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Budget 2017 must show fairness to citizens with disabilities – Adams

28 September, 2016 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD, speaking during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil this afternoon, has said that Budget 2017 must show fairness to citizens with disabilities, their families and carers, saying “the people involved are real people, with real potential. A person with a disability should have the same rights as everyone else.”

Teachta Adams said:

“The Programme for Government commits that ‘persons with disabilities should be supported to maximise their potential, by removing barriers which impact on access to services, education, work and healthcare’. That’s the rhetoric. The reality is different.

“In 2011, the Taoiseach said disability services would not be cut, but then savagely cut these supports.

“In my own constituency of Louth and east Meath, the impact of those cuts is evident, particularly for the 5,000 citizens of Louth with an intellectual disability.   

“There is a programme called WALK PEER which I have raised here many times. It enables young people with a disability to access opportunities in mainstream education, training and employment within their communities.

“It was one of the fourteen Disability Activation Schemes jointly funded by the Department of Social Protection and the European Social Fund, until funding was withdrawn in a move that made no sense whatsoever.

“This year’s budget is an opportunity to correct some of these injustices and the government should outline the steps it is going to take in this year’s budget to address the urgent need for real support for citizens with disabilities, their families and carers.” 

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