The financial crisis on a global and domestic scale is impacting on people with disabilities in many areas of life, most notably through reduced governments budgets translating into reduction of essential services. Posts featured earlier this year on Human Rights in Ireland, see here highlighted the impact of these government cuts thus far and the fears of disability organisations and people with disabilities and their families as to what lies ahead.
Ireland for the past 10 years has been hailed as a success story particularly in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship. While we watch wistfully as our economic independence is removed from us, one cannot help think where was its innovation and entrepreneurship in creating a better Ireland for its disabled citizens? For the most part, people with disabilities in Ireland did not enjoy the success of the of our “Celtic tiger era” and continued to face persistent high unemployment rates and be at risk of poverty. For example employment rates for people with disabilities published in the CSO Equality in Ireland report 2006 found that 26.8% of disabled males were in employment while 16% of disabled females were in employment. Further research carried by the Conference of Religious of Ireland, see here found that over 34.5% of those who are disabled or long term ill are at a risk of poverty. The figure 34.5% was actually an increase on the figure 29.5% which was reported in 1994. While the increase might be only 5%, it is important to highlight it happened against the backdrop of Ireland’s growth years when employment opportunities were plentiful and poverty rates were dropping.
Continue reading “Why Disabled People and Their Families Fear The December Budget?”
HRiI is today, on International Human Rights Day 2009, hosting a blog carnival to give initial reactive assessment of the impact of Budget 2010 from a human rights perspective. As with our last blog carnival, I am using a Wordle to illustrate the main themes of the budget in a word cloud.
Posts from our regular contributors and from guest contributors will tease out the human rights impact of the budget in the areas of social security law; children’s rights; labour rights; the rights of migrants; women and Budget 2010; the rights of those who are disabled; the human rights and equality infrastructure within the State.
There is much analysis of Budget 2010 in the main Irish broadsheets. RTE allows individuals to watch the budget statement in full. Tonight with Vincent Browne had an excellent post budget analysis programme last night. The focus of this show was on the people affected by Budget 2010 with interesting contributions from a wide range of persons.
We are always open to readers’ proposals for guest posts and blog events. You can send us a direct message via our facebook fan page or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/humanrightsblog, or you can email any of the regular contributors.
I do hope you enjoy this blog carnival and hope that it adds a more human rights analysis to Budget 2010 than has to date been provided.
Public sector strikes, the forces of law and order (potentially) rebelling, 12.5% of the labour force unemployed and a host of advocacy groups fighting their corner (see Mairead’s excellent collection of campaigns and pre-budget submissions). The 2010 Estimates of Receipts and Expenditure projects an almost €22 billion short-fall. Spending on health, children, community and rural affairs (and the Irish Secret Service!) are set to fall. Spending in welfare is projected to be up, but with more people relying on Ireland’s social support structures, there is less money to go around. Continue reading “Countdown to Budget 2010”
Following up from Mairead’s post on campaigning groups and Budget 2010, the Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Mrs. Mary Hanafin T.D. has remained tight-lipped about the suspected cuts to the social welfare budget (See the Minister’s interview with Pat Kenny on RTE’s The Frontline here). In a recession, those particularly on the margins will be affected. Government social support for asylum seekers was extraordinarily low in the dizzying heights of the Celtic Tiger, and there is no indication that those within the direct provision system will see this system discontinued or reformed-despite the pure economic benefits that could ensue (see a previous blog post on this here).
The condition of reception centres which cater for some 6,800 asylum seekers has recently been in the news (here and here). Asylum seekers in Sligo complained about the condition of a reception centre, due to a lack of hot water and lack of adequate hygiene facilities.
It is unlikely that Budget 2010 will see any increase in the stipend of €19.10 per adult and €9.60 per child per week. Saint Vincent de Paul has stated that there should be no decrease in this level of payment and “common decency requires the rate to be increased”.
Limerick Mayor, Kevin Kiely has stated that immigrants who cannot afford to pay for themselves should be deported from the country after three months. While it is unclear who precisely Cllr. Kiely was referring to, his comments should be challanged. For those seeking protection from the State, they are legislatively prohibited from working on pain of a fine and/or imprisonment. For those immigrants who had an entitlement to work in Ireland, often in the building industry and services sector, it sends a message that these people are simply a means to an end. Once maximum economic value was gained from these immigrants contribution to the economy, they are to be case aside and sent home. It will be interesting to see if debates on immigration, asylum and welfare protection will come to the fore in the coming weeks, in the lead up to Budget 2010.
I will be live blogging Budget 2010 on HRiI on December 9, 2009. This will be followed by a blog carnival on December 10 2009 (International Human Rights Day) assessing the impact of Budget 2010 on human rights protections in Ireland.
Human Rights in Ireland will be live blogging the Irish Budget 2010 on Wednesday 9 December 2009 (from about 3 p.m. onwards).
On Thursday 10 December 2009, International Human Rights Day, a mini Blog Carnival will assess the human rights impact of Budget 2010.
These postings could potentially include human rights analysis in the following areas:
- Impact on human rights and equality institutions in the State, in particular after the draconian cut backs from Budget 2009;
- The impact of potential cutbacks on economic, social and cultural rights at home (i.e. in the broad sense, from rise in taxes, to cuts in social welfare and other public programmes) and abroad (Irish Aid);
- The right to work and budget measures in place that may assist in this right’s realisation;
- The impact of the budget on sectoral groups: workers; the unemployed; the disabled; single parents; immigrants etc.
- Other budgetary implications for human rights in Ireland.
As well as relying on the in-house expertise of Human Rights in Ireland bloggers, those in the human rights, community, voluntary and other related sectors are invited to submit proposals for commentary that they may wish to make on the budget. Blog posts should be between 400-1,000 words (max).
Those interested may contact me at email@example.com (before 1 December 2009) so that a full Blog Programme can be ready to upload throughout International Human Rights Day.