Fianna Fáil Senator Mary White has called on the Minster for Social Protection Joan Burton to do the right thing and reverse the ‘devastating cut’ to the Respite Care Grant.
Speaking after she attended a protest of carers outside Leinster House today (Friday, 07 December), Senator White said the cut amounts to yet another attack on people with disabilities and their families.
 “This harrowing cut is plunging our most vulnerable citizens into even more hardship and it must be reversed. 20% is a monumental slash to a grant that is a crucial form of income for many carers,” the Dublin Senator said.
“I just met a carer who herself is wheelchair bound, who carers for her mother who has Parkinsons and is also in a wheelchair.  She told me that she has reached the stage where she would ‘sell her soul’ for support.
“There are close to 5,000 people across the country who are solely dependent on the Respite Care Grant and get no other support from the State. They will be hit extremely hard by this sharp and sudden reduction in their income.
“The 77,000 carers across the country, whose sterling efforts in looking after those with disabilities, save the State a considerable sum.  And yet they have been cruelly neglected by this Government.
“These cuts, in conjunction with the attack on home help hours, will push even more people into desperate circumstances and the result will be that many people with disabilities will be forced to give up their independence and will have nowhere to go but the already overburdened hospital system.
“This budget measure is unjustified whatever way you look at it. I am urging Minister Burton to do the right thing and reverse it immediately.”