Funding levels of up to €2.3 Billion required, Pre-Budget of submission of Disability Committee recommends
DISABILITY funding in Ireland needs to be brought in line with the recommended levels in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), the pre-Budget submission of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Disability Matters has recommended.
The committee, chaired by Cork North West Fianna Fáil TD Michael Moynihan, has set as its aim the ‘development of a model of funding distribution in line with the UNCRPD that can deliver better outcomes for people with disabilities, and maximise people’s capacity, independence and quality of life’.
Deputy Moynihan welcomed what he described as the ‘record overall funding of €2.2 billion in 2021 for HSE-funded disability support services, an increase of €179m or almost 9% on disability spending in 2020’.
“The committee recommend that the Disability Budget in 2023 maintains this funding level standing at around €2.3 billion,” said Deputy Moynihan
“The committee believe that the transfer of functions from the Department of Health to the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth provides a significant opportunity to transition disability services from a medical approach to a social approach where equality, person centred/individualised approach and the UNCRPD can form the basis of delivery.”
Deputy Moynihan said a key focus of the committee when preparing its submission for the 2023 Budget is the development of a model of funding distribution in line with the UNCRPD that can deliver better outcomes for people with disabilities. This would maximise people’s capacity, independence and quality of life.
“This funding redistribution must be undertaken in tandem with strengthening the link between expenditure and activity across services and service providers, to help improve monitoring and in turn value for money in disability services.
“The first steps towards this can be taken by developing UNCRPD compliant Equality Budgeting.
“The committee has highlighted that the delivery of disability proofing has radically changed and that the Government must act urgently to fund and develop meaningful structures and mechanisms that enable this new governance.
“Another concern of the committee which requires urgent attention under Budget 2023 is Children’s Disability Services and developing, funding and resourcing a model of early intervention, where intervention happens early in a child’s life (0-5yrs) and is mainstreamed across health and education services to reduce regression and deliver improved quality of life outcomes.
The pre-Budget submission of the committee has made a number of recommendations including;
• Urgent redistribution of funding in Budget 2023 in line with the UNCRPD
• Equality Budgeting must be developed to deliver CRPD compliant budgeting.
• Provision of increased multi-year funding for Disabled Persons Organsiations (DPOs) to strengthen their advocacy and policy work.
• Provision of increased funding for Disability Service Providers and Charities engaged in advocacy work to ensure they have the financial capacity to engage with multiple public bodies and processes.
• Urgent funding for a Forum of Organisations and Parents for Children with Disabilities to ensure that the UNCRPD is aligned with legislation regarding children with disabilities.
• Urgent funding for disability awareness and Equality and Human Rights Training for all public sector staff.
• In expectation of ratification of the Optional Protocol to the UNCRPD in 2022 ensure funding in Budget 2023 to ensure efficient operation of access to the complaints process and scrutiny of the UN Committee
“The forthcoming budgetary choices will be an indicator of the State’s commitment to the UNCRPD and the fulfilment of its human rights obligations for people with disabilities,” said Deputy Moynihan.
The Budget will be published on September 27.