Friday 23 March 2018

Brendan O'Connor: Dehumanising disabled people is not acceptable

This Cabinet will sacrifice anybody and anything to protect the public sector, says Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

What you have to wonder is how anyone, anywhere thought it was a good idea, politically, practically or humanely. But somehow, it took until Tuesday night on Prime Time for the Government to understand that it was not a good idea to halve the money we give to young disabled people.

To save pocket change in the grand scheme of things (€6m next year) a Labour minister in a Labour Coalition Government was seemingly willing to target those who everyone agrees are absolutely the most vulnerable people in our society. The measures have now been paused after widespread revulsion, but it is still worth considering what this incident tells us about our Government and our society.

You might have witnessed it all fall apart on Tuesday night. Michael Noonan was cramped into RTE's Dail studio with Richard Crowley and Michael McGrath. The fact that there was a wooden-looking backdrop in the cramped studio added to the air of it being something akin to a sweatroom.

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