12 July 2010

Savage disability cuts hurting the most vulnerable in our locality – Fitzgerald

Dublin Mid-West Senator & Spokesperson on Health marches with disability protest and speaks out in the Senate against cuts in disability services

Lucan and Clondalkin Senator Frances Fitzgerald joined a disability protest march at the Dail this week and spoke out against cuts in disability services in the Senate.

Speaking in the Senate, Senator Fitzgerald said, “This week the Taoiseach stood up in the Dail and said that there would not be and in fact have not been any cuts to disability services. Only hours after the Taoiseach’s assertion, thousands of parents, families and carers took to the streets outside this House and in other locations around the country to protest at the direct cuts they have seen in services for their loved ones with intellectual disabilities.”

“The impact of cuts in services which have been outlined by families of people with intellectual disabilities is heart-breaking and, to be quite frank, repulsive to think that these most vulnerable people are being abandoned by the State and expected to suffer a raft of cuts to essential services whilst banks are bailed out and NAMA may well end up costing this state hundreds and hundreds of millions,” said Senator Fitzgerald.

“I am aware of cuts in services which will result in:

· Cuts in respite care

· Additional pressure on physio and occupational therapies

· Curtailment of communication and social skills programme

· Continuing reductions in frontline staff.

These cuts are cruel and unnecessary. I urge Government to re-think these callous cutbacks and protect the most vulnerable people in society,” concluded Senator Fitzgerald.