The DDAI is welcoming the publication of the Cost of Disability in Ireland Report by Indecon, but is calling for immediate action by Government to address the significant costs outlined for people with disabilities.
One of the key conclusions of the report was ‘there are significant additional costs faced by individuals with a disability which are currently not met by existing programmes or by social welfare payments. The analysis shows that the actual costs faced by individuals with severe disabilities on average range from €9,600 - €12,300 per annum and for those with limited disabilities from €8,700 - €10,000 per annum’. The lengthy report highlights that households spend, on average, an additional €9,027 on costs of items specifically related to disability, special versions of products, and transport and mobility.
Kenneth Fox, CEO of DDAI said “ this report clearly shows that people with disabilities in Ireland pay a higher price for daily living expenses than people without a disability. For instance, 41% of respondents said they pay a higher price for private transport costs including costs of running an adapted vehicle. Having access to personal transport allows a person with a disability fully participate in society and is their lifeline towards independence, further education and job prospects. This is against the backdrop of Ireland having one of the highest rates of unemployment amongst disabled persons in Europe”.
The DDAI are calling on Government to provide more support for people with disabilities to obtain their own transport and to replace the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant which was suspended indefinitely in 2013. Additionally, the Disabled Drivers & Passengers Tax Relief Scheme which is currently under review by a working group, under the National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021 needs to be completed in a timely manner and a more needs-based approach to be taken when accessing a person’s qualifying criteria.
Actions speak louder than words and the findings in this report need to be acted upon sooner rather than later. Read the full report here - Cost of Disability Report