On Tuesday, I had a Priority Parliamentary Question with the Department of Health and I asked whether the Ministers agreed that persons with disabilities should have a right to a Personal Assistant Service as outlined in Article 19 of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Unfortunately, Minister Finian McGrath refused to commit to legislation for the Optional Protocol guaranteeing such a right.
The Minister will be aware that in 2018, 2,535 people were in receipt of a personal assistance service. In this regard, the total number of hours was 1.6 million, which is an average of 1.73 hours per day per person in receipt of personal assistance. The Minister will also be aware that we have received extensive briefings in the past number of months from Independent Living Movement Ireland, as I am sure the Minister has as well.
Deputy Broughan was recently contacted by an accountancy practice who wants to raise awareness about the right of parents of incapacitated children to a tax credit. The practice informed Deputy Broughan that they had worked on some cases where families were unknowingly entitled to the Incapacitated Child Tax Credit and received back-dated payments.