Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan has said that successive governments continue to fail people with disabilities and it cannot be allowed to continue.
He was speaking earlier today in the Seanad following the comments of the outgoing Ombudsman, Peter Tyndall, on the lack of government action for the most vulnerable in our society.
Seanadóir Gavan said:
“We know that two key schemes were scrapped in 2013, namely the mobility transport grant and the mobility allowance. These were grants that allowed people to purchase motorised vehicles or to access taxis to go to work, to shop and to take part in the life of their communities.
“It is bad enough that they were scrapped in 2013, but the fact that there are still no schemes in place for these people eight years on is just unacceptable..
“I cannot imagine what it must have been like for people with disabilities listening to the Ombudsman express his deep frustration as he leaves his role, and stating that, after eight years in the job, he has made no progress and that there appears to be no one in government willing to listen and take action on this key issue..
“How can it be that we have a government which appears to be happy to sit with its arms folded and continue to discriminate against people with disabilities eight years on? .
“The Ombudsman made the point very clearly that the reason there has not been any action is because the government is not prepared to spend the money. That is not my view – it is the view of the Ombudsman as he leaves his role.
“Successive governments continue to fail the most vulnerable in our society and it cannot be allowed.
“We see time after time people with disabilities being failed when it comes to healthcare, housing and transport. This seriously affects their standards of living and it must be stopped. These people deserve better.”