Budget 2015 doesn’t start the recovery for people with disabilities

Dublin, 14th October 2014

The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) stated that the measures announced in Budget 2015 today do not have the vision or ambition to ensure that people with disabilities can live in their communities with dignity.

John Dolan, Chief Executive Officer of DFI stated, “Families of people with disabilities have been under assault for the last eight years.  They were in a bad position before the recession, and this Budget was the Government’s opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to people with disabilities and their families with a focused multi-annual plan.  We are disappointed that the available funding has not been targeted to those who need it most urgently”.

He continued, “People with disabilities are hugely disadvantaged on poverty and deprivation ratings, and they have been left behind in Budget 2015.  We acknowledge the 25% Christmas bonus but this falls far short of what we sought, namely the introduction of a €20 cost of disability payment per week.  This Budget again fails to meet people with disabilities’ ambition to live in the community with dignity and independence”.
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Mr Dolan said, “While we cautiously welcome the announcement of the additional funding in health, education and housing, we require urgent clarity about how this will be allocated.  The funding to these services has been decimated in previous years, and, while this increase will go some way to restoring these essential services in the community, we do not feel that it goes far enough.”

He concluded, “In Budget 2015, there was scope for Minister Howlin to start to deliver the Government's commitment to people with disabilities and those with mental health needs in a three year program.  These are the members of the public with the greatest and ongoing need for public services.  DFI wants to see a prioritisation of services to this group of people, and it must be remembered that thousands of people and families will experience the commencement of living with a disability in the year ahead.  The extra tax and other reliefs won't compensate them for their permanently changed circumstances".

ENDS


For further information, please contact

  • John Dolan, CEO                                            086 795 7467
  • Allen Dunne, Deputy CEO                              086 850 2112
  • Jacqueline Grogan, Communications Officer 086 388 2600

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