In reaction to Budget 2022 Inclusion Ireland states that Budget 2022 fails to address the systemic changes so badly needed by people with intellectual disabilities in Ireland today

Find east to read information on  Budget  2022 here Budget 2022 Easy to Read 

While it is noted that some positive measures are included in Budget 2022 for people with intellectual disabilities, it is the view of Inclusion Ireland that it does not adequately address the critical issues faced by disabled people today.

From the initial reports-there was some confusion about how much funding was actually allocated to disability. One Minister announced “ 65 million” and another “ 105 million” .  From latest information available it does seem that 105 million has been allocated but it still remains unclear as to how the funding breakdown will work; how much will go towards new developments and services and how much will be allocated to meet current issues in the system.

The Governments own “capacity review “ outlined the significant funding shortfall currently leading to crisis situations for many people with disabilities. 105 million euro is not nearly enough to address this . We need to see a more detailed plan, the breakdown of the 105 million spend and the real life changes the additional funding may enable for people. We are concerned that the additional budget allocation will fund “more of the same” rather than addressing creatively the real-life challenges for people today. We need to move towards multi-annual planning with a clear vision and incremental change ; this is the only way of moving from crisis interventions to rights based supports for people.

 

Housing

 

Disabled people face a growing crisis in housing. A minimum of 7.2 % of all social housing needs to be ringfenced for those with disabilities. Just as critical as the provision of the house itself is the funding of the supports each individual might require in order to live independently.  A house without the necessary supports to live there is useless! The increase in personal assistance supports of 3 million is welcome but is only a fraction of what is needed. Right now, in the real world, thousands of people with disabilities are living in nursing homes, group homes and with ageing parents with no hope of ever moving into a home of their own. We need to be serious about rectifying this , we need ambitious timelines and a groundswell of government and societal support to address the human rights issues faced by so many people with disabilities today. How much of the 105 million will go towards people moving into homes of their own? How many people will have a new home in 2022 with choice and control about where they live and who they live with? Inclusion Ireladn calls for further detailed plans around the additional budget allocated to address this situation.

 

 Poverty

 

One third of people with disabilities in Ireland are at risk of poverty. The cost of having a disability is high. In our pre-budget survey, people cited the numerous additional costs that they have in their life due to disability; extra heating costs, transport costs, housing adaptation costs. Budget 2022 does not include any measures to specially address the cost of disability other than a small increase in fuel allowance and the 5 euro increase in other social welfare payments

The cost of disability needs to be recognised and addressed as a matter of urgency if people with disabilities are to have their rights met.

 

Children and Education

 

The announcement 1165 new SNA posts and 1000 more Special Education teachers is welcome. We are also pleased to see that the pupil/teacher ratio is to be reduced(albeit minimally) within classes. This is a step towards more inclusive classrooms, something that Inclusion Ireland has long called for. We look forward to more detail around the “multi-million euro investment” in therapy supports for children and the focus on early intervention across the country. We need more detail operationally before we can make an assessment around the impact of such additional supports .

In relation to higher and further education,  Minister Harris announced €5 million for the roll-out of new access measures, including those for students with intellectual disabilities, we wait for the detail on this information to see what impact it will have on progressing opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities.

 

CEO of Inclusion Ireland – Derval McDonagh says: “While we recognise some important first steps were announced yesterday , we are disappointed that budget 2022 does not go far enough to recognise and address the real life crisis many people with disabilities are facing . We need to focus on deep systemic change and creative solutions if people with disabilities are to be valued as citizens and have their rights met under the United Nations Convention on the rights of people with disabilities.

The harsh reality that 1/3 of people living with a disability are at risk of poverty will remain a fact unless the cost of disability is recognised. The housing crisis people with disabilities have faced for years needs to be addressed and prioritised. People’s lives are depending on it. The right to inclusive education needs to be facilitated with more urgency.

We will continue to support people with disabilities at Inclusion Ireland to have their voices heard, we need our whole community to get behind us as we fight to have peoples’ basic rights met under the UNCRPD. Sadly, while some positive steps were taken in this budget, it does not provide a platform for the radical change that is so badly needed for people.”

Ends

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