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Emergency legislation to cut the disabled


THE SUBJECT OF cuts to services for people with disabilities will be on the agenda when Dublin City Council meets this evening.

The HSE and St Michael’s House work together in delivering services to almost 1,700 children and adults with an intellectual disability, and said last week that additional budget cuts presented a ‘significant challenge’.

Cuts

HSE funding for St Michael’s has been cut by a total of €12.3 million over the last five years.

St Michael’s House was told in August of this year that an additional million euro was being cut from its budget for the second half of 2013, backdated to 1 July, and a series of service reductions was being introduced as a result.

St Michael’s has over 170 centres across the Greater Dublin Area and in Navan, Co Meath.

Staffing levels are expected to be reduced, while a rent subsidy is also being cut, meaning residents are being asked for an extra €35 per week.

CEO Patricia Doherty said in a letter that management are: “making every effort at both a local and national level to impress upon the HSE and the Government the seriousness of the situation and the inevitable negative impact of their decisions on people with disabilities”.

Sinn Féin will propose an emergency motion at the monthly meeting of Dublin City Council this evening, opposing the cuts to services at St Michael’s House facilities.

Sinn Féin Councillor Mícheál Mac Donncha, who is tabling the motion, called on Lord Mayor Oisín Quinn to allow debate on the motion.

Cllr Mac Donncha said that the party’s motion is calling for the recently-announced cuts to be reversed.

The families of those using St Michael’s services are being urged to lobby their local TDs, Senators and Councillors to have the cuts reversed.
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