Speaking on the matter today to the Taoiseach at Leaders’ Questions, the Independent TD for Donegal South West pointed out: “As it stands there has been an 11% cumulative cut to date to the Centres for Independent Living which is already affecting the provision of personal assistance. Cuts to CE Schemes which these centres rely on to provide this service have also affected their ability to operate effectively.”
“As I speak, we are awaiting the publication of the long overdue Value for Money Review on Disability Services. Yet it’s plain for all to see that continuing to provide people with disabilities with a Personal Assistant is much more cost-effective than any alternative.”
“€64 billion is the amount the Irish Government committed Ireland to paying in order to bail out the banks. €64 billion would provide 306 million personal assistance hours for people with disabilities, this equates to financing the largest personal assistance provider in Ireland for more than 150 years.”
“Many of the people who rely on this service have already had their allocated hours reduced which has already limited their quality of life. Any further cuts could leave many housebound, or worse, be put in a situation where the only option is institutionalisation.
It is very disheartening that the Taoiseach will not make a commitment to introduce no further cuts to this service, yet he has no problem in granting hefty allowances to public officials for clothing and the like. This shows once again just how much this Government is out of touch with the people,” added Pringle.
“If we are to treat these people with the dignity and respect they deserve as Irish citizens, then there must be no further cuts to the personal assistance service. The ratification on the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities must also be prioritised in this regard.”
“There are people across the country that are fearful of where their futures lie, or if they even have a future. These people deserve better than the lip service that this Government has provided.
This “State of Fear” whereby the most vulnerable in our society receive the brunt of cutbacks must end,” stated Pringle.