Budget 2024: €12 increase in disability and carers allowance “a disturbing blow to human rights”

Inclusion Ireland has labelled the €12 increase in disability and carers allowance “a disturbing blow to human rights” for those with a disability. CEO, Derval McDonagh added that: “tokenistic once-off payments ignore the plight of exclusion and inequality that exists in Ireland today. Budget 2024 has abandoned disabled people living well below the poverty line, and marginalised carers already carrying the weight of broken systems”.

Inclusion Ireland has been campaigning for months for the disability allowance to match the poverty threshold of €291.50, and proposed a permanent cost of disability payment. “The marginal increase is far from what is required to prevent the many disabled citizens slipping into poverty. Many of our members consider a weekly food shop a luxury.

The Covid pandemic has highlighted the important role Ireland’s social protection system can play in protecting people from poverty. However, the considerable gap between the €350 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the current rate of €232 for the disability allowance sends a clear signal that disabled people are not seen as equals to other Irish citizens.”

She added: “The cost of disability, coupled with an epic failure to provide therapeutic support is pushing many families into financial despair. These are depleted people with intellectual disabilities and their families fighting, hounding, begging to access the same opportunities as everyone else. Children with intellectual disabilities living their lives in poverty as their families fight daily battles to get access to the basic income and therapeutic support their child needs to live a full and healthy life”

Speaking about housing, Ms. McDonagh said: “We heard an announcement of ’90 additional residential places’. We know that there are thousands of people living in institutions or who are living at home with family carers who need to move into a home of their own. This is urgent and a necessary human rights imperative. Sadly we only see a sticking plaster today.

“Budget 2024 has delivered a disturbing blow to the very people who face a never-ending daily cycle of pleading for their rights to be met. What will it take for Government to listen?”

Inclusion Ireland works towards the full inclusion of people with an intellectual disability by supporting people to have their voices heard and advocating for rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

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