Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
393. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will review correspondence in respect of an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37320/11]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): It has been decided that funding from the Department to People with Disabilities in Ireland (PwDI) must cease at the end of 2011.
On the basis of a value for money review it has been clearly established that the vast majority of the money allocated to PwDI is 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 programmes and services which would directly benefit people with disabilities. This was an untenable situation that could not be allowed to continue, as people with disabilities were not benefiting sufficiently 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 to hear what people with disabilities have to say on issues affecting them. I have recently set up and will chair a new Implementation Group to develop and progress the National Disability Strategy. This new group will hold its inaugural meeting on 30 November. It 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.
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