Fianna Fáil Press Office
Cllr Jack Chambers
Dublin West

28 October 2015

Govt has betrayed the elderly of Dublin West – Chambers

Fianna Fáil General Election candidate Cllr Jack Chambers has accused the Government of betraying the older people of Dublin West following confirmation that almost 84,000 home help hours have been slashed in the area over the last five years.

Cllr Chambers commented, “Figures obtained by Fianna Fáil reveal that Fine Gael and Labour have consistently undermined the home care package for older people in Dublin West over the last five years. In 2010 there were 286,660 home help hours available to Dublin West people but in 2014 this had fallen to 202,809. A further fall in hours is projected for this year.

“This is a cut of over 30% over four years with even more cuts to come. This is nothing short of a disgrace and has a huge impact on the most vulnerable people in society,” he added.

“These cuts are nothing short of a disgrace. The Government committed to increasing home help supports this year, but the official figures made available by the HSE show that at least 24,000 more hours will be lost in Dublin West  this year when compared to 2014. Fine Gael and Labour made promises to get elected which haven’t materialised. Now they are claiming economic recovery but the reality is they are continuing to cut back on vital supports to older people.

The councillor, who is also a medical student pointed out that the home help care package is vital for allowing older people to continue living active lives in their communities while also receiving high quality healthcare and support.

“This is yet another attack on older people. There have already been cuts to the  over 70’s medical cards, to home adaption grants, to the housing aid for older people scheme, to the telephone allowance, the abolition of the bereavement grant, while the fivefold hike in prescription charges has had a serious impact on older people. Enough is enough, it is time to stop” said Cllr Chambers.

“Reducing home help hours is counterproductive and will only lead to greater pressure being placed on our already over-crowded hospitals. The Government should be increasing the number of home help hours, especially when you consider we have an ageing population in Ireland.”