Dáil debates

Wednesday, 15 December 2021

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate

Departmental Reports

9:42 am

Photo of Pauline TullyPauline Tully (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

We must recognise that if we are to deal with disability directly, a response by all Departments is required. One of the things that struck me from the report is that Ireland is fourth from the bottom of the list of 31 countries where the percentage of our social protection budget is the lowest when dealing with disability supports. The level of payment and allowances to disabled people must be increased if we are to end the exclusion and risk of poverty for disabled people in this country. However, as the Minister of State said, as well as increased payments, there is also a need for better services and supports. The number of disabled people out of work is one of the highest in Europe, as my colleague has just mentioned, and measures to address that are needed. We need to support people to support themselves. This means more education and training opportunities to enable people to access employment and the provision of more employment opportunities. Personalised budgets are where we are going to have to go if we are to allow people the choice of how and where they live their lives and so on. A complete change of mindset is required such that people with disabilities are not seen as people to be pitied or to be cared for. They need to be seen as people with lives to live and choices to make about how to live that life, so we need to implement the UNCRPD.


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