Tuesday 12th October 2021, NCBI welcomes some of the announcements made in Budget 2022 today but feels overall the measures fall far short of Minister Donohoe’s commitment that this Budget’s theme is to invest in everyone’s future.
June Tinsley, NCBI Head of Advocacy and Communications said “this Budget will not reduce the many structural barriers preventing people who are blind or vision impaired from fully participating in society. Issues around inclusion and accessibility to built environment and digital world will remain as will their heightened risk of living in poverty. The €5 increase in basic social welfare payments is not enough to offset the increased cost of living. But efforts to improve their educational experience with the increase in availability of SNAs in schools and ICT grants to school are welcomed. So too is the pilot basic income guarantee scheme for artists as fear of further poverty stifled creativity and opportunities.”
NCBI awaits more detail on the €105m allocated for disability services but believes it too falls far short of what is outlined in the Disability Capacity Review report to ensure disability services can meet current and future demands.
The investment of €250m to tackle public health waiting lists is welcome given that ophthalmology outpatients has one of the longest waiting lists and delays in receiving diagnosis or treatment can lead to unnecessary blindness.
See how Budget 2022 affects you: Budget 2022 Highlights