Where is the extra money for Disabilities in Budget 2018
Labour spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs Seán Sherlock TD has demanded Minister for Disabilities Finian McGrath to account for funding of his brief in Budget 2018. No additional funding has been provided for assessment of needs or access to emergency respite.
Deputy Sherlock said:
“There’s no additional money for emergency respite accommodation and no money for children awaiting assessment of needs far beyond the scope set down under the 2005 Disability Act.”
“The Government managed to allocate €5 million for a Strategic Communications Unit but nothing extra to support children and families with disabilities.
“There is nothing in this budget that the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies could point to as an improvement, particularly in relation to the Disability Act and the blatant lack of progress on the issue of Assessment of Needs.
“The Minister stands indicted of seeking to front load the responsibility for assessments of need onto the disability sector.
“It is as clear as day that the legal obligation to provide for assessments rests with the HSE, and by extension the Minister for State Finian McGrath.”
“The Minister has a duty of care under the Disability Act. I doubt he knows just how serious that duty of care is. I don’t think Finian McGrath has internalised his responsibilities. Families cannot wait for appeals. They need action. The Minister has provided none.
“In the HSE South region there are over 700 people waiting for an assessment of need.
“The question must be asked what has done in Budget 2018 to support the disability sector.”