Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Lisa Chambers says her party has ensured that fairness for families and people on low and middle incomes was prioritised in Budget 2018.
Key elements of the Confidence & Supply arrangement such as childcare provision and additional health spending were delivered this week.
“Childcare continues to be one, if not the biggest issue facing families in Mayo. Fianna Fáil introduced the Early Childhood Care and Education almost a decade ago, and the decision to increase the number of weeks that children are eligible for is a welcome one. However, more progress is needed to ensure that parents, whose children are either too young or too old to qualify for the scheme, are given alternative affordable childcare options. This is something my party will be continuing to press with Minister Zappone over the coming months”, explained Deputy Chambers.
“Our consistent calls for extra investment in the National Treatment Purchase Fund have now resulted in a €55m investment in the scheme. There are almost 3,000 people waiting over a year for an outpatient appointment at Mayo General Hospital, with more than 1,700 of these on the list for over 18 months. We are beginning to see the results of the additional funding allocated to the NTPF from last year, and I am hopeful that this further investment will deliver for the thousands of people languishing on waiting lists here in Mayo.
“While ultimately this Budget is the work of Government, my party has succeeded in using our influence to ensure that our core priorities in the Confidence & Supply arrangement. We secured a 2:1 split on services to tax reductions and are curbing the right wing, US style tax policy approach of Fine Gael. However, the key test of this budget will be delivery, and we will be continuing to monitor progress in health, housing, education and costs for families in the weeks and months ahead”.