New Gibraltar Democracy, the political party led by lawyer Charles Gomez has urged the public to support the Disability Society’s call for urgent action to “put in place adequate facilities for disabled citizens and their families”.

The long standing crisis at the heart of care services for the disabled in Gibraltar is not a legitimate subject for political point scoring, said the party.

“The current situation where our most vulnerable fellow citizens are subjected to such neglect brings shame on us all individually as well as collectively and puts in doubt our claim to be a caring society,” it said adding that the Government should not “apply its usual propaganda techniques to the issue”. The treatment of the disabled in Gibraltar is a disgrace which cannot be resolved with PR, it said.

“For many years families of affected individuals have lived in fear of voicing their complaints in case they should be black listed by the powers that be in a system that provides benefits and facilities on an almost ad hoc basis. Now that they have finally summoned up the courage to speak out, it is essential that they have society’s total support and commitment. Living as they do in conditions of stress that most other people do not have to endure the decision by the members of the Disability Society to speak out shows their quality as individuals and the extent to which social services have failed,” said the NGD.

The NGD say that currently, single adult disabled persons receive a monthly payment of only £156.60. Many then rely on the care of family members, sometimes elderly parents, or younger family members, it said.

“Although the Social Services Agency has a legal duty under the Social Services Agency Ordinance 2002 to provide a comprehensive social service for the community, it has so far failed to guarantee basic respite care facilities with the result that many families are not only struggling financially but are also deprived of the help that they need to cope with the sometimes exhausting task of caring for affected family members.”


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Charles Gomez

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