AsIAm, Ireland’s National Autism Charity, has shared our pre-budget submission to Government ahead of October’s 2024 Budget announcement. In the document, we called for a range of measures and actions across the short, medium and longer term to better support its members and their families.
The theme of this year’s submission is ‘Investing in Creating the Same Chance for Ireland’s Autism Community’. It reflects the everyday living experiences and challenges of Autistic people and the wider community living in Irish society, working towards a more accessible and accepting society.
AsIAm calls on the Government to introduce a range of recommendations under the following headings that will help to remove or reduce barriers experienced by Autistic people so that Autistic people have:
The Same Chance to Live a Happy, Healthy Life
Required Actions include:
- Full implementation of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Autism Final Report
- Provide a statutory footing and legislate for the Autism Innovation Strategy within the lifetime of this Government
The Same Chance to Be Accepted and Included in the Community
Required Actions include:
- Invest €15 million to develop and implement the Autism Innovation Strategy, under the remit of the Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Disability at the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth
- Provide €6 million to deliver a ‘one stop shop’ pilot as highlighted in the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Autism Report, and to financially support local Autistic-led groups
The Cost of Not Having the Same Chance
Required Action include:
- Increase Disability Allowance by an additional €25 per week and a commitment to index any future social protection increases to inflation and the cost of living
- Increase the rate of Carers Allowance payment by €25 per week and removing the means test for present and future applicants
- Increase Domiciliary Care Allowance by €25 per week
- Increase the Carer’s Support Grant payment by €150
- Extend the eligibility of the Home Carer Tax Credit to include single working parents.
- Increase the Incapacitated Child Tax Credit from €3,300 to €3,500
- Introduce a Cost of Disability Payment of €20 per week for people with disabilities, as recommended in the Indecon Cost of Disability Report
Adam Harris, CEO AsIAm said, “It is paramount that the Government mitigates some of the financial challenges that families and individuals currently endure. The recent Final Report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Autism outlines a range of immediate steps that can be taken, including the provision of legislative footing for the creation of a national strategy. However, so much more needs to be done to bring our community closer to having the same chance to fully take part as active citizens in Irish society. Implementing the above recommendations would make a real and practical difference for thousands of our community members.
“Society as a whole needs to recognise the barriers Autistic people face, the gaps in supports and the impact these realities have on Autistic people and families. The forecasted budget surpluses for this year and next year create important and much needed opportunities for greater sustained investment towards a more just, accessible and inclusive Ireland for Autistic people, who are both exposed to the rising cost of living and experience significant barriers to enjoying the same chance in employment, education, and standard of living.”
Read the full Pre-Budget Submission here