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Sinn Fein to call vote against "regressive" Disability Bill

18 April, 2005

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Equality and Human Rights, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has indicated that the Sinn Fein TDs will call a vote against the Government's Disability Bill in the Dail tomorrow.

Deputy O Snodaigh said:

"Sinn Fein strongly supports the need for a rights-based Bill for People with Disabilities. However, the Bill currently before the House is not a rights-based Bill. It is a resource-based Bill. In fact, it protects the state rather than People with Disabilities. It is regressive and may actually reduce protections available to People with Disabilities. For these reasons, this Bill is no more acceptable to Sinn Fein than the previous Bill that was withdrawn by the last Government in shame. People with Disabilities and their families deserve better than this.

"I am calling on the Minister for Justice to withdraw this Bill and produce new rights-based legislation that is consistent with the recommendations of the Disability Legislation Consultation Group in its report Equal Citizens and the 1996 recommendations of the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities. Nothing less will be acceptable to Sinn Féin.

"It is unfortunate, but if the Government insist on this fundamentally flawed Bill Sinn Fein will be forced to call a vote against it tomorrow." ENDS

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