Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

One day of the year – the cost of disability

December 9th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Disability, Equality

We never hear anything in the media or the Dáil about the cost of disability for about 364 days of the year – the day the debate on social welfare cuts takes place it’s everywhere. Only to be put back in it’s box until the next time.

The words and language that are being used are not the most respectful and the violins are being got out (mainly by the opposition). TD’s just want to be seen to have done the right thing before they go home for the weekend.

The cost of disability is very real but never thought about on the others days of the year. The Minister is talking about reassessing disabled people and seeing if they are fit for some work. No mention on the fact the jobs are not there or that so many employers are not intersted in employing people with disabilties or that the supports to employers are not favouring employees and their needs. There will be long and protracted debates on all these I hope whenever such a capacity scheme is introduced which will I hope reflect on progressive and unstable conditions but most importantly on the cost of disability in accessing the workplace.

There is no tax relief available to the disabled person for the extra housing, fuel, laundry, public transport and other costs incurred through disability. Charging an electric wheelchair does not become anyless expensive when you get a job.

Carers are also being lauded and the cuts to their benefits decried. Nobody talks about the right of people with disabilities to indicate if they want a family member to care for them or to be supported in indicating what they want – there is no right by the way, it’s all assumed as being in the ‘common good.

These and other questions going through my mind this afternoon listening to the debate on social welfare in the Dáil.



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