Ollie Crowe calls for an overhaul on funding for people with disabilities

Cllr. Ollie Crowe, Fianna Fáil General Election Candidate, is calling for better infrastructure, better finance and an increase on the disability allowance so that 642,131 Irish people can feel fully included and treated equally in our society.

“I will continue to be a strong advocate for improving the lives of people with disability. There is no crisis in the country right now that affects such a large percentage of the population than the suffering and unnecessary hardship that is felt by those with a disability and those caring for people with disability. On a recent canvas, I met a family who is a mere €7 over the threshold to qualify for a medical card. Having a child with a disability, the struggle that this and many other families in the same situation have is unacceptable.”

Crowe continued “A recent report showed that there are currently 643,131 people living in Ireland with a disability, that’s an incredible 13% of our population and the stark fact that one quarter have the added burden of living in poverty is shameful. Voluntary groups right across the country, and particularly in the Galway and South-Mayo region, are underfunded and are being continually neglected and left to their own devices. This must change quickly.”

“A lack of funding is hitting this sector harder than ever. It is having a negative impact not only on the vital daily services provided but also on the organisations that are operating in crumbling infrastructure, with pressure being applied from all aspects of their operations with building repairs and upkeep often being the first to suffer. These organisations cannot continue to be left out when budgets are set, and they need a strong voice to help them secure their rightful allocation of proper funding. They represent and care for the most vulnerable of our society, so it is only right that they are cared for by the next government.”

“Proper funding of voluntary organisations working in the disability sector is needed but what is probably more important to address is the very low weekly disability allowance. Having any disability brings many burdens but it also brings extra costs. I will be advocating for an immediate increase in this allowance alongside proper fund­ing of the sector. Organisations like Ability West and Enable Ireland are struggling daily and are overwhelmed by the restrictions placed on them by a lack of proper funding over the last ten years. We are fortunate to have these strong organisations working alongside many other service providers such as the Galway Centre for Independent Living, Galway Autism Partnership, Brothers of Charity, The Irish Wheelchair Association, National Council for the Blind, to mention but a few. All these organisations and many more need better and more structured funding.”