Press Statement from Disability Federation of Ireland, 11 October 2016

The Disability Federation of Ireland has said that Budget 2017 'utterly fails to address issues facing disabled people'

Senator John Dolan, CEO Disability Federation of Ireland said today, "After nearly a decade of cutbacks and retrenchment, and into the fourth year from the end of the recession, this first Budget Statement of our new Government fails to address the significant daily issues facing disabled people all around the country. Government is well aware that 600,000 people and their families are still being denied and or being rationed access to basic services and supports"

Dolan continued, "Over the past decade people with disabilities and their families in all corners of this country have experienced and had to survive with major and ongoing cuts to services and supports. I am bitterly disappointed that Government has deliberately chosen to take a populist approach when it could have made a strong start to build back up the social infrastructure  to support those who have, and will have, disabilities in Ireland. This is unacceptable, especially as we have been given little hope that these issued will be addressed in future budgets"

"There was some focus on disability but will the 21,000 social housing units include appropriate accommodation for over 1000 people with disabilities?

Where is the €30m fund sought to improve the chronic situation for housing adaptation grants?

Will the €497m increase in health spending restore the €159m cut from disability services during the recession?

No funding provided to meet the extra daily cost of living for disabled people, €20 per week sought?.

The €5 per week on disability payments simply keeps current parity with others.

The pre school provision for children with disabilities will ensure that they are not excluded from now on.

I acknowledge the medical card coverage for all children on domiciliary care allowance which will be a great relief to families.

Yet the intent was to "do something" rather than take the real opportunity to make a focused impact with the funding available for those with disabilities.

"Disabled people and their families don't just need measures to relieve pressure from them. They need measures to ensure they get out of the spiral of poverty and exclusion. This budget could have achieved that fairness and kick started their recovery but it does not do so by any measure."

"The effective way to support people in most need has been deliberately  bypassed in this Budget. Children, adults, families and older people in most need are those coping with disability and mental health. That has not been done in this Budget."

"When resources are modest they should be focused for most impact. Populism rather than public benefit has been the winner in this Budget Statement."

"Following detailed analysis of the Budget Statement 2017 -  I will be issuing a further statement", Dolan concluded.

Senator John Dolan, CEO Disability Federation of Ireland  - 086 7957467 Allen Dunne - Deputy CEO DFI, 086 8502112

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