Deputy Costello – I welcome the recent news of the significant overhaul of the disability payment system. Ms Niamh Ní Hoireabhaird, a disability activist from Clane, wrote in the Irish Independent last week about how she had been excitedly planning her wedding only to find out she was going to lose her disability allowance upon getting married. As part of this overhaul, will the Government commit to removing the stipulation that recipients of disability allowance have their allowance reduced if they get married, enter a civil partnership or cohabit? It is deeply unfair on recipients of disability allowance. It limits their autonomy and forces them to depend on a partner. That flies in the face of the independent life and autonomy we should be providing, regardless of other circumstances.
Minister Rabbitte –
I thank the Deputy for raising the matter. The Minister for Social Protection, Deputy Humphreys, met yesterday with many of the disability organisations and is reviewing a lot of the assessment criteria for disability allowances. I am sure the issue the Deputy has raised is under consideration by the Minister.