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People with disabilities deserve more than ‘damp squib’ government spin – Ó Snodaigh

2 October, 2015 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has noted the launch today by an Taoiseach Enda Kenny, of the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities but has questioned the absence of any mention of funding as well as the unwieldy and unfocused nature of the ‘roadmap’.

Teachta Ó Snodaigh said:

“This employment strategy for people with disabilities has been a long time coming. However the 600,000 people with disabilities in Ireland, who have suffered disproportionately during the years of this  Fine Gael/Labour Government, and who have been left behind in recovery, deserve more than this ‘road map’.

“Fine Gael/Labour has made it clear that tax cuts over investment are their priority. Tax cuts for those who don’t need them. Where is the investment detailed in this strategy to implement the much needed supports and training required?  We have yet to see where the money to implement this new strategy will come from. This sector has been savagely cut over the course of this Government’s term in office.

“This ‘Comprehensive’ Strategy is not comprehensive at all. It’s a damp squib that has left people with disabilities even more disillusioned today than they were yesterday. No one Department is taking responsibility for its implementation. This is a cross-departmental plan that is unwieldy and unnecessarily complex.

“It took ten years to develop this plan and it looks like it is another long-fingering exercise with no urgent implementation of any projects. In the meantime this Government closed the very successful Disability Activation (DACT) schemes before an evaluation of their effectiveness was published.

“We in Sinn Féin published our detailed, costed proposals for immediate actions from the Department of Social Protection in May 2015. In contrast the time frames set out to deliver this new strategy are sluggish at best.

“This was just another electioneering showcase event, in Farmleigh House with Enda Kenny, at the helm, Joan Burton, Kathleen Lynch and Aodhán Ó Ríordáin bringing up the rear, and Fergus Finlay thrown in for good measure.

“Just weeks before a possible election people with disabilities are left with the sinking feeling that Fine Gael /Labour have let them down again.

“Show me the money Enda and prove me wrong. The 600,000 disabled people of Ireland deserve better that this.”

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