Fine Gael in Government will sustainably increase support for people with disabilities, Fine Gael Cork North West General Election candidate Councillor John Paul O’Shea has said.
Cllr. O’Shea said: “Fine Gael understands that many people with disabilities face extra living costs.
“That’s why we have prioritised incrementally increasing weekly social welfare payments to the disabled by at least €25 over the next five years, a €5 increase each year.
“This is very significant when you consider that Fianna Fáil are only proposing a total increase of €10, which falls far short of what is needed.
“We are also committed to the introduction of personalised budgets for people with disabilities, which will empower them to choose the supports that best meet their needs.
“Fine Gael in Government are already piloting this approach in two phases with 180 participants. At the end of 2019, the first group of users had their budgets approved and phase 2 will commence this year.
“We also recognise that people with disabilities face barriers when trying to enter the workplace, which is why we will implement a programme for employers to support recruitment and retention.
“More generally, we have commissioned some much-needed research into services for people living with disabilities. It will survey over 30,000 people and provide the evidence we need to make future policy as effective as possible.
“Equality of opportunity is a fundamental value in a democratic republic. Fine Gael believes that the State has an important role in ensuring that all people are treated equally, and that no person is held back from achieving their potential.
“For all of these reasons, we have prioritised increasing support for people with disabilities,” Cllr. O’Shea added.