Budget 2019 has offered measures which have the potential to make modest improvements in the lives of people with disabilities. There is a welcome commitment to begin disability – proofing the budget process, which can pave the way for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities if fully committed to.
Although there has been a commitment to increase funding for social housing stock it is not clear how people with intellectual disabilities will benefit from these measures, including those who are currently in institutions.
There has been an €150 million increase to the Department of Health disability budget, bringing it close to €2 billion in total but there is no immediate information about whether this money will used for personalised or community – based services.
More disappointing was the underwhelming commitment to the SlainteCare plan as well as a failure to introduce measures to address poverty for people with disabilities.
Among today’s announcements were
- €150 million increase to the Department of Health Disability Budget,
- 950 additional Special Needs Assistants,
- Commitment to increase social welfare payments by €5 per week, beginning in March 2019,
- An increase to the Christmas bonus – restoring it to 100%,
- Drug payment scheme decrease by €10,
- €55 million increase for mental health funding,
- €20million integration fund towards SlainteCare implementation,
- Commitment to extend equality-proofing of future budgets to look at poverty, socio-economic issues and disability,
Read all about Inclusion Ireland's Budget 2019 asks at this link