A COALITION of organisations representing the disabled is urging the Government to stop slashing supports for people living with disabilities and mental illness in the upcoming Budget.
Eight voluntary organisations, including the Disability Federation of Ireland and Mental Health Reform, have issued a joint statement challenging the Government to live up to promises it made in 2011.
It said the Government had pledged that it would "ensure that the quality of life of people with disabilities is enhanced".
But services for people with disabilities and mental health issues have been hit over the past six Budgets.
Citing what they call the "inconsistent approach of supporting austerity measures", the organisations claim the Government is promoting community living for people with disabilities on the one hand while undermining supports and services through cutbacks on the other.
The organisations say the Government should also elevate the junior ministry currently responsible for disability, equality, mental health and older people to a cabinet position.
This would reflect the fact that "disability is a societal issue, and not a sectoral one, that stretches across the life cycle, affecting people of all ages and their families directly and indirectly".