Health Minister unable to say whether €20m cuts to disability services will go ahead

Health Minister unable to say whether €20m cuts to disability services will go ahead

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said he still believes cuts to disability services should not go ahead. Picture: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The Health Minister says he "doesn't know" if proposed cuts to voluntary disability services are going ahead.

Stephen Donnelly and his predecessor Simon Harris both said the €20 million cuts would be reversed following the outbreak of Covid-19.

However in the Dáil today, Minister Donnelly was non-committal on whether the cuts would go ahead.

Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall says he needs to get clarity on the situation now.

"It is simply not good enough to say you do not know," said Ms Shortall.

"Either the €20m cut is going ahead to disability services or it is not.

You have given an assurance previously, your predecessor has given an assurance, what is happening on the ground as we speak is that the HSE is telling those organisations that the cuts are going ahead.

In response, Minister Donnelly said he still believes cuts to the services should not go ahead.

The Health Minister said he didn't know whether the planned cuts would be reversed.

"I didn't agree with the cut pre-Covid, I didn't think it was the right thing to do regardless of Covid and I imagine I'm on the record on that and I stand over that.

"It certainly isn't the thing to be doing now with all of the additional strains that the disability services have gone through."

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