Budget 2021 needs to prioritise investment in infrastructure and supports to enable us to live as equals in an inclusive Irish society

Today (Monday 12th October) Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) called for investment in Budget 2021 to ensure full inclusion and participation of disabled people as equals in all aspects of society. 

“There is a need for investment in infrastructure and supports to enable us to live as equals in an inclusive Irish society. This investment needs to focus on equitable supports in for disabled access to housing, transport, employment, education, Personal Assistance Services. ILMI would like to see budgetary issues that would support and promote Independent Living and that these budgetary measures are not limited to one Department. In the year that Ireland makes its first report to the UN under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, inclusion of disabled people in mainstream society needs to be high on the agenda for the budget” said James Cawley Policy Officer of ILMI. 

“In Ireland there is currently no legal right to a Personal Assistance Services (PAS) and budget 2021 needs to prioritise investment in PAS rather than in residential care. ILMI welcomed the commitment to researching of the cost of disability as per part of previous budgets. There is a need to continue to embed disability in the commitment to equality and human rights budgeting. This would prioritise the need for investment in this budget and future budgets in   accessible public transport, based on universal design to ensure disabled people can live and participate in their communities as per Article 19 of the UNCRPD” added Mr Cawley.  

“Budget 2021 needs to commit resources in order to meet commitments to implement policies such as the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for Persons with Disabilities, and targets set in the National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021. Supports to enable disabled people to participate in the workforce should follow the person rather than being transitional throughout a disabled person’s life, such as when a disabled person changes from education to employment or when changing to different employment” said Mr Cawley.  

“There is no doubt that Budget 2021 needs to focus on the impact of climate change. ILMI recognises, as a human rights organisation, that climate change is going to have huge effects globally and will disproportionately impact on the most marginalised, including disabled people. Climate change is a challenge but could disproportionately impact on disabled people if carbon taxes are introduced for example, which will lead to the costs of fuel and heating to rise. Therefore, there needs to be investment in supports for disabled people who will need them in relation to retro-fitting housing and investing in accessible public transport to allow people to move around including disabled people as well and reducing our carbon output.”