People with intellectual disability 'pay most for economic crisis'
on 29/08/2013 00:00:00
St Michael's has warned it will have to close a residential and a respite home, shut others for one day a month and withdraw allowances, subsidies, and transport costs to meet targets following another €1m budget cut.
The organisation has the largest waiting list for residential care in the country, with 330 people on a priority list.
The charity has lost €12.3m in funding over the last five years.
It has claimed that €430,000 has been lost through pay and efficiencies needed under the Haddington Road pay agreement.
Mr Murray said the charity's latest letter describing its financial position was "frightening".
He said his daughter was being asked to pay more than any other citizen for the economic crisis.
"Parents should not have to argue the case for basic services, such as transport and respite care," Mr Murray told RTÉ radio yesterday.
"We are exhausted just doing the daily caring. Now we are asked to argue our case. It's just appalling."
Socialist MEP Paul Murphy said the cuts that would devastate the lives of many people and their families must be opposed in order to force a reversal.
He believed the people of Dublin would support a protest by the families affected and the organisations who advocate for people with disabilities.
"The pressure that could be put on this Government would be unbearable and I'm confident could force a complete reversal," he said.
"The recent active response by parents whose children with severe disabilities attended Stewart's School in Palmerstown resulted in a massive victors, with cuts of €400,000 being reversed."
The HSE is to meet St Michael's House today to discuss the matter.
"As a voluntary agency, St Michael's House are obliged to work within the resources available to them and, in that regard, have introduced significant efficiencies over recent years to remain within budget," said the HSE.
These changes have not resulted in service contraction."
The HSE said the application of additional cuts under the Haddington Road agreement had presented a challenge to St Michael's House but that both organisations were committed to working within the terms of the Haddington Road deal to ensure that services were impacted upon only as a measure of last resort.