Fianna Fáil TD for Tipperary Jackie Cahill has welcomed the one million additional home support hours announced in Budget 2020 but is warning that more needs to be done to tackle long waiting lists.

“I know that the Fianna Fáil negotiating team pushed hard to secure additional home help supports and the additional one million hours will go some way towards easing waiting times. However, this government is simply not serious about addressing this issue. It has allowed the home supports crisis escalate over the past few years.

“Only last month I highlighted a 770% increase in the number of people in Tipperary and East Limerick on the list for home care supports. In March, 17 people were on the waiting list, but that jumped to 148 by the end of July.

“As we head into winter, there are real concerns that these waiting times will increase further, and the additional support hours won’t kick in until January.

“Fianna Fáil introduced the Home Care Package in 2006 and fully appreciates its value. Not only does it save the State money, it is also the preferred choice for older people and their families and it’s widely acknowledged that people live longer and healthier lives in their own surroundings.

“These additional hours are a step in the right direction but we need to see more emphasis placed on rolling out home supports over the coming months and years”, concluded Deputy Cahill.