A Social Democrats’ motion – to introduce a €20 ‘Cost of Disability’ payment and increase Disability Allowance by at least €15 – will be debated in the Dáil tomorrow 

The government must commit to introducing a Cost of Disability payment in the forthcoming budget, according to Social Democrats Disability Spokesperson Holly Cairns.

“The cost of living crisis is out of control. Inflation is now running at nearly 10pc and prices, across the economy are soaring.

“According to a recent ESRI report, lone parents and people with disabilities, are among those most at risk of poverty. In December 2021, a comprehensive new study outlined just how much having a disability can cost – between €8,700 and €12,300 per year.

“Disabled people, and families who have a child with disabilities, spend more on things like heating, transport, therapeutic equipment and medical expenses. Irish people with disabilities also have one of the lowest employment rates in the EU – just 36pc – meaning the majority are unable to supplement State supports with private income.

“A Capacity Review of disability services, which was published in July 2021, found there were “significant levels of unmet need” which were going to worsen unless action was taken. Twelve months later, and there is still no sign of a long-promised action plan to implement the findings of that report.

“On Wednesday, July 6, the Dáil will debate a Social Democrats’ motion calling for a cost of disability payment of €20 per week to be introduced as a first step to addressing the significant additional costs of having a disability.

“We will also be asking the government to commit to increasing the disability allowance by at least €15 per week; publish its action plan on the Capacity Review, including a plan to fill the hundreds of vacant posts in disability services; and publish its action plan for the Cost of Disability report.

“We cannot allow a situation to develop, during this crisis, when those at the margins fall over the edge – into extreme poverty and deprivation. The government must act, before it is too late.”

5 July, 2022


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