Calleary slams latest attack on people with disabilities

IASE21April63Mayo Deputy Dara Calleary has described the axing of the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Scheme as ‘yet another savage attack on people with disabilities’.

Deputy Calleary has appealed to the Government to reverse this ‘scandalous cut’, which will result in a 20% reduction in income for up to 5,000 people with disabilities.

According to the Fianna Fáil Deputy, there are many people with disabilities living in rural areas in Mayo 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.  They 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?” said Deputy Calleary.

“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 people had to camp outside Government Buildings to reverse the cut to personal assistants for people with disabilities.  There have been cuts to the domiciliary care allowance and to the therapies for people with disabilities.  And in the last budget, there was a cut in the respite care grant.”

Deputy Calleary has hit out at the Government for the mobility allowance without having any coherent alternative ready to go in its place.  He said 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,” the Mayo Deputy said.

 

“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.”