Not-for-Profit Sector Funding Crisis

Speaking with Teresa O’Malley on Midwest Radio

Section 39 organisations provide vital services for many thousands of people with disabilities across the state and only receive an element of state funding to do this.  Sinn Féin is using its Private Member’s time in the Dáil this evening to table a motion calling for the Department of An Taoiseach to intensively engage with the not-for-profit sector to develop a long term vision that would allow both the sector and future Governments to provide services through a more integrated approach underpinned by any new legislative changes required with sustainable levels of funding.

This not-for profit sector also provides healthcare for elderly, youth substance abuse, suicide prevention, social inclusion, education, community development and many other services in communities across the state including here in Mayo.  They are the service providers and the support organisations, run by voluntary boards of management, who give of their time and work hard to ensure their communities can avail of the vital services and supports they provide.

There have been cuts to their funding and this has impacted on the organisations and fear that services would cease to exists.  Were these organisations to cease in the morning, the social care sector in Ireland would descend into chaos.

There is a growing sense of crisis in this sector, not least the crisis of financial unsustainability confronting many not-for-profit organisations.  I commend my colleague Caoimhghín Ó Caolán, spokesperson on Disability Rights for bringing this motion to the Dáil.

The Government need to look at the unequal pay and terms that exist between Section 38 and Section 39 Workers, this must end without delay and pay restoration for these workers must be delivered as priority.

Organisations in Mayo affected by this inequality and  include Castlebar Social Services, Cara Iorras, Arthritis Ireland, Foxford Social and Community Company, Mayo Cancer Support Association,  Mayo Centre for Independent Living, Mayo Intercultural Action, Mayo Mental Health Association, Mulranny Day Centre and many others.