Thursday, 28 November 2019
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
Dr. Day and her colleagues set out a roadmap to overhaul the current, flawed budgetary process that applies to section 39 organisations. The outdated funding system in operation results in conflict, year in and year out, with the HSE. Once again this year, as every year, section 39 services are struggling desperately to keep going. It is important that the Minister for Health meets representatives of the disability action coalition soon, I hope before Christmas, and he might set out a timetable. Everybody in the House will agree with that because of the nature of the services involved, which are important to our society. A timetable should be agreed for 2020 to implement these key changes.
What is happening with pay restoration for section 39 organisations? The Minister told me previously that there is engagement with the Workplace Relations Commission on this matter but the exact cost of restoration for the entire sector has not been determined, and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform needs to become involved in this because it is a considerable burden on the disability action coalition members.
Is it possible, even at this late stage, to look again at a Supplementary Estimate and to ascertain if we need more funding for these bodies? It is €338 million at present. Can we add to that to enable them to balance their books this year? One of the key issues to emerge at the Committee on Budgetary Oversight, of which I am a member, is that we must have realistic-----