HSE cuts to training allowances likely to increase poverty and act as a barrier to further education, training and employment
Inclusion Ireland, the National Association for People with an Intellectual Disability, has today (09/07/19) warned that cuts to a training allowance for people with disabilities is likely to push more people with disabilities into isolation, poverty and act as a further barrier to personal and social development, formal learning, training and ultimately employment.
The advocacy organisation made its statement in response to media reports that the HSE is cutting a rehabilitative training allowance, worth €31.80, per week for people with disabilities.
Speaking on behalf of the leading advocacy organisation for people with an intellectual disability, CEO Enda Egan said: “People with disabilities are more than three times as likely to experience consistent poverty as the general population. They experience much higher rates of deprivation which means they go without some of the basic necessities for living. They also experience multiple barriers to accessing education, training and employment”.
“This decision shows the lack of joined up working when it comes to people with disabilities. On the one hand, ‘Make Work Pay’ as part of the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities aims to remove the barriers that people with disabilities experience when accessing work and current research underway by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection will hopefully identify solutions to addressing cost of disability”.
“On the other hand, you have the HSE removing one of the supports that people with disabilities can avail of to enable their participation in training and to help to cover some of the extra costs that people with disabilities face”.
Commenting on the lack of consultation or communication regarding the decision, Mr Egan continued: “While it may be appropriate to review this scheme and how it fits in with other training, employment and income supports, this should be done in a planned way, and involving people with disabilities who will be impacted by this change. This decision has come out of the blue and without consultation with people with disabilities”.
Inclusion Ireland is a national rights-based advocacy organisation that works to promote the rights of people with an intellectual disability. The organisation provides a central forum to identify priorities and formulate nationally agreed policies to present to government, statutory bodies, other relevant groups as well as the general public. Inclusion Ireland campaigns for changes in services and legislation that will improve the quality of life and participation of people with an intellectual disability in Irish society in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.