Fine Gael Clare Senator, Martin Conway, who is the Seanad Spokesperson on Disability and Equality, has expressed his relief that the proposed cuts in Disabilities Allowance for young people outlined in the Budget have been put on hold.
“I welcome confirmation from the Taoiseach that this very punitive proposal is being put on hold. There are many types and forms of disabilities some of which are mild and some of which are chronic. There are some people with disabilities who can perform as competently as anyone else in the workforce, but there are many more who simply will never be in a position to work.
“The proposals to put these changes on hold and to have them reviewed Ita Mangan, the Chairperson of Tax and Social Welfare Commission, is a prudent move.
“I would like to see an overall cost benefit analysis along with the review on spending currently being carried out by the Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, Kathleen Lynch. There is over €1 billion spent every year by the Government on organisations providing services for people with disabilities. It is my belief that in some cases, the end user, namely people with disabilities, is not benefiting as much as they should. Vast sums are being spent on rent, wages of senior management, travel expenses and other administrative costs. I believe that every euro spent by the Government on disabilities needs to be focussed as much as possible on frontline services.
“I would like to commend both the Taoiseach and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, for listening to the concerns of the public and their party colleagues on this issue, and I will continue to pursue the matter in the coming weeks to ensure a fair outcome is delivered for all.”