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CRUEL DEPRIVATION AND PAIN IN UNEQUAL RECOVERY

‘Broken Promises Protest’ – Disabled people with their friends & supporters FIGHT BACK. Thursday,July 13th 12-4pm Leinster House – PROTEST.

We need to call on all our friends all over Ireland. Please come out to support our Protest ‘BROKEN PROMISES’ outside Leinster House 13th July 12-4pm. This coming Thursday. We need YOU there, many disabled people are unable to come out to protest. Will you come out FOR them? We want to send a message to this Government as they go off on holiday (many disabled people never get a holiday!) that we are not ‘useless’ citizens.

We have gifts, skills, and can offer Ireland a great deal. With the right supports we can fly.

We are disabled people of Ireland. From the cradle to the grave successive governments have treated us as if we were 2nd class citizens. They have made ‘Promise’ upon ‘promise’ all BROKEN. We deserve better than to be treated as if OUR lives do not count.

‘Broken Promises’ Protest outside Leinster House intends to be a huge ‘wake-up’ call to this Government – we’ve had ENOUGH of being hammered by the government as if we should, in fact, be dead. We have endured cuts after cuts that have made our lives a misery. We need everyone to be our voice. We cannot do this alone.

‘Broken Promises:

•Failure to ratify the UN Convention on rights for Disabled people (UNCRPD) waiting 10 years

•Failure to give us a new transport/mobility benefit when they cut the old ones – waiting 4 years

•Failure to give the ‘personalised budget‘, promised in the FG manifesto 2011 so we can live our lives Independently. – Waiting 6 years

•Failure to implement the full disability Act of 2005 – 12 years waiting

•Failure to implement in FULL the ‘Rare Disease Plan’ for those with Rare Diseases in Ireland launched 2014 – 3 years waiting

•And MANY more…

We need YOU. If you came out for WATER come out for US, if you came out for Gay marriage equality, come out for US, if you came out to repeal the 8th, come out for US, if you came out to keep the 8th, come out for US.

‘Broken Promises’ Thursday 13th July 12-4pm Leinster House. wear purple (colour of mourning,) wear a purple ribbon, carry a purple card (the size of A5)

Suggestions for banners ‘Broken Promises kills disabled people’s lives’, ‘Broken Promises’ means inequality’, ‘Broken Promises are degrading & humiliating’, ‘we are NOT 2nd class citizens’, ‘Disabled lives matter’, ‘Shame on this Government’, ‘Disability Rights are HUMAN rights – Ratify the UNCRPD – NOW’, ‘Independent living in our own homes is a HUMAN RIGHT – NOT a luxury’. ‘Enough is Enough’, ‘Rights NOT Charity’.

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 FROM ST VINCENT DE PAUL SUBMISSION FOR NEXT BUDGET(2018)

Policies of Recent Governments Have Led to an increase in the Proportion of National Income Going to the Very Rich and a Reduction in the proportion going to those on low and middle incomes

“In the year 2014-2015, (when Labour and FG were in power-PH), the share of total income going to the top 1% increased by 20%. The share of income going to the bottom 50% fell by 15%”-SVDeP Submission

  The pre-budget submission of the St Vincent De Paul Society was launche on June 14. SVDP had 130,000 requests for assistance in 2016 and provided 33 million Euroin direct assistance to individuals and families in 2015.

In the period 2008 to 2015 the proportion of people who cannot afford to adequately heat  their own home more than doubled-an increase of 145%. Today 1in 4 one parent families are living in consistent poverty.(the work of Burton and Veradkar and Zappone-PH.)

More than 91,000 households are in need of social housing and over 2,700 children are homeless-(the work of Alan Kelly and Simon Coveney and FiannaFail.-PH)

The number of families with a person at work qualifying for social housing has increased by 25% reflecting the growing incidence of low pay and exploitation.

In the year 2014-2015, (when Labour and FG were in power-PH), the share of total income going to the top 1% increased by 20%. The share of income going to the bottom 50% fell by 15%-SVDeP

In addition according to CSO, when all taxation including indirect taxation is included, the poorest 10% 0f the population pay the same or a slightly greater fraction of their own income in tax as the richest 10%!!

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‘Ireland’s social contract is broken’-Fr Sean Healy, Irish Examiner Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Claire O’Sullivan 

The country’s housing crisis, broadband problems and the growth of zero-hour employment are all part of the Government’s systemic failure to make basic citizens’ rights a priority, says Social Justice Ireland.

Democracies are founded on a social contract, the think tank is arguing, a contract which sets out an agreement between individuals, institutions and government and the expectations, rights and responsibilities that come with this.

However, director Sean Healy said: “Ireland’s social contract is broken” as government and institutions are not making a minimum standard of living, essential social services and infrastructure, and the protection of basic rights a priority.

“The legitimate expectations of citizens are not being met. This is most obvious in areas such as housing and homelessness, a two-tier healthcare system, an ongoing failure to provide rural broadband and high levels of poverty and social exclusion, especially among children.”

At the launch of its annual Socio-Economic Review, fr Healy said: “The growth in precarious employment and under-employment are further examples of trends that are undermining the social contract.

“There is widespread disillusionment and disappointment that institutions created for the betterment of ordinary people have failed to deliver and, in many cases, are now seen as part of the problem rather than part of the solution.”

If ordinary people’s basic needs are to be met however it will involve increased government spending and choices will have to be made, such as increasing corporation and general taxation to pay for benefits such as improved infrastructure and public services, Social Justice Ireland warned.

The organisation said that the Government is too dependant on “on the market to address [infrastructural] deficits” as its tax take is so low that it can not fund big projects.

It is calling for a new social contract to be developed where “technological development, economic growth, and societal advancement are shared” between the richest and poorest people in this country.

It wants a social agreement centred around a vibrant economy based on sustainable economic growth rather than short-term electoral gain and fair taxation.

“Fair taxation would require an increase in the overall tax-take of 3%of GDP which will move us closer to the European average,” said Dr Healy.

“Such an increase must be implemented equitably and in a way that reduces income inequality. It would also require that a fair share of corporate profits would be paid in tax.”

Full Publication of Social Justice Ireland :Socioeconomic Review  2017  https://www.socialjustice.ie/sites/default/files/attach/publication/4784/socioeconomicreview.pdf

 

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Home care in Ireland is being privatised without debate-Prof.Des O’Neill,Consultant, Tallaght Hospital in Irish Times

 

 

“We, the present, future and increasingly healthy older people of Ireland, need to recognise our own stake in this sinister development. Rather than settling for a Trumpian alternative truth, we must demand a system that provides community and institutional care for age-related disability and disease on the same basis as that for cancer and cardiac disease.”

www.tallaghthospital.ie/Consultants/ProfessorDesmondDesONeill-.html

Professor Desmond ONeill. Name, Professor Desmond (Des) ONeill. Specialty, Geriatric, General & Stroke Medicine. Contact Details, 01 414 3215 .

 Irish Times  Monday, January 30, 2017, 12:00

One of the most troubling advertisements on the radio recently was from a private home care agency. A woman actor speaks of how caring for her parents was relieved by carers from the agency, particularly after one of her parents had a stroke.

No mention was made of the public health nurse, of Home Care Packages, or of the discharge arrangements of the stroke team under whose care the parent had been discharged. Our practice in Tallaght Hospital, and I am sure in most other stroke services, will only discharge patients requiring Home Care Packages when they have been agreed by the HSE.

Nor was there any mention of the considerable costs and challenges of trying to manage a private care package without the public supports available.

Privatisation of community care

Allied to the unannounced obstruction to access to Home Care Packages other than from hospital discharge since March 2016, this disconnect from the public system amounts to an increasingly overt privatisation of community care. This is akin to the rapid privatisation, without debate, of the nursing home sector (where a healthy system mandates a mixture of public, voluntary and private nursing homes), or outsourcing of mental health care to private agencies.

As discussed in previous columns, the problem is not the private or public route per se but a failure to openly discuss the ethical, social and practical problems arising from working with both systems.

Privatisation of community care has been underway for some time with the contracting out of Home Care Packages to private agencies. It has been promoted by a trinity of politicians, elements of the HSE and private sector (which retains a large proportion of the €22 an hour for home care, further subsidised by tax breaks to these fees).

Healthcare should be a right

Unwitting support for taking even more money from disabled older people arises from advocacy and the public by those who perceive an injustice between the so-called Fair Deal – which itself removed eligibility to State-funded nursing home care – and current Home Care Package provision, which is not means-tested but maxes out at four calls a day for the most disabled people.

In fact, there are multiple layers of problems with this reasoning, which received fresh oxygen from a recent documentary on the effect on a family of discharge of a person after stroke.

Without in any way negating the important role of family in providing support to us all, community services are for the person rather than for the family, and such healthcare support should be seen as a right on the same basis as cancer or cardiac care. It also enables people to depend less on care from family and other informal supports

A second issue is that the gap between the payment for a maximum Home Care Package and the average for a so-called Fair Deal would still leave over 100 hours in a week uncovered, and in particular it would not cover nights which is very often a deal-breaker.

In addition, more intense rosters inevitably mean a wide variety of people with variable training and approaches coming into the home, which can be very stressful and destabilising for not only the older person but for those living with them, as eloquently described by Ruth Fitzmaurice in this newspaper on January 4th last year : “Our house is filled with nurses and carers and they are hurting me. It’s not their fault.”

Trumpian alternative truth

A third issue is that the so-called Fair Deal is based on the fact that you are paying for board and lodging in your nursing home (even if you don’t have residency rights!). With community care, not only do you need resources to live in your own home but the first Irish longitudinal study on ageing (Health and Social Services for Older People II ) showed that older people already pay for part of their care.

If we later need nursing home care (as can often happen), are we likely to be further double-charged on our homes, assets and income with this selective inheritance tax on dementia and stroke – something that would be inconceivable for cancer care?

We, the present, future and increasingly healthy older people of Ireland, need to recognise our own stake in this sinister development. Rather than settling for a Trumpian alternative truth, we must demand a system that provides community and institutional care for age-related disability and disease on the same basis as that for cancer and cardiac disease.

Deprivation In The Unequal Recovery

Dr. Rory Hearne Sociologist

Dr Rory Hearne tackles the statistics behind Ireland’s growing inequality and challenges the narrative that those on social welfare receive the majority of state benefits.

Dr Hearne writes:

In 2007, prior to the economic crash and austerity 11.8% of the Irish population (about 485,000 people) suffered from material deprivation. A decade later, and four years into a supposed economic ‘recovery’, 25.5%, over a quarter of our population (that is 1 million people) are suffering from material deprivation.

That is an additional half a million people affected by deprivation.

So how can any one seriously argue that austerity ‘worked’ in Ireland and that we are in a recovery?

In fact, for some of our most vulnerable and socially excluded groups things are even worse. Take lone parent families for example. In 2007, 35.6% of lone parent families suffered deprivation.

Today their deprivation rate is a shocking 57.9%. And while the general deprivation rate dropped from 29% in 2014 to 25.5%, the deprivation rate for lone parent families showed no significant change from 2014 (when it was 58.7%).

While our children – the future of our country – 31% of all children suffer deprivation, which is double the 2007 rate of 15.9%.

But what does suffering from material deprivation mean?

It means that an individual or household experiences two or more types of enforced deprivation from a list of eleven deprivation indicators such as being without heating at some stage in the last year, being unable to afford new (not second-hand) clothes, being unable to afford to keep the home adequately warm, being unable to afford to have family or friends for a drink or meal once a month, being unable to afford to buy presents for family or friends at least once a year or being unable to afford to have family or friends for a drink or a meal once a month.

The CSO provides a further break down of what proportion of people are affected by each of the deprivation indicators.

These show that there was in fact an increase in the proportion of people who have been unable to keep their home adequately warm in the last year, rising from 8.8% in 2014 to 9% of the population in 2015.

While 13.6% (almost 650,000 people) went without heating at some point in the last year (this is over double the rate in 2007). The most common types of deprivation experienced were an inability to replace worn out furniture (24.4%), afford a morning/afternoon/evening out (18.6%) and have family/friends over for a meal/drink (16.8%).

There are 257,000 people in Ireland (5.4% of the population) who are unable to afford to buy presents for family or friends at least once a year.

The recent Generation F’D documentary on RTÉ2 showed a father suffering the pain of looking to Christmas and being unable to buy his children presents. But among those at risk of poverty (16.9% of the population – they have an annual income below €11, 863, or 60% of the national median income), 14% were unable to buy presents for friends or family.

The inequality at the heart of the recovery is also shown by the fact that for this section of the population (approximately 800,000 people) who are ‘at risk of poverty’, there was an increase in the last year in eight of the eleven types of deprivation. But for those not at risk of poverty, there was a decline in all eleven types of deprivation.

If we look at deprivation by income decile we can also see the same pattern of inequality. 42% of the bottom income decile (they have an income less than €195 per week) suffer three or more forms of deprivation.

This is almost 13 times the rate of the top income decile (where just 3.3% suffer three or more forms of deprivation). The weekly income of the top decile is greater than €764 per week.

The figures also show the deeply unequal nature of our society and economy. They show that the top 20% get 40% of net income while the bottom fifth of our population get just 8% of all income.

Of course this doesn’t include wealth which is even more unequal. The top 20% have 73% of all wealth in Ireland in contrast to the bottom half of the population with just 5% of all wealth.

But a very interesting table, Table A 2, shows the average weekly equivalised income by decile and the composition of that income.

From this we can see that the bottom decile has a net disposable income of just €146 per week while the top decile has a net disposable income of €1,066 or 7.3 times the bottom decile.

But what’s really fascinating is that the table shows ‘social transfers’ from the state (unemployment benefits, pension, housing allowances received) received per decile and the results of this are not what you would expect.

It shows that the top decile received, on average, €164 per week in social transfers from the state. That is more than the bottom decile which received €119.99 per week in social transfers. So it shows that the state gives more to the wealthiest and highest income households than the bottom!

This challenges the narrative that it is those on social welfare receive the majority of state benefits and highlights that there is a significant welfare going to the wealthiest households as well.

In fact, the top decile pays, on average, €408 per week in tax, yet receives in social transfers (this is excluding tax reliefs etc), almost 40% of this total tax back in social transfers. So 40% of the tax being paid by the top income earners is being returned to them through social transfers.

This is very significant and challenges the argument that the top are being over taxed.

Barnardos, the children’s charity were absolutely correct in their response to the recent CSO figures to state that the “Continued lack of improvement in child poverty rates is a national scandal that requires urgent intervention.”

As they explain:

“Childhood is short, yet the experiences we have shape the adults we become and the lives we lead. Children living in poverty live life on the margins, excluded from opportunities and often unable to break the cycle of poverty. Poverty affects every aspect of a child’s life and has short and long term consequences on their development, health, education outcomes and life chances. Worryingly, children in lone parent households continue to experience poverty and deprivation at a far greater rate than children in two parent households”.

While, SPARK, the lone parent campaign group, has called on the Minister for Children, Katherine Zappone to establish an immediate task force to tackle poverty in lone parent families. They have set up a petition in response to the CSO data arguing:

“The recent CSO data shows consistent poverty in the state is 8.7%. For 2 parent families with 3 or less children this drops to 7.7% but for children in lone parent families it is 26.2%. It is fundamentally wrong that a child is almost 3 1/2 times more likely to live in poverty based purely on their family status. We know childhood poverty has long reaching effects and we owe it to all children to ensure they have a fair chance”.

Take a minute to sign their petition here

 

Home care in Ireland is being privatised without debate

Professor Desmond (Des) O’Neill – Tallaght Hospital

www.tallaghthospital.ie/Consultants/ProfessorDesmondDesONeill-.html

Professor Desmond ONeill. Name, Professor Desmond (Des) ONeill. Specialty, Geriatric, General & Stroke Medicine. Contact Details, 01 414 3215 .

 

Irish Times  Monday, January 30, 2017, 12:00

One of the most troubling advertisements on the radio recently was from a private home care agency. A woman actor speaks of how caring for her parents was relieved by carers from the agency, particularly after one of her parents had a stroke.

No mention was made of the public health nurse, of Home Care Packages, or of the discharge arrangements of the stroke team under whose care the parent had been discharged. Our practice in Tallaght Hospital, and I am sure in most other stroke services, will only discharge patients requiring Home Care Packages when they have been agreed by the HSE.

Nor was there any mention of the considerable costs and challenges of trying to manage a private care package without the public supports available.

Privatisation of community care

Allied to the unannounced obstruction to access to Home Care Packages other than from hospital discharge since March 2016, this disconnect from the public system amounts to an increasingly overt privatisation of community care. This is akin to the rapid privatisation, without debate, of the nursing home sector (where a healthy system mandates a mixture of public, voluntary and private nursing homes), or outsourcing of mental health care to private agencies.

As discussed in previous columns, the problem is not the private or public route per se but a failure to openly discuss the ethical, social and practical problems arising from working with both systems.

Privatisation of community care has been underway for some time with the contracting out of Home Care Packages to private agencies. It has been promoted by a trinity of politicians, elements of the HSE and private sector (which retains a large proportion of the €22 an hour for home care, further subsidised by tax breaks to these fees).

Healthcare should be a right

Unwitting support for taking even more money from disabled older people arises from advocacy and the public by those who perceive an injustice between the so-called Fair Deal – which itself removed eligibility to State-funded nursing home care – and current Home Care Package provision, which is not means-tested but maxes out at four calls a day for the most disabled people.

In fact, there are multiple layers of problems with this reasoning, which received fresh oxygen from a recent documentary on the effect on a family of discharge of a person after stroke.

Without in any way negating the important role of family in providing support to us all, community services are for the person rather than for the family, and such healthcare support should be seen as a right on the same basis as cancer or cardiac care. It also enables people to depend less on care from family and other informal supports

A second issue is that the gap between the payment for a maximum Home Care Package and the average for a so-called Fair Deal would still leave over 100 hours in a week uncovered, and in particular it would not cover nights which is very often a deal-breaker.

In addition, more intense rosters inevitably mean a wide variety of people with variable training and approaches coming into the home, which can be very stressful and destabilising for not only the older person but for those living with them, as eloquently described by Ruth Fitzmaurice in this newspaper on January 4th last year : “Our house is filled with nurses and carers and they are hurting me. It’s not their fault.”

Trumpian alternative truth

A third issue is that the so-called Fair Deal is based on the fact that you are paying for board and lodging in your nursing home (even if you don’t have residency rights!). With community care, not only do you need resources to live in your own home but the first Irish longitudinal study on ageing (Health and Social Services for Older People II ) showed that older people already pay for part of their care.

If we later need nursing home care (as can often happen), are we likely to be further double-charged on our homes, assets and income with this selective inheritance tax on dementia and stroke – something that would be inconceivable for cancer care?

We, the present, future and increasingly healthy older people of Ireland, need to recognise our own stake in this sinister development. Rather than settling for a Trumpian alternative truth, we must demand a system that provides community and institutional care for age-related disability and disease on the same basis as that for cancer and cardiac disease.

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