McAuliffe calls for increase in Disability Allowance and the Disability Support Grant ahead of Budget 2025

Published on: 20 June 2024

The Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Social Protection Paul McAuliffe, has today called for critical financial measures to support people with a disability in the upcoming Budget 2025 through a €15 increase in the core rate of the Disability Allowance per week and the restoration of the Disability Support Grant to its previous level of €500. 
Speaking today, Deputy McAuliffe said, "A provisional increase of €15 in the core rate of the Disability Allowance would act as an important step in recognising and beginning to address the cost of disability faced by many thousands of people across the country every week. This would build on the increase of €12 in the core rate in last year's budget, bringing the total increase in the core rate to €27 over two years.
"We know from people with disabilities and disabled persons' organisations about the substantial and varying additional costs that people with disabilities encounter every day. While we await meaningful reform of this and other disability supports, a €15 increase per week would act as an effective short-term measure to address these additional financial burdens until comprehensive reforms can be implemented."
In addition to the proposed increase in the Disability Allowance, McAuliffe called for the Disability Support Grant to be restored to its Budget 2023 level of €500. The reduction to €400 last year significantly impacted those who rely on this grant for essential expenses.
"The 20% reduction in this once-off payment last year should not have occurred and hurt people unnecessarily. The Minister's decision to scrap the Green Paper on Disability Reform highlighted that both she and her Department are listening to the disability community. Restoring full funding for the Disability Support Grant in this year's budget would further demonstrate this ongoing commitment to addressing the cost of disability."
Looking towards the future, Deputy McAuliffe emphasised the disproportionate impact of inflation on people with disabilities and called for an inflation-adjustment formula to be embedded in the Disability Allowance.
"The additional cost of living with a disability was estimated at between €8,700-€12,300 per year in 2021 by a Department of Social Protection report, predating the intervening three years of high inflation," McAuliffe noted. "This must be tackled if we are to make a meaningful contribution towards the extra costs faced by people with disabilities.
"I am calling on the Minister to ensure that an inflation formula is embedded into the Disability Allowance in Budget 2025. This would enable us to sufficiently adjust this payment when the need arises, providing a more stable and predictable financial foundation for people with disabilities, helping to safeguard their economic well-being against future inflationary pressures."
"People with a disability make up 22% of the population of this country. We must ensure that they remain above the poverty line if we are serious about creating an equal society for all. These proposed measures are essential steps towards achieving that goal."