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Written Answers - Departmental Funding

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 752 No. 2

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 191.  Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae  asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  if he will restore funding to an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3080/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch As I informed the Deputy in response to a previous question on the issue, it was decided that funding to People with Disabilities in Ireland (PwDI) had to cease at the end of 2011. On the basis of a value for money review, it was clearly established that the vast majority of the money allocated to PwDI was being spent disproportionately. The largest proportion of PwDI’s annual budget has been spent over the last number of years on the operation of its office headquarters and on administration rather than on the creation of projects which would directly benefit people with disabilities. This was an untenable situation that could not be allowed to continue as people with disabilities were benefiting very little from the allocation in real terms. However, there is no reason why the local PwDI networks around the country should not continue to be active as volunteer bodies and continue their work with people with disabilities.

It is my wish to ensure that people with disabilities directly benefit from any money allocated to this sector. With this in mind, I am currently overseeing the finalisation of a major Value for Money and Policy Review of Disability Services in the Department of Health to ensure that existing funding allocated for people with disabilities is spent to best effect. I am also interested in hearing what people with disabilities have to say on issues affecting them. I have established and am personally chairing a new National Disability Strategy Implementation [369]Group to develop and progress disability strategy. The new group will include representation from a number of disability stakeholder organisations and also a number of people with disabilities who will be able to bring their lived experience directly to bear on the very important work of this high level group. This will ensure the voice and perspective of people with disabilities will continue to be heard in a more focused and cost effective way.

The Government must ensure that in 2012, and continuing thereafter, funding is allocated for maximum provision of services for people with disabilities, having regard to overall resource constraints which affect all sectors at this time.

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