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Manifesto Watch – Disability

February 11th, 2011 · 8 Comments · Disability, Elections, Equality, General Election 2011, Green Party, Irish Politics

The Disability invisibility cloak is being lifted on the General Election.  Now lets see if the parties and their representatives can talk about it!

The Labour Party launched their manifesto today

The section on Disability

A fair deal for people with disabilities

  • Labour remains committed to an approach to disability in Ireland based on rights, equality and participation. We will continue to work to vindicate the rights of people with disabilities to education, health, housing and work and to participate in an inclusive manner in the economic, social and cultural life of the community, and will work to advance implementation of the National Disability Strategy.
  • Labour will protect, as a priority, those people with disabilities who are most vulnerable to cuts in public services. However, it is also essential that we get the best possible value for money for the investment we make in services with people for disabilities, and that those services meet the needs of users.
  • Labour’s proposed Comprehensive Expenditure Review will examine all provision for people with disabilities, with a view to determining how users can get the best services, for the public investment made. As part of this review, Labour will consider moving a proportion of public spending on disability services to a personal budgeting model, so that people with disabilities or their families have greater flexibility to make the choices that suit their needs best.
  • Labour is also committed to reforming the law on mental capacity, so as to ensure the greatest degree of autonomy for people with intellectual disabilities or suffering from a mental illness, and to reduce the need for expensive court proceedings.
  • The Green Party also launched their manifesto today

    The section on disability

    • Ensure the value for money process is complete; ensuring that the outcome
    provides for a greater level of direct service provision to disabled people from savings in administration.
    • Develop mechanisms for personal budgets and introduce direct payments. Disabled people must be enabled to have the maximum choice and control over their own service.
    • Ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
    • Initiate a review of the Disability Act 2005 and engage with disabled people, amending it to give more meaningful legal protection of their rights.
    • Ensure the full implementation of national standards and inspection of residential centres and community homes for children and adults with disabilities.
    • Give official recognition to Irish Sign Language.

    So thoughts?  It is a good idea to have a read of both documents in total and see other sections on equality infrastructure also as people with disabilities need more than a section on disability to ensure that rights are enforced.  A discussion would be welcome on the points raised by both parties.

    Fianna Fáil did not include disability in their manifesto but they did launch their health and children policy statement today.


    We will continue to roll out the National Disability Strategy, including the Disability Act 2005 and the provisions of the Department of Health and Children’s Sectoral Plan under the Disability Act.


    * We will continue to support the voluntary disability organisations within the context of the difficult times that we are now experiencing.
    * Issues of efficiency and effectiveness will be addressed through the Value for Money and Policy review, which will be completed this year.
    * Improve the quality of residential service provision through the development and implementation of standards and inspections of residential services.
    * We will reduce the number of people with a disability living in inappropriate settings.

    Mental Health

    We will continue to promote mental health and provide appropriate support to, and interventions for, people with mental health problems.


    * We will reform and reconfigure mental health services in line with the recommendations in A Vision for Change. A central pillar of Vision is moving those with mental health needs to community based support services, in line with international best practice.
    * We will develop services to reduce levels of suicide and deliberate self harm in line with Reach Out – the Suicide Prevention Strategy.
    * We will reduce in-patient re-admission rates to acute units per 100,000 population.

    Fine Gael launch their manifesto on Tuesday.


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