Thursday, 16 December 2021
Department of Rural and Community Development
650. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development her views on adding a requirement that all funding from her Department include provisions to meet and further the rights of persons with disabilities. [62828/21]
I wish to advise the Deputy that all proposals brought to Government are required to assess and declare that there are no impacts for the following: North/South or East/West relations, jobs, gender equality, poverty proofing, competitiveness and industry costs, rural communities, quality regulation and people with disabilities.
As the Deputy is also aware, all public bodies in Ireland have responsibility, under the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty or Public Sector Duty, to promote equality, prevent discrimination and protect the human rights of their employees, customers, service users, and everyone affected by their policies and plans. This is a legal obligation and is contained in Section 42 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Act 2014.
My Department’s policies and funding programmes aim to deliver sustainable outcomes that positively impact the quality of life of those living and working in our communities. In delivering on its mission my Department provides a wide range of strategic interventions, funding programmes and policies to support communities, including helping to address the issue of isolation for rural dwellers, older people and people with disabilities.
My Department operates a number of schemes that are targeted at the most disadvantaged in society such as the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) which supports disadvantaged communities and individuals including unemployed people, people living in deprived areas, people with disabilities, single parent families, people on a low income, members of the Traveller and Roma communities and other disadvantaged groups.
The Community Services Programme (CSP) works on a social enterprise model and supports community businesses to provide local services and create employment opportunities for disadvantaged people including those with disabilities.
Some of my Department’s programmes such as the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and the Community Enhancement Programme can provide capital support for new or upgraded works in the public realm which can also be aimed at people with disabilities. The Clár Programme this year also had a measure targeted at people with mobility issues. Further information on my Department's schemes and programmes can be accessed on my Department's website.
As the majority of my Department’s schemes already provide substantial support to people with disabilities it is not intended to add a specific requirement at this time.