Government needs to do honourable thing and reverse cut to Respite Care Grant – Daly

2,527 carers in Kerry affected

Kerry Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly, has called on the Government to do the honourable thing and immediately reverse the cut to the Respite Care Grant.

“The cut to the respite care grant was particularly cruel and callous,” said Senator Daly.

“I can’t even begin to explain how wrong this cut is. There are 2,527 people in Kerry who rely on the Respite Care Grant, how can this be justified?”

Fianna Fáil will this week bring forward substantial amendments to the Social Welfare Bill and put pressure on the government to reverse the cuts to the Respite Care Grant.

“The cut of 20% to this payment means the 2,527 carers in Kerry will be down €6.50 to €26 a week. This could be the difference between having the heating on or eating a warm meal. This cut hits at the heart of Disability Services and shows just how removed the Labour Party is from reality. Carers don’t use the payment for holidays, they use it to pay bills and put food on the table, in fact 211 people in Kerry rely solely on the Respite Care Grant.

“For the 2,316 carers in Kerry who are in receipt of the Carers’ Allowance, their weekly income will now be reduced to €229 per week. When you consider fuel costs, light and heat and food, this is a very modest sum to live on in what is a full-time job. To hear Minister Pat Rabbitte describe the cut to the Respite Care Grant as ‘modest’ is particularly galling. The Minister should perhaps put himself into the shoes of a carer and try to survive on the allowance, we would see then if it is still ‘modest’.

“Family Carers provide €4 billion worth of care to the economy each year, over five times what they cost.

“This cut makes no sense at any level. If the Labour Party is to have any relevance in this Government, it must do the honourable thing by standing by these Carers and intervening to reverse these cruel cuts.”

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