• Senator John Dolan

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Response to Budget 2020 08.10.19

It is most surprising that Minister Donohue and the government have once again sidelined the 643,000 members of the disability community in today’s budget statement. The government has rightly attempted to address the challenges faced by some sections of our society, however, its failure to once again specifically address the issues confronting many people with disabilities is most disappointing in the wake of the ratification of the Convention Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) in March 2018. Disabled people have not made it on to the list of Irelands high priorities for whole of government action.

 

This is the seventh post recession budget and the second since Ireland signed the UN CRPD – yet the expectations of the disability community have once again been largely sidelined – despite the increased tax income available to the government.

It is well established that citizens with disabilities experience much greater challenges in their daily lives, in regard to poverty, access the public transport, education, employment, health and housing…… So, it stands to reason that when the wider community gets some benefits from the budget, as has been the case today, those who have been excluded should be more strongly resourced and supported to begin the catch up.

In order to experience full participation in our society most people with a disability need additional and often specialized assistance – and our government has not brought the expectation of people with disabilities and their families for recovery from the recession that ended in 2013.

The initiatives announced today, welcome as they are, are not out stripping the level of needs that grow year on year.

There is no evidence here that improving the circumstances of people with disabilities, in line with implementing the CRPD, is a government priority for the year ahead. Disability inclusion has not reached the top tier of government priorities. How then can it be successfully implemented?