No recovery for those with disabilities - Senator Ó Clochartaigh
Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has criticised Fine Gael and Labour’s record in government of slashing supports for people with disabilities.
Speaking at the launch of Sinn Féin’s policy document on Prioritising Disability Inclusion, Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:
“Fine Gael and Labour bandied about promises to prioritise disability - but these have been badly broken. Instead of empowering and enabling all citizens to have a full and independent life, they have imposed cut after cut, with no plan to restore them. This flies in the face of a fair recovery.
“People with disabilities are one of the groups in our society most vulnerable to poverty and enforced deprivation. And this is a consequence of very deliberate actions by this government to dole out the worst of austerity measures on the most vulnerable.
“Bear in mind that this is a government that slashed the budget for disability services, closed the mobility allowance scheme, halved the housing adaptation grant, cut disability allowance while all the while our public services are being decimated.
“But there is another way. Sinn Féin has a vision for society in which all citizens can participate fully in life without being left behind. We will further the rights of people with disabilities, not diminish them.”
List of measures below:
Increase disability allowance by €20 a week.
Award a an automatic medical card to every child in receipt of the Domiciliary Care Allowance and introduce a secure medical card for adults with disabilities.
Expand the Personal Assistant Service (PA) service by increasing PA hours by an additional 500,0000 hours each year for three years.
Increase respite care services by 20%
- Increase the budget allocation to disability services by €125.7 million.
Provide additional places for people with disabilities on the Employability Service to allow an additional 1000 people with disabilities and 500 Momentum places for young recipients of Disability Allowance.
- Increase resource teaching hours for children by 15% and provide 1,450 additional SNA’s to facilitate greater access for children with special needs.
- Introduce a major infrastructure programme to make all public transport services fully wheelchair accessible, investing a total of €187 million.
- Charge an Taoiseach with responsibility for Disability Inclusion ensuring a named spokesperson will sit at the Cabinet table and is party to all decisions affecting people with disabilities.
- Establish a Joint Oireachtas Committee on Disability Inclusion.