Ó Domhnaill slams latest attack on people with disabilities

Donegal Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has described the axing of the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Scheme as ‘yet another savage attack on people with disabilities’.

Fianna Fáil has appealed to the Government to reverse what the party describes as a ‘scandalous cut’ that will result in a 20% reduction in income for up to 5,000 people with disabilities.

Senator Ó Domhnaill said there are many people with disabilities living in rural areas who are heavily dependent on both of these schemes and will be badly hit by this cut.

“The fact that Fine Gael and Labour can justify this disgraceful decision shows just how out of touch they have become.  The claim that these schemes are obsolete – but what about the 5,000 people who will suffer a 20% cut in their income as a result? What about the 300 people with disabilities in Donegal who depend on the Motorised Transport Scheme?” said Senator Ó Domhnaill.

“Unfortunately this is just the latest in what has become a sustained attack on people with disabilities.

The disability allowance was cut in Fine Gael and Labour’s first budget two years ago, home help hours were cut last August and there was a cut to personal assistants and people had to camp outside Government Buildings to reverse that cut.  There have been cuts to the domiciliary care allowance and to the therapies, including physiotherapy and speech and language therapy, for people with disabilities.  And in the last budget, there was a cut in the respite care grant.

“Now the Government has scrapped the mobility allowance without having a coherent alternative ready to go in its place.  Addressing the legal anomaly did not require axing the scheme entirely leaving a giant void in its place.

“We are now in a situation where 5,000 people who depend on these schemes are left extremely distressed and worried about how they will cope with a 20% cut in their income.  Once again the Government has blindly ploughed ahead with a savage cut without any consultation or any communication with those affected, and without having any replacement scheme ready to go.

“Instead of standing up and being upfront with the public, Fine Gael’s answer is to just play a pointless blame game that will do nothing to reassure those who will be badly hit by this cut.

“I am asking the Government to take a step back here and realise the enormous impact that these cuts will have on the most vulnerable.”

Posted: Feb 27, 2013     |     Categories: Uncategorized