MOS Finian McGrath opening remarks at Pre Budget Forum

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 Opening Remarks


Finian McGrath, T.D

Minister of State with special responsibility for Disabilities

At the Pre Budget 2019 Forum
  Dublin Castle


Friday 20th July 2018

  • Good morning everyone. I am very pleased to be attending the Department’s Pre-Budget Forum again this year. 
  • Since my appointment as Minister for Disabilities my primary objective has been to improve the lives of people with disabilities in a real and practical way.  
  • Attaining better outcomes for people with disabilities through the provision of appropriate income supports and employment services are among the key areas that I have responsibility for within the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
  • Over €4.1 billion, or roughly one euro out of every five of the Department’s spending, will be on Illness, Disability and Carer’s schemes this year. 
  • Many of us have family members, friends or colleagues with disabilities, and in an ageing Society we are all likely to live to an age when we will experience disability ourselves.


  • People with disabilities have a right to participate in society to the fullest extent possible and to be encouraged and supported in making their own choices and decisions. This is particularly important in the area of employment. We know that people with disabilities want to work. The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection identified in their 2015 Survey of Disability Allowance recipients, that 43% of those surveyed would be interested in working either full or part time.
  • The recently launched Ability programme, which provides funding of just under €16m to fund 27 projects, will provide supports and assistance to more than 2,600 young people with disabilities aged between 15 to 29 years old.
  • The Ability programme will promote employment prospects and meaningful social roles for young people with disabilities and in particular, young people who are distant from the labour market, using a range of person-centred supports. It is this approach, placing the person at the centre of the process that will ensure that people with disabilities can achieve their employment ambitions.
  • This programme together with other completed actions, such as the Benefit of Work Estimator now available on the Department’s website, as part of Department’s commitments under the National Disability Inclusion Strategy and the Comprehensive Employment Strategy, show that we are beginning to move in the right direction.  
  • I am committed to developing a momentum that will ensure that the barriers to participation for people with disabilities will be addressed and that appropriate supports will be identified and provided.
  • Earlier this week, I launched the Report of the Task Force on Personalised Budgets which is another example of ensuring that the person with a disability is at the centre of the decision making process.
  • I will, with your support and the support of this Department and other Government Departments, continue to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in society and foster a culture of participation and a focus on capacity.


  • Finally, let me thank you for your contribution here today. I will be attending the ‘Supporting People with Disabilities and Carers’ workshop and I look forward to hearing the ideas and proposals discussed.



Last modified:20/07/2018