Sunday 4 December 2016

McGrath to set up task force on disability cash

Published 10/05/2016 | 02:30

(L to R) Chief Commissioner, of the Irish Human Rights Commission Emily Logan, special rapporteur on the right of persons disabilities, Catalina Devandas Aguilar, Independent Alliance TD, Junior Minister for Disability Finian McGrath in Dublin Castle today, at the launch of IHREC research report establishing a monitoring framework in Ireland for the united nation convention on the rights of persons with disabilities .Photo: Rollingnews.ie
(L to R) Chief Commissioner, of the Irish Human Rights Commission Emily Logan, special rapporteur on the right of persons disabilities, Catalina Devandas Aguilar, Independent Alliance TD, Junior Minister for Disability Finian McGrath in Dublin Castle today, at the launch of IHREC research report establishing a monitoring framework in Ireland for the united nation convention on the rights of persons with disabilities .Photo: Rollingnews.ie

A task force to examine how people with disabilities can be given more control over their own personal budgets for accessing services is among the priorities for the new super junior minister, Finian McGrath.

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It is to be established within the next three months, according to a draft Programme for Government, and could be transitioned into a national agency after five years.

The aim is to give people with disabilities more power over when and where they spend cash provided to them by the State.

The new Government is to support an increase in disability benefit and allowance, carer's benefit and allowance and the blind person's pension.

'Personalised Budgets' will be devolved to the individual recipients to allow them more control in accessing services, giving them "greater independence and choice".

The Government has also promised to examine transport provision for young people with disabilities and will support further increases to the housing-adaptation grants.

Dublin Bay North TD Finian McGrath has spoken of his delight at being named Junior Minister for Disabilities, with a seat at the Cabinet table.

He said a priority for him was support for disabled people leaving school at 18, which, he said, was "always a crisis" under the current system.

"At the moment, the budget is in the region of €7.3m and I've requested that that should go up to €10m," he told RTÉ Radio, adding that he had secured an assurance that this would happen.

He said he had argued during government formation talks that there should be a minister for disabilities at Cabinet to represent the views of 600,000 people with family members who have a disability.

Irish Independent

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