Home > Uncategorized > Cruel Neglect of The Disabled To Protect The Incomes and Assets of The Super-Rich from Fair Taxation

Cruel Neglect of The Disabled To Protect The Incomes and Assets of The Super-Rich from Fair Taxation

As Richest 12 Irish Gain 6 Billion Euro in Untaxed Assets in Last Year Alone– Cuts in Disability Provision Continue!


Emily Logan, Rights Ombudsman, on Sean O’Rourke July 27: “We should stop posing a conflict between the rights of people with disabilities and their parents”

MS lOGAN HAD BEEN ASKED TO COMMENT ON THE EXPLANATION GIVEN BY DISABILITY MINISTER FINIAN MCGRATH FOR THE DELAY IN RATIFYING THE UN CONVENTION ON RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

According to Minister Finian McGrath, legal disagreement over whether families should be allowed to “dump” disabled relatives in institutions is one of the key factors delaying ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.–Irish Times July 14

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Cynical Launch Of  Grossly Inadequate and Misleading “New” Disability Strategy By Minister For Disabilities, Finian McGrath Flanked By 4 Ministers at Croke Park

Advocacy Groups, Inclusion Ireland and the Disability Federation of Ireland, criticised a new multibillion euro Government plan to help people with disabilities by labelling it a “missed opportunity” that is “short on vision” and fails to address chronic poverty among those affected.

“Big Deal”

I carry articles below from Examiner  and Irish Times on Launch of “New” Disability Strategy Launched by Minister Finian McGrath  on Friday July 14.

When you read  “Disabilities Minister Finian McGrath committed to a series of reforms by the end of the decade as part of the New €1.65bn(?See BELOW-PH) national disability inclusion strategy 2017-2021” (Irish Examiner), you know nothing significant is going to be done anytime soon!!!  It is a device for politicians to pretend they are doing something without spending much money and that they “care”.  Note that it was launched in the Croke Park Conference Centre(Major National Initiative-“Big Deal” – “All_IRELAND PERFORMANCE” ) not in Buswells Hotel or the AV Room in Leinster House-

Even “Bigger Deal”  !!!!

“ALL OF GOVERNMENT PERFORMANCE”

“Also at the publication were Minister for Health Simon Harris, Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty, Minister for Transport Shane Ross and Minister of State Kevin Boxer Moran. They said this reflected the “all-of-Government” support for the new strategy.”—Irish Times

Note the Minister Did not Say that Provision for Disability WOULD INCREASE BY 1.65 Billion per year over the period 2017 to 2021 nor that it would increase by one fifth of 1.65 Billion each year until 2021!

The presentation by the Minister and the Government Press Release were highly ambiguous and this was reflected in Press Reports.

In Fact As Reported on Government News service  http://www.merrionstreet.ie/en/News-Room/Releases/Minister_of_State_Finian_McGrath_launches_the_National_Disability_Inclusion_Strategy_2017-2021.html

Minister McGrath also highlighted key achievements since his appointment, which included:
· Securing an increase in Budget 2017(Last Budget) of €92 million for Disability Services bringing the annual total to €1.654bn
· Publishing Making Work Pay Report
· Providing Medical Cards for nearly 10,000 children in receipt of Domiciliary Care Allowance at a cost of €10M
· Launched the Taskforce on Personalised Budgets which will report by end 2017

It would appear that that 1.65 billion is the total annual budget for disability which increased by a mere 92 million in the last budget-not enough to restore the cuts to disability provision!!

Why did newspaper reports not make this clear?

TIMING

The launch of the “New” Strategy took place on the final sitting day of the Dáil until late September. The Minister will not be required to answer Dáil questions on disability provision for 2 months!!!

Deception, Maipulation, Manoeuvre-a Master Class by Minister McGrath!!!

-Paddy

 

Disability plan ‘short on vision’, say advocacy groups

Irish Examiner   Saturday, July 15, 2017

 

By Fiachra Ó Cionnaith

Irish Examiner Political Correspondent

Advocacy groups have criticised a new multibillion euro Government plan to help people with disabilities by labelling it a “missed opportunity” that is “short on vision” and fails to address chronic poverty among those affected.

Inclusion Ireland and the Disability Federation of Ireland made the claims after Disabilities Minister Finian McGrath committed to a series of reforms by the end of the decade as part of the new €1.65bn national disability inclusion strategy 2017-2021.

 

Under the plans announced by Mr McGrath at Croke Park in Dublin to replace the much maligned national disability strategy which ended two years ago, the Government has put forward new measures to ramp up for those in need.

 

The plans include greater help for people with disabilities who are seeking work, moves to ensure all public bodies will be legally obliged to offer free sign language interpretation for people with hearing issues, and to put strict conditions on wheelchair accessibility for passenger coach or train services.

 

The Government plan will also instigate a review of the Make Work Pay proposals to ensure they support people with disabilities, provide extra supports for people with disabilities who are travelling to work, and to address the cost of necessary aids and assistance technology used on a day-to-day basis.

 

Confirming the plans, Mr McGrath said the €1.65bn four-year plan is about a “whole Government” approach that will guarantee issues for people with disabilities are properly prioritised.

 

“When I was honoured with my appointment as minister for disabilities, my immediate and continuing focus was, and is, on the person with the disability.

 

“I have listened to the concerns which they have raised with me regarding the many challenges they face on a daily basis,” he said.

 

However, despite the positive comments, the plan has been criticised by disability groups and opposition parties for failing to go far enough and map out in greater detail the developments due to take place.

 

While welcoming the policies put forward, Inclusion Ireland last night said the overall plan is “short on vision” and “doesn’t go far enough to address the inequalities” faced by people with disabilities.

 

“Real inclusion is about people being visible, taking part and being involved, this new strategy does not deliver that. There has been a two-year gap since the previous strategy ended and not a single measure was fully implemented.

 

“Sadly, this strategy amounts to nothing more than a long, drawn-out missed opportunity.

 

“Other important objectives relating to decision-making, education, housing, supports to live independently and wellbeing addressing poverty, are either given scant reference or are watered down versions of the previous strategy,” the group’s chief executive Paddy Connolly said.

 

The view was echoed by the Disability Federation of Ireland, which said the plan lacks a focus on practical reforms and does little to address the significant levels of poverty among people with disabilities.

 

 

 

Finian McGrath pledges to ratify convention on people with disability

Irish Times Friday, July 14, 2017, 18:36

Legal disagreement over whether families should be allowed to “dump” disabled relatives in institutions is one of the key factors delaying ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, according to a Minister.

Minister of State with Responsibility for Disability Issues Finian McGrath said he “100 per cent” wanted to see the convention ratified, but he was still “sorting out a couple of matters in relation to legislation”.

Mr McGrath said in May last year the convention would be ratified “within six months”. Ireland signed the framework in 2007, but has not yet made it legally binding by ratifying the convention, making the Republic the only country in the EU not to have done so.

Asked what the ongoing legal obstacles were, Mr McGrath said: “The two key issues are deprivation of liberty and legislation on assisted decision-making.

“There’s a big debate going on behind the scenes with families. If there is a person with a disability who doesn’t want to go into a residential place, some of the families would be very, very concerned about that.”

He said there was a “clash of rights” between those of families who want to place disabled loved ones in an institutional setting, and the rights of disabled people who did not want to be there. This needed to be resolved legally.

He said he agreed with disability campaigners who have described this placing of relatives in institutions as akin to “kidnapping” or being “dumped” out of society.

Desire to leave

“Absolutely and I am on their page. I visited one [institution] recently in the southeast and one young man called me aside and said, ‘Finian, get me out of here . . . I want to have my own place. I want to have my breakfast and dinner when I want, watch my own television in my own bedroom’. And he was in this institution.”

He said the man was in his early 30s and had been placed there when he “about seven”.

“My job is to get those people out of those institutions that want to go, and get supports in place for them.”

He said 233 people would be supported to move out of such settings this year

Mr McGrath was speaking to media at the publication of a new National Disability Inclusion Strategy in Dublin. The 47-page strategy sets out 114 actions to be taken between now and the end of 2021, across eight areas, including education, employment, housing, transport and accessible places, and person-centred disability services. The strategy will, if implemented, impact positively on the lives of about 600,000 people.

Also at the publication were Minister for Health Simon Harris, Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty, Minister for Transport Shane Ross and Minister of State Kevin Boxer Moran. They said this reflected the “all-of-Government” support for the new strategy.

Some €1.654 billion will be put into services underpinning it.

Among its actions is one to “introduce statutory safeguards to protect residents of nursing homes and residential centres and ensure they are not deprived of liberty save in accordance with the law and as a last-resort measure in exceptional circumstances”.s

© 2017 irishtimes.com

 

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Waiting Time for Assessment of Disabled Children Has Worsened under Minister for Disabilities, Finian McGrath-Seamus Healy TD

 “Unfortunately, since this Government has come to power and Deputy Finian McGrath has taken responsibility for the issue, the position has dissimproved. We have gone from a situation where there was reasonable compliance with the law to one where we now have a waiting time of two years for the commencement of an assessment in Co Tipperary. The situation is being ignored.”–Seamus Healy TD in Question to Taoiseach in Dáil

 

Deputy Seamus Healy:   The HSE is deliberately and flagrantly breaking the law by denying children with disabilities their statutory entitlements to assessments of needs.

The Disability Act 2005 provides for an assessment of the health and education needs of person with disabilities and provides for services to meet those needs. Section 9(5) provides that the executive shall cause an assessment of applicants to be commenced within three months of the date of receipt of an application. The background information and supporting documentation refer to the need for services to be provided early in life in order to ameliorate a disability. The Act provides that the assessments must be started within three months of the application and that the HSE must complete the assessment within three months. That is a legal requirement on the HSE as set out in the legislation. Unfortunately, that is not the situation that obtains nationwide. The legal entitlement of children with a disability is being breached routinely by the HSE. Children are not being assessed within the three-month period and there are huge delays in assessment. The service is broken and there must be an immediate solution to the problem.

The current situation for children in terms of assessment of needs is totally unacceptable and I will give a few examples. A child was referred for assessment on 8 September 2016 but a letter from the HSE states that the child is currently scheduled for assessment in September 2018. Another was referred for assessment on 19 January 2017 but the HSE letter indicates that the waiting time for assessment is approximately 24 months. A third child was referred in January 2017 and was told by the HSE that the assessment would commence in April 2019, a full 27 months away. This is simply not good enough. That child is now over three years old and will be over five years old in two years’ time.

Early intervention is absolutely crucial in order to ensure that children with disabilities are properly looked after and have services provided for them. Vulnerable children with disabilities are being mistreated by the HSE and are being denied their legal rights. Does the Taoiseach condone the routine breach of the law by a State agency, namely, the HSE? What does he propose to do about it? Will he instruct the HSE to abide by the law and ensure that every child is assessed in accordance with the law?

The Taoiseach:   This is an important subject. The Government has prioritised disability by appointing Deputy Finian McGrath as Minister of State at the Department of Health to sit at the Cabinet table and articulate the concerns and anxieties relating to this area on a regular basis. Disability funding has increased over the past year and early intervention services and services for school-age children with disabilities need to be improved and organised more effectively. This process is well under way and the HSE is engaged in reconfiguring its therapy resources into geographically-based teams for children aged from birth to 18. The objective of the new model of assessment and intervention is to provide a single, clear referral pathway for all children, irrespective of the disability they have, where they live or the school they attend, as evidence shows that is an important element of progress.

Some €8 million in additional funding was invested in 2014-2015 in order to provide 200 additional posts to support the implementation of that model. A further €4 million in additional funding was allocated in respect of 75 therapy posts in 2016 and it is expected that, as this reconfiguration of services takes place, it will have a significant impact on the HSE’s ability to meet the needs of children and young people in a much more efficient, effective and equitable manner.

In 2013, 260 front-line primary care staff positions were approved.

 

That included 52 occupational therapists and 52 speech and language therapists. The aim is for that recruitment to continue which will lead to a reduction in waiting lists and times. A further €4 million was provided in that regard in 2014.

Since the June 2007 commencement of Part 2 of the Disability Act 2005, the HSE has endeavoured to meet its legislative requirements as specifically referred to by Deputy Healy. The number of applications for assessment under the Act has increased each year since it was introduced. It is anticipated that in excess of 6,000 applications will be received this year. It can take a significant period to determine accurately the nature of a disability which a child might have. Although there has been continual investment in this area, there are significant challenges in meeting the statutory timeframes which apply to the assessment of the needs process. The Minister of State at the Department of Health, Deputy McGrath, is dealing with the delay in assessments. He is trying to resolve those delays by direct consultation. There is an ongoing recruitment campaign to combat the issue of staff shortage. The Minister of State is working with the HSE to deal with this in order that the requirements of the Act can be met by the HSE and there are no delays beyond the period for assessment and determination of a disability.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   The Taoiseach has not answered the question. The HSE, which is a State agency, is breaking the law. I asked the Taoiseach if he condones that and if he will ensure that does not happen in the future. Unfortunately, since this Government has come to power and Deputy Finian McGrath has taken responsibility for the issue, the position has disimproved. We have gone from a situation where there was reasonable compliance with the law to one where we now have a waiting time of two years for the commencement of an assessment. The situation is being ignored. It has been raised in this House by several Deputies through parliamentary questions and as a Topical Issue matter. It has been ignored. The Taoiseach’s answer indicates that it is still being ignored. The current situation is that where an assessment of need has not been completed, there are consequent delays in the provision of children’s services such as speech and language therapy and the appointment of special needs assistants and resource teachers. The inaction of the HSE is unacceptable, deplorable and illegal. Does the Taoiseach condone that illegality and what he will do to ensure the HSE abides by the law?

The Taoiseach:   It is not acceptable for any State agency to be outside the legal requirements of what it has to do. The Minister of State at the Department of Health, Deputy McGrath, who has special responsibility for disability issues, sits at the Cabinet table, has a substantial budget and is working assiduously to deal with this issue. If there are 6,000 assessments to be carried out this year, more than 100 must take place each week. Many of these assessments are quite complex and take a period of time to assess accurately.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   I am concerned with assessments that have not been commenced. People have been waiting two years.

The Taoiseach:   As the Deputy knows, parents have every right to know the nature and scale of the disability that their child or children may have to deal with. The Act itself—–

Deputy Seamus Healy:   They are being left in limbo.

An Ceann Comhairle:   Will Deputy Healy please allow the Taoiseach to finish?

The Taoiseach:   There has been much collaboration between the health and education sectors on the issue of children’s disability. That is facilitated by the cross-sectoral team and the implementation of the Disability Act. That team comprises representatives of the Department of Health, the Department of Education and Skills, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, the HSE executive, the National Council for Special Education and the National Educational Psychological Service. As Deputy Healy is aware, a detailed report was compiled by Mr. Eamon Stack, chairman of the National Council for Special Education, which sets out a progressive way of dealing with the issue. While waiting lists are unacceptable and should not exist, the Minister of State is at the forefront of dealing with the delays. In the near future, it is hoped the law in terms of assessment for children will be fully complied with, unlike the current situation where children have to wait for longer than they should.

 

 

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Peter Lawlor
    June 3, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Thank you, Paddy for your excellent blog.
    Sincerely,
    Peter L

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