The Oireachtas Disability Group (ODG) today called on the government to ensure that the funding required to enable the implementation of the UNCRPD is made available, and to invest in people with disabilities in Budget 2020.
Speaking at the launch today, Vice-Chair of the ODG, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said, “Budget 2020 is an opportunity for Ireland to become compliant with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which we ratified in 2018. Government is due to report in spring 2020 on progress made since ratification last year, and this budget is an opportunity to promote the rights of people with disabilities and to realise the principles of the Convention. It is vital that the Government takes this opportunity in Budget 2020.
“Over 640,000 people in this country experience some level of disability – and this impacts families and carers in various ways in all our cities, towns and villages. Almost two years on from Ireland’s ratification of the UNCRPD, government needs to show commitment and leadership in ensuring that people with disabilities are supported and have the services they need. Budget 2020 must be a whole of government disability inclusion budget”.
We call on the government to
• Invest €211m each year for the next five years in community services for people with disabilities, including providing residential supports, home supports, personal assistant supports and personalised budgets
• Make available €9m to the Decision Support Service in order to implement the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015.
• Provide €40m to address the disability sector funding crisis to maintain existing levels of service
• Make €1.5m available to introduce Assistive Technology (AT) Passports for people who needs supports
• Provide €300,000 to commission research to assess and cost the unmet housing and social care needs of people with disabilities
O’ Caoláin continued, “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.
Many people with disabilities and their families have been living in crisis long before the threat of Brexit. With one in four people with disabilities experiencing poverty, and the ongoing crisis in disability services, people with disabilities are still living the direct impact of the recession and cannot be asked to bear the impact of Brexit also.
About the ODG
* 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, the Not for Profit Association and Independent Living Movement Ireland.