Tánaiste in denial over cuts to disability services says Sinn Féin candidate
Darren O’Rourke, Sinn Féin candidate in the East Meath by-election, has accused Tánaiste, Éamon Gilmore of being “in denial” over the fact that there have been cuts to disability services under this Fine Gael/Labour government.
Mr O’Rourke said:
“Only last week the Fine Gael/Labour government announced the axing of the Mobility Allowance and the Disabled Drivers’ Grant, having failed over a period of nearly two years to make it compliant with equality legislation. “Instead of extending the schemes or replacing them with a fairer scheme they have just cut them with no replacement and no deadline for a replacement.
“The Tánaiste claims the money will remain ring-fenced but this is no consolation to a person who benefits from these schemes now and will not do so when it is ended in four months. These are predominantly people on low incomes.
“It was under this government that disabled people had to camp overnight in Merrion Street to stop the cuts to support for Personal Assistants that were imposed and then withdrawn by the Fine Gael/Labour Government.
“Services for people with disabilities have been cut to the bone, including in the HSE 2013 Service Plan. And people with disabilities are especially badly affected by the cuts to home help hours and the increase in prescription charges.
“The Tánaiste said the by-election is a chance to choose between three types of politics. The reality is a choice between the three austerity parties – Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael & Labour – and the party offering a real and viable alternative – Sinn Féin.”