Decision to axe Rehabilitative Training Allowance must be overturned - Caoimhghín Caoláin TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Disability Rights Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has called for the decision by the HSE to axe the Rehabilitative Training Allowance for young school leavers with a disability to be overturned and for the €31.80 weekly allowance to remain in place for new students in September.
Teachta Ó Caoláin said:
“This decision is squarely a cost-cutting one by the HSE and is completely at odds with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which is meant to deliver additional supports and services for disabled people.
“The HSE and the Department of Health are fully aware that there is a funding crisis within the umbrella organisations who provide day services for people with disabilities but taking much needed funds from these same people is not the way to address this crisis.
“The government are at present commissioning research into and will publish a report on the additional costs to people of having a disability in Ireland.
“It is therefore outrageous that the government and the HSE would, never mind consider, but actually go ahead with axing this vital and necessary payment.
"We are not talking about huge sums here. The cost is approximately €925,000 annually.
“This government talks about equality and inclusion yet we are now going to have a situation whereby one student already in a training programme will remain on the payment but a new entrant will not be on the payment. It smacks of discrimination.
“There are 2,300 students currently on these training programmes with 400 new entrants due to start in September.
“These students must have certainty that they will receive this allowance to cover the cost of their transport, education and social activities.
“The HSE and government need to reverse this decision and fast.”