Disabled man: Cuts will see me homeless

A cerebral palsy sufferer fears he will be made homeless or forced to return to residential care if his mobility allowance is axed.

Liam Conlon, from Carew Park in Limerick, uses the allowance to help pay the rent on his bungalow in Dooradoyle, where he has lived for the last 18 months.

The 37-year-old is confined to a wheelchair and insists his €200 allowance is “keeping a roof over his head”.

“Come next month I am going to have to tell my landlord that I can’t afford the €650 rent,” he said.

At present, he is in receipt of €440 rent allowance and uses his mobility grant of €208.50 to pay the rest of his rent.

“I don’t have the pleasure of phoning taxis anymore, I use the money to cover my rent,” he explained.

Mr Conlon said he uses his weekly disability allowance of €196.80 to pay for food, utility bills, and other transport costs.

“I lived in residential care for three years and that was costing the State a phenomenal amount of money. I am saving the State a lot of money by coming out of residential care,” he said.

“The bottom line is I am looking at homelessness or the threat of residential care again because I won’t be able to afford my rent, but I don’t want to go back into care.”

The decision by the Department of Health to axe the allowance and motorised transport grant has prompted an angry reaction from disability support groups.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny defended the decision to cut what he says was an “illegal and obsolete” scheme of grants for people with disabilities.


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