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Disability groups demand an end to 'draconian' cuts

“This has to stop.”

IMG_9426 At Buswell's hotel in Dublin today. (L-R) Jacqueline Grogan (Disability Federation of Ireland); Liam O'Sullivan (Care Alliance); Owen Collumb (Centre for Independent Living); John Dolan (DFI); Clodagh O'Brien (Not-for-Profit Business Association); Mike McCabe (Centre for Independent Living); Denis Cronin (National Federation of Voluntary Bodies) Source: Photographer: Paul Sherwood

AN ALLIANCE OF disability organisations have attacked successive governments for “seven continuous years of cutbacks” today.

They launched their pre-Budget campaign, “Don’t Leave us Behind” in Dublin this morning.

“This government have undermined their own promise to ‘forge a new Ireland that is built on fairness and equal citizenship,” reads a joint statement.

The groups condemned a perceived double standard by Fine Gael and Labour, whereby “the government still speaks and aspires to be socially inclusive,” but their policies counteract that commitment.

The number of draconian measures that have devastated essential secondary benefits and community supports for people to have a decent standard of living with access to services, is unacceptable.
Families, too, have been inexcusably impacted by cutbacks and pressure to provide more and more services under the disguise of ‘austerity’.

We are clearly saying ‘this has to stop’.

Specifically, the organisations are making these demands from this month’s budget:

  • Ensure funding for services and supports
  • Empower people with disabilities to be independent, thus improving their quality of life and reducing the costs that come from reliance on state-run services
  • Provide allowance for the extra costs that disabilities incur, and stop reducing the quality of life of people with disabilities who need welfare support
  • Appoint a Minister to cabinet to “disability inclusion” across departments and state agencies
  • Deliver the commitments in the National Disability Strategy.

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The statement was jointly signed by: The Disability Federation of Ireland, Mental Health Reform, Care Alliance Ireland, Neurological Alliance of Ireland, National Federation of Voluntary Bodies, the Not for Profit Association and the Center for Independent Living.

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About the author:

Dan MacGuill

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