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Thread: Dept of Health refuse to act within the law?

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    Politics.ie Member ger12's Avatar
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    Default Dept of Health refuse to act within the law?

    Quite an interview on Morning Ireland with the Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly today. Apparently the Department of Health has been illegally operating the mobility allowance scheme for the past 12 years. The Department has known about this illegality since at least 2008. Despite agreeing in April last year to remove an illegal upper 66 years age limit, it has failed to do so. The Department now believes acting on the Ombudsman's recommendations would create liabilities the State cannot afford.

    Is this acceptable for the Dept of Health to do so (I presume under the Ministers instruction) given the financial circumstances in this Dept or is it wholly unacceptable for the State to refuse to act within the law regardless of circumstances?

    "Minister for Health James Reilly is breaking the law and rejecting international human rights principles by failing to remove an upper age limit to an allowance for people with disabilities, according to a report by Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly."

    Disability age limit illegal - O'Reilly
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...325680270.html

    Department illegally operating mobility allowance scheme - Ombudsman
    http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/1025/omb...allowance.html
    Last edited by ger12; 25th October 2012 at 09:39 AM.
    At 12 weeks the “clump of cells” toes curl, her mouth makes sucking movements, she has a human face and if you prod the tummy she will move in response

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    I can understand why the system was originally developed with the criteria it has: We probably can't afford to extend it in its current form to all age groups, since the likelihood is that a very high proportion of those in their 80s and 90s would qualify, and a fair proportion of those in their 70s too. If these could take taxis round the place rather than having to rely on buses/rail with their free travel pass, the bill would be massive.

    That said, the kind of discrimination that's been drawn here is simply illegal and can't be permitted. In my view, the important failing is that the government (actually, successive governments, since it was the previous govt to whom this was pointed out in 2008), despite knowing this, haven't reviewed and revised the system, to come up with something that's fair and yet still is manageable in terms of cost. This notion of just continuing on with the status quo and hoping the problem will somehow disappear is typical of what's wrong in so many areas of our administration.
    A problem has been identified. Look for a solution. Fix it. Don't just stick your fingers in your ears, go 'tra la la, I can't hear you' and hope it'll magically go away!

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    Politics.ie Member Sync's Avatar
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    It's an assertion by the ombudsman, not a fact. They're not acting illegally until a court says so. Until someone cares enough to roll the dice in court, it's hard to blame Harney, coughlan, Reilly for not volunteering to take money from a small pot and spread it wider.

    People should be adults here and realise that if this costs 10 million, that 10 million isn't going to come from the salary pot of consultants and nurses, it's going to come from some where else in the plan.

    That being said, saying you're not doing it because you can't afford to is moronic. The stance should be that you're not breaking the law, even if you clearly are.
    I'm living in America, and in America, you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business. Now f***ing pay me.

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    Politics.ie Member sic transit's Avatar
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    It's not Reilly, it's the department. She was guessing "he would have had to have known". I heard the interview and found some of her comments more than a little off the cuff for a so-called ombudsman.
    "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." Ernest Hemingway

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    Politics.ie Member ger12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sync View Post
    It's an assertion by the ombudsman, not a fact. They're not acting illegally until a court says so. Until someone cares enough to roll the dice in court, it's hard to blame Harney, coughlan, Reilly for not volunteering to take money from a small pot and spread it wider.

    People should be adults here and realise that if this costs 10 million, that 10 million isn't going to come from the salary pot of consultants and nurses, it's going to come from some where else in the plan.

    That being said, saying you're not doing it because you can't afford to is moronic. The stance should be that you're not breaking the law, even if you clearly are.
    That'll set the State back a couple of quid - a number of JR's.
    At 12 weeks the “clump of cells” toes curl, her mouth makes sucking movements, she has a human face and if you prod the tummy she will move in response

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    Politics.ie Member ger12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sic transit View Post
    It's not Reilly, it's the department. She was guessing "he would have had to have known". I heard the interview and found some of her comments more than a little off the cuff for a so-called ombudsman.
    Are you seriously suggesting that the Minister in Health would have been unaware of a decision such as this?
    At 12 weeks the “clump of cells” toes curl, her mouth makes sucking movements, she has a human face and if you prod the tummy she will move in response

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    Politics.ie Member sic transit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ger12 View Post
    Are you seriously suggesting that the Minister in Health would have been unaware of a decision such as this?
    You seem to be starting off on another bout of Reilly bashing. She was guessing, just as you are. Her discussion was with the department.
    "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." Ernest Hemingway

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    Quote Originally Posted by sic transit View Post
    It's not Reilly, it's the department. She was guessing "he would have had to have known". I heard the interview and found some of her comments more than a little off the cuff for a so-called ombudsman.
    It's his department

    Government ministers are collectively responsible for the actions of the government. Each minister is responsible for the actions of his or her department. Departments of State do not have legal personalities. Actions of departments are carried out under the title of ministers even, as is commonly the case, when the minister has little knowledge of the details of these actions. This contradicts the rule in common law that a person given a statutory power cannot delegate that power.[9] This leads to a phrase in correspondence by government departments, "the Minister has directed me to write", on letters or documents that the minister in question may never have seen.
    Government of Ireland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    We have turned the corner.I commend this Budget to the House. Brian Lenihan, 9 December 2009

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    Politics.ie Member sic transit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCon View Post
    Yeah he's not doing his job. It's a resigning matter, no doubt about it.
    It's an administrative scheme which is run or not run properly in this case, by the department.
    "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." Ernest Hemingway

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    Quote Originally Posted by sic transit View Post
    It's an administrative scheme which is run or not run properly in this case, by the department.
    by the department that Reilly has legal responsibility for.

    Reilly cannot evade responsibility here
    We have turned the corner.I commend this Budget to the House. Brian Lenihan, 9 December 2009

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