Government decision to withdraw funding to disability project mind boggling – Maurice Quinlivan TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan TD has said he is dismayed by plans to cease funding to the WALK PEER project from 30 July. Speaking in response to the call from Inclusion Ireland for the government to intervene
Deputy Quinlivan said:
“The proposal to cease funding must be immediately overturned.
“This project was specifically designed to increase labour market participation by people with disabilities.
“It was one of 14 projects funded under the Disability Activation Project (DACT) and commenced work in Louth in January 2013.
“To date 170 young people in receipt of a disability allowance have benefited from the programme.
“The irony is they do not qualify for employment activation supports because they were deemed to be ‘not job ready’ by the state’s employment services.
“This is mind boggling - if funding is withdrawn from critical projects like this how on earth are people with disabilities ever expected to be job ready.
“The WALK PEER model should be extended not shut down. It should be part of a national strategy to deal with the appallingly low rates of labour market participation of disabled people.
“The indifference of the previous and present governments to this issue is not acceptable. Disabled people should be given the same opportunities as everyone else to participate as fully as possible in society and the labour market.
“I intend to raise the WALK PEER funding issue with my counterpart Minister Mitchell O’Connor and with the Minister for Disabilities.
“It is also my intention to put pressure on both to live up to their responsibilities to ensure equality of access to the labour market for people with disabilities”.