Sinn Féin TD for Cavan Monaghan and party spokesperson on Disability and Carers, Pauline Tully, has described the measures in Budget 2022 for disability and carers as unambitious and masquerading behind misleading headline figures.
In reaction to the Budget announcement for disability and carers Teachta Tully said:
“I welcome the announcement of €8.2million on the Budget on Tuesday for ‘Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People’. This is much needed additional funding for children who have been waiting years to access therapy services. I hope this additional funding will drastically reduce the length of time children will have to wait before receiving an intervention.
“However, behind the headline figure of €105milllion announced for disability on Tuesday we find that almost half of this, €50million, is to maintain existing measures that were previously announced, €10million is for once-off Covid-19 funding, leaving the real figure for additional measures, €55million.
“As part of this the government announced €3million in additional funding for Personal Assistance (PA) Hours; €5million for the decongregation of large residential settings; €5.5million to transfer those under the age of 65 inappropriately placed in nursing homes back into their community; and €9million for respite care. A total of €22.5milllion for measures that focus on independent living.
“This is not nearly ambitious enough to deliver on the independent living agenda envisaged within the UNCRPD and demanded by people with disability who are now focused on a rights based social model of disability.
“A Sinn Féin government would provide an additional 12.5million and delivered an extra 500,000 PA Hours. We would invest 48.54 to advance the decongregation of 300 people with disabilities out of large residential institutions and into community living in 2022 (€8.54million current and €40million capital). We would allocate €24million to transfer 100 people with disabilities under the age of 65 who were inappropriately placed in nursing homes into an independent living setting this year ((€8million current and €16million capital). As well as this, we would provide €11million to support family carers by providing a new respite house in each CHO along with 214 additional intensive support packages.
“This would have been truly transformative. This would have truly advanced a social model of disability with a focus on independent living, envisaged within the UNCRPD.
“When we take a look behind the curtain on the government’s budget figures we actually see what are unambitious measures masquerading behind misleading headline figures.”