Updated: 16/07/12 : 07:06:48Printable Version
Cuts to placements for school leavers with disabilities ‘totally unjustified’ – Mooney
Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Social Protection Paschal Mooney has hit out at the Government for persisting with a Budget cut that will leave hundreds of school leavers with disabilities with nowhere to go in September.
In raising the matter in the Seanad this week, Senator Mooney who is also Chairman of County Leitrim Childcare Committee described the cut as 'totally unjustifiable'.
“The Government made a 3.7% cut in funding for organisations providing services for people with a disability in this year’s Budget, and the reality of that cut is now hitting home,” said Senator Mooney. “More than 220 young people with disabilities now find themselves with nowhere to go due to a subsequent cut in training places and specialist placements.
“According to reports in the Irish Independent, 660 school leavers with disabilities need some form of specialist placement this autumn and another 390 should have a training place. But the HSE has confirmed that just 414 school leavers and 320 people who had been in training have been given a placement. There are 153 school leavers and 73 people who had been in training who will now be forced to languish on a waiting list. The uncertainty has left many families devastated.
“I am calling on the Minister of State with responsibility for disability services to come into the Seanad to explain and justify the cuts being imposed on these organisations. Behind the headlines there is the real story devastation and trauma being experienced by the families of children with disabilities as a result of these savage cuts. I think it is outrageous. A country is respected internationally for the way it treats the most vulnerable in society.
“This is yet another cut targeted at the people who most need our support. I am calling for these funds to be restored,” said Senator Mooney.