Fianna Fáil’s Disability Spokesperson, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony TD has said that the €15 million for new disability measures announced yesterday in the health budget is a disappointing increase.
“While we will have to wait for the 2018 HSE Service Plan for final details, we are told that the additional funding will be focused on a number of priority areas arising from ongoing demographic changes including residential places, respite places, Personal Assistance and Home Support service hours.
“It is crucial that the 2018 Service Plan delivers on this, especially for Personal Assistance supports.
“The 2017 Service Plan failed to match the 2016 Personal Assistance and Home Support Services outturn and if the trend to mid-year continues they will be than 120,000 hours short of what was provided in 2016.
“These gaps in service cause problems down the line for all people with disabilities. The lack of Personal Assistance and Home Support Services hours severely curtails independence and a person’s quality of life.
“The increase of €5 in the Disability allowance is modest but a step in the right direction. However we have a long way to go to make a real difference in addressing the costs of having a disability.
“On a more positive note, €3 million in funding for the Decision Support Service to facilitate the implementation of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act is welcome and will aid decision-making by and for adults with capacity difficulties.
“Overall though it’s a case of a little done, a lot more to do,” concluded Murphy O’Mahony.