Media Coverage

Senator relieved at disability payments U-turn

FINE Gael Clare Senator, Martin Conway, who is the Seanad Spokesperson on Disability and Equality, has expressed his relief that the proposed cuts to payments to young people with disabilities announced in Tuesday’s Budget have now been 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 by Ita Mangan, the chairperson of Tax and Social Welfare Commission, is a prudent move,” the North Clare senator stated.

The senator, who himself is legally blind, was elected to the public administration panel of Seanad Eireann, nominated by the People With Disabilities in Ireland (PWDI) group.

“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 every euro spent by the Government on disabilities needs to be focused as much as possible on frontline services,” Senator Conway concluded.

*Extract from Clare Champion, 09/12/2011