Budget 2018: Summary of key points for people with blindness or vision impairment

Income

 

  • Telephone allowance of €2.50/week for those on fuel allowance and living alone allowance. No discussion of what kind of phone this would cover.
  • Increase in Disability Payments of €5/week
  • Fuel allowance season extended by 1 week.

 

 

Health

 

  • Prescription charge for those on the medical card reduced to €2, monthly cap reduced to €20.
  • Monthly threshold for Drug payment scheme reduced from €144 to €134.
  • €55 million increase in the National Treatment Purchase Fund.
  • €90 Million for an access plan to help people access care.
  • €15 Million for transition programmes for school leavers with disabilities
  • 1,800 front-line health service personnel to be recruited across the acute, mental health, disability, primary and community care sectors

 

Housing

 

  • Up to 400 homes to be provided in 2018 for people with specific needs.
  • Funding for housing adaptation grants increased to €53 million to fund up to 11,000 grants for people with disabilities and older people.

 

  • 3,800 new social houses to be built in 2018 by approved housing bodies and local authorities.
  • €149m on the Housing Assistance Payment Scheme.

 

Other

 

  • €3 million in funding for the Decision Support Service, a key part of the Assisted Decision Making Act 2015.
  • €1 million additional funding to the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme.