The Rehabilitative Training Allowance for people with disabilities should be restored as a matter of urgency, according to Galway East TD and Minister for Rural Affairs Seán Canney.
The weekly allowance of €31.80 is currently being paid to 3,700 trainees, but according to Minister Canney, 400 students and new entrants will not be paid from September following a decision taken by the HSE in July to end the support.
While the removal of the allowance was intended to fund more daycare places. However Minister Canney said that in the attempt to “resolve one area of difficulty, we have created another”.
He said the allowance provides “vital support” for those wishing to take programmes aimed at “equipping them with the skills necessary” for employment or further education. “The cut places an additional burden on students and their families, many of whom have no other training options available to them,” he said.
The Rehab Group, the Irish Wheelchair Association, the Central Remedial Clinic, the Disability Federation of Ireland, Aontas, Inclusion Ireland and AsIAm, supported by the Irish Association of Social Workers, have come together to campaign for the allowance’s restoration. Minister Canney said he had written to the Minister for Health Simon Harris and the Minister of State for Disability Issues, Finian McGrath, asking for the allowance to be restored.