Green Party pledges improvements for disabled

The Green Party today pledged to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities by increasing the disability payment and implementing the National Disability Strategy.

The Green Party today pledged to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities by increasing the disability payment and implementing the National Disability Strategy.

Speaking at a press conference to launch the Party's proposals in Cork, Green Party leader Trevor Sargent said: "There are about 400,000 people in Ireland with some form of disability.

"There is significant need for improvements in terms of income maintenance and access to services, all of which the Green Party will deliver.

"In 2005 almost one in four of those with a chronic illness or disability were at risk of poverty. Today we witnessed how one disabled couple are struggling to make ends meet, living on welfare payments 40% below the average industrial wage.

"In the prosperous Ireland of today compromising the quality of life for these people is unacceptable."

Cork South Central candidate Dan Boyle TD said: "The Green Party has several social welfare proposals which will benefit the income levels of those who live with a disability.

"Among them is the commitment to benchmark the lowest social welfare payment for a single person at 50% of per person average household income.

"We will also introduce a payment of €40 a week to meet these needs which in return will allow for greater participation and equality."

Cork North Central candidate Cllr Chris O'Leary said: "Access to services is difficult for people with disabilities in our car-dependent society. Investment in disability-friendly public transport services is of paramount importance.

"The Green Party will ensure that all public transport vehicles, as well as buses, are made accessible to people with disabilities."

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