Taoiseach’s Republic of Opportunity doesn’t extend to people with disabilities claims West Cork TD

Margaret Murphy O’Mahony

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Disability, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony TD has said that the latest SILC data demonstrates that the Taoiseach Varadkar’s ‘Republic of Opportunity’ clearly doesn’t extend to people with a disability.

Deputy Murphy O’Mahony was commenting after the latest SILC data showed an increase in the at-risk of poverty rate and consistent poverty rate for those not at work due to an illness or a disability.

“The latest SILC data is disheartening as it shows that the at risk of poverty rate and the consistent poverty rate for those not at work due to an illness or a disability has increased despite the constant spin from the Government that everything is hunky dory as a result of their efforts.

In 2014 the at-risk of poverty rate for this household type was 25.2%. This rose to 34.8% in 2015 and the latest SILC data showed that it increased again in 2016 to 39.1%. The consistent poverty rate also recorded an increase rising from 14.4% in 2014, to 22.4% in 2015 and 26.3% in 2016.’

“The data underscores that people with a disability are not feeling the effects of the economic recovery and, in fact, it appears that for many their situation is worsening.

“It is imperative that the Government gets to grips with this issue and addresses the reasons why the at-risk and consistent rates of poverty for this cohort type are worsening.

“If the Taoiseach and his Government are serious about making Ireland a ‘Republic of Opportunity’ then they need to ensure that this recovery is felt by all sections of society and not just the few,” concluded Murphy O’Mahony.

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