A call has been for a halt to cutbacks for people with disabilities which include cuts to phone credit, electricity and travel costs.
Fianna Fail Councillor Patrick McGowan described the cuts as an attack on the most vulnerable in society. Speaking at Monday’s meeting of Donegal County Council he said the ‘most marginalised’ were being hit by the cutbacks and he called on the government to intervene immediately.
“I’ve been contacted by the Network for People with Disabilities in Ireland and theydeclan’re making a submission to government about the cuts over the past few months on travel, phone and electricity,” he said.
“The travel cuts equate to around €15 per week. There are also cutbacks for special needs and access for people with disabilities to public buildings. I’m asking they be treated in a fairer manner,” he added.
Independent Cllr Ian McGarvey, said any cuts against the disabled were deeply regrettable.
“It is regrettable the most vulnerable suffer when there are huge pay offs for senior civil servants and bankers every day.
“There are people fretting at home waiting to get into hospitals. The private patient will always be treated, because they can afford it. Anything we can do as a council should be done to help people with disabilities. There is always money for the fat cats in our society, but none for the most marginalised, such as people with disabilities and children who need help with dyslexia,” he added.
Sinn Fein Cllr Mick Quinn said ‘on one hand there was huge bail out for banks and pay offs for senior civil servants’ but on the other, the most marginalised were being targeted by cuts.
“We have to ask ourselves, as a nation, where we are going?,” he said.
Fianna Fail Cllr Rena Donaghey, said the abolition of free transport for people with disabilities was ‘disgraceful’.
“There needs to be more free passes issued,” she said.
Her party colleague, Cllr David Alcorn, said a former council worker, Eddie Crawford, from west Donegal, was highlighting the plight of people with disabilities and deserved whatever support he could get.