Cost of Disability Motion July 2022

This Wednesday, 6 July the Social Democrats are using their limited ‘Private Members’ Dáil time to put forward a motion for urgent action on disability.

The sheer scale of inequality and injustice faced by disabled people, and families of children with special needs and disabilities, is disgraceful.  A lack of school places, under-staffed HSE teams, obstacles to employment, and insufficient public housing and transport are all symptoms of a much larger issue.

Our motion calls on the government to:

  • Introduce a payment in Budget 2023 of at least €20 per week as a first step to addressing the significant additional costs of having a disability. 
  • Increase the Disability Allowance by at least €15 per week. 
  • Publish the Action Plan to implement the Disability Capacity Review,  including a plan to fill the 732 vacant posts for therapists providing services for children with disabilities. 
  • Publish the Action Plan to implement the Cost of Disability report, which found that the additional cost of disability ranged between €8,700 and €12,300 per annum  
  • Guarantee an appropriate school place for every child with a disability. 

We believe these are key steps that would help address the larger systematic issues. Increased disability payments and vastly improved state education and health services will make a significant difference in the lives of ordinary people with disabilities.   

The only way the government will act on these points is if there is enough public pressure. 

We need your help in drawing attention to this motion. 

Please: 

  • Circulate information on the motion within your networks
  • Send a short email to your TDs and Senators, there is a sample message below
  • Post about the motion on social media – use the hashtag #CostOfDisability 

The motion will be discussed on this Wednesday, 6th July at 10am, you can watch it here

 

Suggested email for TDs

You can find details for your TDs here: whoismytd.com

Dear xxx, 

I am writing to ask you to support the Social Democrat Motion on the Cost of Disability this Wednesday in the Dáil. 

It is calling for concrete action to assist disabled people and families of children with a disability. These include a payment in Budget 2023 of at least €20 per week as a first step to addressing the significant additional costs of having a disability, filling the 732 vacant posts for therapists providing services for children with disabilities, and guaranteeing an appropriate school place for every child with a disability.  

These actions and more are necessary to provide the services and support that people with disabilities are entitled to. 

I am strongly in favour of this motion and I hope you will support it. 

Regards 

Full Motion

Motion on the Cost of Disability

That Dáil Éireann notes:

  • Ireland signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in 2007 and ratified it in 2018.
  • In ratifying the UNCRPD, Ireland has committed to providing the highest attainable standard of healthcare for people with disabilities and to the provision of comprehensive housing and rehabilitation services, to enable disabled people attain or regain maximum independence.
  • Approximately one in seven people in Ireland has a disability, as defined under Article 1 of the UNCRPD.

Acknowledges:

  • Disabled people are among those who most acutely experience the cost-of-living crisis.
  • The ‘Cost of Disability in Ireland’ report was published on 7 December 2021 and found the additional cost of disability ranged between €8,700 and €12,300 per annum.
  • The report found meeting these higher costs was particularly difficult for the 152,000 people on disability allowance, which is paid at a rate of just €208 per week.
  • An ESRI report – ‘Headline Poverty Target Reduction in Ireland and the Role of Work and Social Welfare’ – published on June 13, 2022, found lone parents and working-age adults with disabilities experience “distinctively high rates of income poverty, deprivation and consistent poverty”.
  • A major component of the additional costs faced by disabled people, and the families of children with disabilities, relate to grossly inadequate education, healthcare, social welfare and housing services.
  • The Disability Capacity Review to 2032 – A Review of Social Care Demand and Capacity Requirements to 2032 – was published on July 15, 2021.  
  • That Capacity Review found “significant levels of unmet need” in the provision of disability services, including a shortfall of up to 2,300 residential care places.
  • On April 5, 2022, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly informed the Dáil that a working group – tasked with implementing the findings of the Capacity Review by developing an Action Plan for the period 2022 to 2025 – had completed its work and an Action Plan was being finalised.
  • Nearly three months later, that Action Plan has not yet been published.
  • Any Action Plan must be accompanied with the resourcing required to address the urgent and critical needs identified in the Capacity Review, including a substantial plan in Budget 2023.

calls on the Government to:

  • Introduce a Cost of Disability payment in Budget 2023 of at least €20 per week as a first step to addressing the significant additional costs of having a disability.
  • Increase the Disability Allowance by at least €15 per week.
  • Publish the Action Plan to implement the Disability Capacity Review, including setting out a plan to fill the 732 vacant posts for therapists providing services for children with disabilities.
  • Publish the Action Plan to implement the Cost of Disability report.
  • Honour the commitment in the Programme for Government to use the findings of the Cost of Disability report to “inform the direction of future policy”.
  • Guarantee an appropriate school place for every child with a disability.