Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher has said the Minister for Health must immediately step in to reverse funding cuts at St. Michael’s House.
Residential and respite services for people with an intellectual disability face being cut as a result of a further €1m cut to the budget for St. Michael’s.
Deputy Kelleher commented: “It is absolutely unacceptable for the St Michael’s House budget to face further cuts at this point in the year without proper warning or consultation. It is not good enough for Minster James Reilly to wash his hands of this, blaming the HSE which he previously told us had been abolished. He is the Minister for Health and he must take responsibility and intervene here immediately. Over 1,600 children and adults with an intellectual disability depend of the services provided by St. Michael’s House – it is a major lifeline for them and their families.
“This cut is particularly callous as it targets people who are extremely reliant on the services provided by St. Michael’s. We have already seen the Respite Care Grant cut by 20% and there have been repeated cuts to services for people with disabilities. Service users at St Michael’s often have severe and compound mental and physical disabilities and in many cases their parents or carers are simply not able to provide necessary full time care for them.
“We have seen in the past where Ministers have seen the effect of mean-spirited cuts and have restored funding under public pressure. This needs to happen again. There is still time for Minister Reilly to show some leadership, do the right thing, and restore the funding for St. Michael’s House to ensure there is no reduction in its services.”