Fianna Fáil warns that 100,000 hours of help for people with disabilities could be cut in 2016

HSE's personal assistance plan covers activities outside the home, such as shopping, medical appointments, and socialising

Fianna Fáil warns that 100,000 hours of help for people with disabilities could be cut in 2016

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The Opposition is warning that 100,000 hours of vital help for people with disabilities will face the axe this year.

Fianna Fáil claims the HSE's plan for personal assistance has a target of 1.3 million hours for 2016 - compared to 1.4 million supplied in 2015.

The assistance covers activities outside the home, such as shopping, medical appointments, and socialising.

The hours are allocated based on people's needs.

However Fianna Fáil says some recipients are receiving as little as four hours per week.

The party's spokesperson on disability, Colm Keaveney, says the cuts will affect not only those living with disabilities but also their families.

He says there is a "hidden army of carers... whose actions have gone unrecognised".

Deputy Keaveney also says "the PA service provides a critical support, empowering people with disabilities to live more fulfilling lives and to enjoy more rewarding careers.

"However many of those who need the service only get four hours of assistance a week and have to squeeze any activity outside the home - shopping, medical appointments, and socialising - into those four hours," he added.