6 Oct 2021, 17.25
In advance of next week’s Budget announcement on Tuesday 12 October the Committee must reiterate its call for action as highlighted in the Committees Budget 2022, pre-Budget submission, to ensure that the Programme for Government commitments that oblige actions for inclusion so that the concerns and needs of people with disabilities are meaningfully addressed and for disability funding to be aligned with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
The Committee strongly advocate that the social inclusion for people with disabilities can only be truly achieved through adequate funding being allocated in the national budget for the various sectors relevant to the realisation of the rights of people with disabilities under the UNCRPD.
This is crucial because for centuries, people with disabilities, and in particular people with intellectual disabilities and with mental health problems have being institutionalised and segregated from mainstream society.
Currently, in Ireland the rate of poverty and social exclusion for people with disabilities is one of the highest in the EU at over 38%. We also have the lowest employment rate of people with disabilities across Europe. The rise in the poverty rate for people with disabilities was also exacerbated by the 2008 financial and economic crisis and subsequent response of austerity.
The UNCRPD is a landmark convention which seeks to reverse the segregation and social exclusion of people with disabilities by simply ensuring that people with disabilities can enjoy the same human rights as everyone else.
The Committee also believes that the Optional Protocol to the UNCRPD must also be urgently ratified to ensure that the voice that people with disabilities have actively taken under the Convention, and which all sectors of society need to hear, must not be silenced by Ireland not ratifying the Optional Protocol. The mechanisms for delivery of the Optional Protocol must also be funded under Budget 2022.
In this regard, the Committee looks forward to Budget 2022 and how it will meaningfully address the realisation of the rights of people with disabilities under the UNCRPD as committed to in the Programme for Government.