 per family.
  • The Dental Treatment Benefit Scheme was limited to one annual oral examination in 2010. Dental treatments for medical card holders have also been restricted.
  • The Optical Treatment Benefit Scheme was limitedto a free eye exam only; free spectacles or contact lenses are no longer available.

Education Support

  • National Council for Special Education (NCSE) budget cut by €2.3 million or 21% in 2011.
  • In 2011, the number of SNA’s was capped.
  • In 2011, number of NEPS psychologists restricted to 178 rather than the increase to 210 promised in Budget 2010.
  • In 2012, funding for access programme for students with disabilities cut by 20% in universities.
  • In 2012, the teacher-pupil ratio allocations increased.

Income Support

  • Disability Welfare payments cut by €16.30 or 8% since 2010.
  • Loss of xmas bonus of €204.30 in 2009
  • Child Benefit cut of between €26 - €55 per month depending on family size.
  • Fuel allowance Scheme cut by 6 weeks.
  • Electricity and National Gas Allowance cut
  • Telephone Allowance cut.

Revenue and Tax Credits

  • Blind Tax Credit, Incapacitated Child Credit, Home Carer Credit cut by 10%.
  • Introduction of the Universal Social Charge.
  • Rental tax credits reduced by 20%
  • VAT increased from 21% to 23% in 2012.
  • Household charge of €100 introduced
  • Carbon tax on petrol, diesel, oil and gas.


  • Funding for social housing reduced by 36% in 2011.
  • The Capital Assistance Scheme, used to house people with disabilities reduced from €145m in 2010 to €75m in 2011.
  • Housing Adaptations Grant reduced by 21% from €94m in 2010 to €73m in 2011 and again to €55m in 2012.
  • The minimum contribution required of rent supplement recipients increase in 2012.

Disability Services Funding

  • A 14% drop in annual HSE-funded net expenditure on disability services between 2008 and 2011[1].
  • In addition, research done by DFI found that fundraised income has been severely affected by the economic downturn. Over half of the organisations we sampled sustained an average drop of 17% in their fundraised income2.