DFI’s Budget submission called for an increase of €20 to disability payments to offset some of the additional costs of disability, as well as the protection of all supplementary benefits. Ultimately, the Budget included a €5 increase in weekly rates of Invalidity Pension, Disability Allowance, Blind Pension, Illness Benefit, Disablement Pension. This is not good enough and a lot more needs to be done.
In the Seanad, I have remained vocal about the need for the Government to ensure that all people with disabilities have an adequate income that supports them to live with dignity. I will continue to make the case that eligibility and supports for all employment activation schemes must be inclusive of people with disabilities, regardless of the social welfare payment they are receiving. Measures must be put in place to ‘make work pay’ for people with disabilities, including a Disability Tax Credit and medical card based on need.