Sinn Féin motion calls for appropriate investment in disability services – Pauline Tully TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Disability and Carers, Pauline Tully TD, will bring forward a motion in the Dáil today which calls on the Government to make the appropriate investment needed for disability services and publish, without any further delay, the implementation plan for the Disability Capacity Review.
Speaking about the motion, Teachta Tully said:
“The present and previous Governments have continually underinvested in disability services.
“Budget 2023 has, once again, failed to resource and fund disability support services appropriately.
“The Government has failed to meet the needs of people with disabilities, outlined in the Department of Health’s disability capacity review.
“They have not even published a plan to implement the recommendations of the review although they had initially committed to do so by December 2021.
“We are calling on the Government to publish a costed, multi-annual plan to deal with waiting lists and staffing problems in disability services.
“Sinn Féin outlined a funded strategy to meet the needs of people with disabilities out to 2032 in our alternative budget 2023.
“We would have invested €153 million additional in disability services, compared with the Government’s dismal €29 million.
“There are approximately 17,000 children waiting for ‘initial contact’ with a Children’s Network Disability Team, and 2,500 children whose Assessment of Needs are overdue. The Government does not have a plan to deal with this.
“The total extent of waiting lists for disability services is currently unknown due to poor data systems. Underinvestment in IT infrastructure is holding the health service back.
“While I cautiously welcome the indication from the Tánaiste that there will be a new policy approach, it cannot be used to dilute the rights of people with disabilities in the Disability Act.
“The Government must adopt a rights-based approach to disability services in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
“They badly need to address workforce challenges with a serious workforce planning group led by the Taoiseach, to include health and higher education.
“They also need to ratify the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”