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Government Scraps Green Paper On Disability Reform Amid Fears Of Forced Disability "Proof"

Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys has acknowledged "significant concerns" regarding the proposed reforms outlined in the document.

The government has decided to scrap its Green Paper on disability reform following extensive criticism from advocacy groups.

Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys has acknowledged "significant concerns" regarding the proposed reforms outlined in the document.

Originally drafted by the Minister's Department, the paper suggested restructuring long-term disability benefits through the implementation of a three-tiered system.

This system would have determined payment levels based on the severity of the disability, the associated limitations, and the individual's perceived capacity for employment.

Disability activist Niamh Herbert from Sallins recently told Kfm how uncertainty around the Government’s Green Paper on Disability Reform caused a lot of stress for individuals with a disability.

Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns welcomed the decision.

She said: "The proposals in Minister Humphreys’ Green Paper were ill-judged and highly insulting to disabled people. It should therefore come as little surprise to the Government that there was such a strong backlash to this deeply offensive plan. The Green Paper contained outrageous proposals to replace the disability allowance, invalidity pension and blind pension with a so-called personal support payment."
 
She added: “This would have been divided into three tiers of payments, depending on an individual’s ability to work. Under the plan, disabled people would have been subjected to a medical assessment and put into three separate categories.Those with no capacity to work were to get a slightly higher weekly payment, while others would have been expected to take up training or find a job."

Local cllr Chris Pender said: "As we move forward, it is crucial that any new reforms are developed with direct input from those they aim to serve. We must prioritise transparency and inclusivity in our policy-making processes."

He added: "Our efforts should be focused on removing barriers for all citizens and providing supports that respect the dignity and contributions of every individual, not just those who can work."

 

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