An independent general election candidate said that Ireland failed miserably to address disability poverty.
John Perry who is running in the Sligo Leitrim constituency which takes in south Donegal said: “In the north west of Ireland there are people with a disability who can’t get by from week to week, and depend on extended family relatives and friends for support.
“Poverty is rampant among the disabled population and as a result, social exclusion is a common occurrence leading in many cases to isolation and depression.”
Mr Perry said the newly elected government, whatever way it is made up, must provide more support for the disabled population.
“The outgoing government has failed to adequately support people living with a disability and the statistics now show that Ireland has failed miserably to address disability poverty. It is shameful.
“On this campaign trail, I have met several families with disabled dependents and indeed people living alone with a disability and they are struggling to get by on a daily basis. There is a crisis that nobody is addressing.
“Over 13% of the population in Ireland are living with a disability and their chances of living in consistent poverty has more than doubled since 2010.”
Mr Perry said Ireland was the worst country in Europe in which to reside for a person with a disability.
“A new approach is required to support people living with a disability, and that approach needs to be based around inclusion and government and department officials need to realise that Disability is not a health issue, it’s a social issue that needs to be made a priority,” he said. “Employment opportunities need to be made available, introduce a proper funding model so as to end disability poverty.
“We also need more access to the education system for children and young persons living with a disability."
Mr Perry also called for the restoration of funding that was lost during the massive cutbacks in 2008. He added that many of the voluntary organisations providing services to people living with a disability had been badly affected by cuts to the services.
“It’s high time that disability rights were made a priority,” said Mr Perry.
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