Tuesday, 17 December 2019
Section 39 Organisations: Motion [Private Members]
I am delighted to have an opportunity to speak on this subject. We must first recognise there is a crisis in the sector in question, services are not available, young people cannot get the assessments or psychological services they need and they cannot get respite or, in extreme cases, residential care. This is all a significant challenge.
We are all agreed that we want higher standards in the disability sector. The Minister of State spoke about that. There are many more people living a lot longer with more complex needs. Accordingly, more money is needed to stand still. While he claims he is giving more money, it still is not adequate for the services being provided.
The Government's response to every issue is how can it get as many years out of inaction as possible but appearing to be busy. Busy inaction I call it. The Government set up the independent review group, which ran from July 2017 to 2019, buying it two years. Having got that far, it then set up the dialogue forum. We are now into December 2019. The forum will not make any conclusions before late spring next year. The Government will have, again, bought time to get over the line.
I do not believe the people are fooled by this process of constant dialogue and no action. When there is not enough money for the basic services they need, they know the Government's policies are not working.