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Disability Services: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]

Vote from 21/03/2013

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The following motion was moved by Deputy Finian McGrath on Wednesday, 20 March 2013:
That Dáil Éireann:
recognises that, according to Census 2011, 13% of the population is coping with a disability;

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Background information

The following motion was moved by Deputy Finian McGrath on Wednesday, 20 March 2013:
That Dáil Éireann:
recognises that, according to Census 2011, 13% of the population is coping with a disability;
accepts that the percentage of people with a disability who complete second or third level education is much lower than the comparative figure for the general population;
acknowledges the census figures which show that 4.1% of the population is providing unpaid assistance to others and that 2.3% of carers are under the age of 15;
condemns the Government for its abolition of the mobility allowance, which is a vital and essential resource for so many;
believes that the disability sector has been unfairly targeted and has shouldered a disproportionate cut to income and services;
recognises that many voluntary organisations have seen their budgets slashed by as much as 25% and are now under severe financial pressure;
deplores the 40% cut for grants to help older people to adapt their homes; and calls on the Government to:
- reverse its decision on the mobility allowance and grant or, alternatively, set up a new scheme with immediate effect;
- fulfil all disability-related promises made in the programme for Government;
- give a guarantee to all those depending on disability supports that their income will now be protected and no further cuts will be made to this sector;
- bring forward modern legislation during 2013 to replace the outdated Lunacy Regulation (Ireland) Act 1871;
- review access to education for people with disabilities with a view to improving current rates;
- engage constructively with groups representing the disabled and give firm com- mitments as regards services and personal assistants; and
- treat all citizens in a fair and equitable manner.

Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:
To delete all words after “Dáil Éireann” and substitute the following:
“recognises the Government’s commitments to people with a disability in the Pro- gramme for Government, including greater participation in employment, training and education with a revitalised National Disability Strategy;
notes the considerable efforts to reform existing legislation to bring it into line with international standards and good practice;
welcomes the total commitment of €1.5 billion this year on health and personal so- cial services for people with disabilities;
acknowledges that the Government has honoured its commitment to maintain the rates of core weekly social welfare payments to recipients, including people with dis- abilities;
notes the position of the Ombudsman with regard to the legal status of the mobility allowance and the motorised transport grant;
acknowledges the Government’s commitment to:
- finding a solution to the issues identified, involving representatives of people with disabilities, relevant Government Departments and agencies; and
- protecting the €10.6 million allocated to the schemes, which will be reinvested in total in solutions to address priority mobility and the transport needs of people with disabilities;
supports the commitment to maintaining personal assistant services for people with disabilities this year at a level consistent to that provided in 2012 and the additional funding of €4 million to help address the service needs of school leavers in 2013;
welcomes the recent publication of the National Implementation Framework for the Value for Money and Policy Review of Disability Services, which provides an overarch- ing framework for the implementation of recommendations to ultimately move to individualized funding for disability services, in order to provide greater choice and control for people with disabilities; and
notes the Government’s commitment to introduce National Standards for Residential Centres for People with Disabilities in 2013.”
(Minister of State at the Department of Health, Deputy Kathleen Lynch)

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