Thurles Town Councillor Evelyn Nevin has today called on the Minister for Health James Reilly T.D. not to target those with special needs in the upcoming budget. Councillor Nevin stated that those with intellectual or physical disability have been hit time and time again and cannot shoulder the burden of any further cutbacks.
Councillor Nevin stated; “This recession has been a particularly trying one for those with a disability or Mental Health needs and has seen a gross worsening of their situation. Those with Special Needs and their families are being hit with a continuous drip feeding of cut backs and reduced services, to the extent that each week seems like budget week for them. These cuts are unsustainable and directly impact on the standards of living of those with special needs and places additional burdens on already strained carers. In this modern society it is simply unacceptable that those with disabilities are not adequately provided for and face such inequality on a daily basis.”
“Over the last number of years I have seen first-hand the huge cutbacks that have been imposed on those with a disability and the devastating impact this has had on the independence of those with such special needs. Despite numerous promises before the last General Election services needed by people with disabilities have seen a huge reduction in funding. This means that in many cases those with a disability have reduced access to the care that they require or cannot avail of respite care with any degree of frequency.”
“The impact that this has on the individual and their carers is quite simply devastating. Firstly it undermines the independence of the individual and impacts on their ability to participate in society as equals. Additionally it adds to the burden placed on their carers. Many families are at breaking point and are crying out for some help or assistance from the state which is sadly not forthcoming. Families and Carer’s are doing a stellar job in caring for those with special needs and are providing a cost saving to the state by doing so. Without these carers the state would be forced to step in and provide this care. Despite this they are continually being undermined by the Government and are having their supports gradually stripped.”
“I am therefore calling on Minister Reilly to stop the reductions in the basic standard of living of people with a disability and to ensure that adequate funding is provided for the services required by people with a disability. The Government must honour its commitment not to cut the carers allowance and should have regard to the National Disability Strategy as set out.”
“It is essential that Voluntary Bodies continue to receive the funding required to continue to undertake their vital work. Their finances have been greatly depleted over the last number of years and they have been doing a stellar job to date in making saving internally whilst maintaining their services. Over the past four years they have experienced a 15% reduction in funding. Service providers have made every effort to effect these savings while still protecting essential services. The point that must be made is that there are no more cost saving or efficiencies that can be introduced without directly impacting on the services being provided.”
“Inclusion Ireland are holding a demonstration march in Dublin on November 21st at 2.30pm to call on the Government to honour the commitments given in the 2011 Programme for Government. All are encouraged to attend.”
“Even in these difficult times it is essential that we continue to support people with disabilities and their families, in a person centred, community based, socially inclusive manner, in accordance with our core values and underpinned by quality, best practice and research.”