Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Disability Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has expressed disappointment that the government has pressed ahead with a decision to scrap the rehabilitative training allowance.

From today, more than 400 people with disabilities will no longer receive the €31.80 a week allowance.

Deputy Murphy O’Mahony explained, “I find it hard to believe that Minister Finian McGrath and his government colleagues have allowed this payment to be discontinued. The allowance is relatively inexpensive but it was a lifeline for many people with disabilities who signed up to the programme, which helped them develop life, social and basic work skills.

“The scheme provided a first step for many people with disabilities to gain confidence and use their new skills in a welcoming and familiar setting.

“I am all too aware of the financial problems facing the disability sector, however, we are talking about €3.7m over a four year period. This is a moderate investment, which yields a huge return for people with disabilities and their families.

“The decision to scrap this allowance is cruel and mean and will hit the most vulnerable the hardest. All for minimal savings. I am very disappointed by this move and will be seeking to have it reversed as a matter of urgency”, concluded Deputy Murphy O’Mahony.