Needs and rights of disabled ignored – Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Disability Rights and Older People, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin T.D. has said that Government policy continues to ignore the needs and the rights of those with disabilities.Speaking in the Dáil this evening, An Teachta Ó Caoláin said;“Budget 2018 was an opportunity for the Government and Fianna Fáil to make a real difference in the lives of those living with a disability in Ireland
"Priority should have been given to increasing disability incomes to help move disabled people out of and away from poverty.
"It should have been about increasing Personal Assistant hours which is so vital for the independence of those living with a disability. It should have been about taking some pressure off carer’s and providing adequate respite services.
"It should have been about accessibility. Access to education, access to transport, access to employment, access to appropriate housing. But it wasn’t about any of those things. “Minister, can you imagine the frustration and disappointment felt following yesterday’s Budget 2018 announcement by those tireless disability campaigners, the families of those affected by a disability and most importantly, those living with a disability?
"Year on year they campaign vigorously for additional support services. They struggle and strive in order to be treated as equals in this country.
"They are plamásed on a continual basis being told that significant investment has been made and will be made. But the litany of promises continues to be broken. "The funding provided by you is a tiny drop in the ocean in terms of the level of investment that is really required to ensure that real equality is achieved. “Sinn Féin have been listening to people with disabilities. Year in and year out we put forward proposals as part of our costed alternative budget that would make a huge difference in their lives and that of their families.
"Our proposals reflect the fact that Sinn Féin demands equality for people with disabilities and asserts that it is possible to improve the lives of all who live with a disability. It is simply a matter of priorities and choices!
"This Government decided to invest €5million euro into a communications unit for themselves instead of investing it in the most vulnerable in society. Ba chóir go mbeadh náire oraibh”.