Section 39 organisations funding crisis needs addressing urgently – Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Disability Rights Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said that Section 39 organisation services must not must not suffer as a result of government incompetence.
Section 39 organisations provide a range of social care services and other supports nationwide and receive an element of state funding to do so. These are non-profit organisations who provide residential, respite and day services to vulnerable people, many of whom are wholly reliant on these services.
Over the last decade and more, these organisations have faced huge cuts in funding whilst at the same time encountering an administrative and bureaucratic mountain.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
“There is a complete lack of respect and limited acknowledgement from successive Governments towards the vital work, role and benefit that all Section 39 organisations provide to vulnerable people throughout the State on a daily basis.
“Their work cannot and must not be understated or undervalued.
“If these organisations were to cease their operations tomorrow, the social care sector in Ireland would descend into chaos.
“I was shocked when I was made aware of the Rehab group’s funding difficulties yesterday. This comes on top of the Irish Deaf Society having to downscale its services in recent months and cuts made across three of the four main disability umbrella groups in Ireland.
“The present Government needs to come clean with these organisations, with the general public and most importantly with the service users and outline clearly the rationale for all of these cuts.
“We are all acutely aware of the huge cost overrun in the building of the new National Children’s Hospital. This cost overrun will be required because of sheer mis-management and shoddy tendering practices by the Government and by their State agencies.
“Existing services and capital projects must not suffer as a result of this incompetence.
“We now need clarity on all these funding arrangements."