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The Oireachtas Disability Group (ODG) launches its pre-budget submission 26.06.18

The Oireachtas Disability Group (ODG), which is made up of Members of the Oireachtas from all parties and none and Disability Organisations, today launched its 2019 pre-budget submission. The group, which is chaired by Senator John Dolan, is especially keen that Ireland’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is reflected in the budget statement this October - and in forthcoming budgets.

Speaking at the launch today, Senator John Dolan said, “ Over 640,000 people in this country experience some level of disability – and this affects families and carers in various ways in all our cities, towns and villages. Ireland’s ratification of UNCRPD is in essence a firm commitment to support these citizens in ensuring that they are supported and have the services they need. Budget 2019 must be a whole of government disability inclusion budget”

The Oireachtas Disability Group today called on the government to take into account the principles of the UNCRPD, and the Public Sector Duty and to invest in people with disabilities in Budget 2019, as follows:

• Create flexible funding models which can deliver personalised budgets and responsive community-based services (Article 19, 25, and 26 UN CRPD)

• Increase and ring-fence funding for individualised community based disability services (Article 19, 25, and 26 UN CRPD)

• Increase income for people with disabilities to move them out of and away from poverty (Articles 27 and 28 UN CPRD)

• Improve availability of public services and programmes (Articles 9, 19, 20 and 30 UN CRPD) (Problems in sourcing and accessing appropriate public services such as housing, transport and health, are blocking people with disabilities from getting on with their lives.(These are key services to support people take up education, training and jobs, move out of the family home, nursing home or congregated setting, and participate in the community).

Dolan continued, “Ireland’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is an opportunity. It is vital that the Government takes this opportunity to promote the rights of people with disabilities in Budget 2019.

To do so, Government should assess the funding requirements and implications of a systemic implementation of UNCRPD. Across all Government departments and public bodies, and for all disability service providers. This implementation must focus on providing systemic, flexible and responsive community-based services and personalised budgets”.

It is important that the government properly fund and resource the implementation of disability policy, including new models of supports, and transition arrangements to new models. This is in line with Articles 19, 25 and 26 of the UNCRPD.

This approach is reinforced by the Public Sector Duty, which requires all public sector bodies under section 42 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act, 2014 to:
• take proactive steps to eliminate discrimination,
• promote equality,
• protect human rights of people who use their services, people affected by their policies and people employed in the organisation.

* The Oireachtas Disability Group (ODG) is made up of Members of the Oireachtas from all parties and none and Disability Organisations. The group was formed to collectively advance key issues with and for people with disabilities. Chair: Senator John Dolan, Vice Chair: Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin. Representative disability organisation members are the Disability Federation of Ireland, Inclusion Ireland, the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies providing supports to People with Intellectual Disability and the Not for Profit Association.