Disable Inequality Key Asks:
1. The appointment of a full Minister for Disability Inclusion.
2. That people with disabilities have a fair income.
3. That people with disabilities have the same access to supports and services as everyone else.
Thanks to the hard work and the resilience of the people, at last, our economy has begun to recover. Over the last five years the Irish people have worked hard, gave all they had for Ireland to survive the crash and to recover. Over the next five years Fine Gael wants to make the recovery work for the Irish people, so that they feel the benefit of that recovery in their everyday lives – a job, more doctors and nurses, more teachers, a bit more money in your pocket, more security for the future.
Fine Gael has a long term economic plan to make that happen. And that plan has three steps:
- More and better jobs
- Making work pay
- Investing sensibly in our public services.
Over the last number of weeks we have been setting out our Long Term Economic Plan to keep the recovery going, ensuring a strong economy to invest in vital public services and provide the opportunity for everyone to fully participate in society, including people with disabilities. Last Sunday, we published our manifesto and it set outs our proposals for people with disabilities and their families.
If we are returned to Government, within twelve months, we will publish an implementation plan for the rollout of personalised budgets, empowering people with disabilities in accessing the services most appropriate to their own need.
We will implement in full the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Having already introduced a new scheme supporting access to the Early Childhood Care and Education programmes for young children with disabilities; we will work with education partners to ensure post-primary transition planning takes place for school leavers accessing further education opportunities.
As we keep the recovery going, it is only fair that the prospect for income supports is set out; as such we will increase the Illness Benefit, Invalidity Pension, Disability Benefit and Allowance, Carer’s Benefit and Allowance and Blind Person’s Pension by €20 per week, by 2021.
Building on progress already made, our capital plan will deliver 80 new primary care centres, providing an expanded range of health services in the community, closest to home. In assisting people to stay in their homes we will increase funding to the Home Adaptation Scheme by 20%, ensuring that even more households will benefit.
We will continue investment in our public transport network to enhance the bus fleet and audio announcements on services; we will increase wheelchair access to bus and train stations ensuring that public transport works for all users. We will require taxi companies wishing to bid for state procurement contracts to have a minimum 10% of their fleet wheelchair accessible. In recognition of additional mobility costs for many people with a disability, we are committed to introducing a new mobility scheme.
Our Long Term Economic plan sets our commitment to creating more jobs and better jobs, addressing one of the greatest sources of inequality in Ireland today. By reducing barriers to work we will ensure that everyone who wants a job gets one.
In doing so, we will expand the role of Intreo offices, enabling people with disabilities to transition into employment, while addressing concerns about the loss of secondary benefits, ensuring that work always pays. Coupled with this, we will work with prospective employers providing information on available supports to hire and retain people with disabilities.
We will expand supported employment opportunities, as well as reviewing the referral procedure for the Community Employment Scheme, to ensure that an increased proportion of places are taken up by people with a disability.
Fine Gael knows the truly significant role which carers play in supporting their loved ones in living independent lives, and we want to support them in doing so. This is why we will ensure greater involvement of family carers in the preparation of care plans and as mentioned previously will increase the Carer’ Allowance and Carer’s Benefit by at least €20 per week by 2021.
Fine Gael is the only party with a Long Term Economic Plan that will offer the stability and certainty to keep the recovery going, to get people back to work and make work pay so that we can invest in vital public services for everyone, including people with disability.
We want to put the recovery to work for you.
But we can only do that if we can keep the recovery going.
I’m asking you to vote for that recovery.
I’m asking you vote for Fine Gael.