The government should back up the rhetoric from yesterday’s ‘Spring Statement’ by immediately restoring the Respite Care Grant to €1,700 in time for the annual payment due in the first week of June to 77,000 carers around the country, according to Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath.
The Respite Care Grant is an annual payment to carers and the 2015 payment is due in the first week of June. The rate was cut by €325 from €1,700 to €1,375 in Budget 2013.
Deputy McGrath commented, “Yesterday’s ‘Spring Statement’ was an exercise in the government blowing their own trumpet and telling us all how good things now are in the economy. During my response in the Dáil, I suggested to Ministers Howlin and Noonan that they should bring forward legislation to reinstate the €325 cut in the Respite Care Grant in time for the 2015 payment due in early June. Reversing this cut immediately and reinstating the grant to the original €1,700 per annum in time for the June payment would be a very welcome gesture from government to 77,000 carers all over Ireland.
“With the annual grant due to be paid in just five weeks’ time, this is a perfect opportunity for the government to demonstrate that those most in need will benefit from the economic recovery. It would send a clear signal to 77,000 carers that their work is deeply appreciated by everyone in society. The cut to the grant in Budget 2013 saved €26 million per annum. With the government now talking about having up to €1.5 billion to give back in October’s budget, I don’t think anyone would quibble with the reinstatement of the Respite Care Grant to €1,700 with immediate effect.
“In view of the extraordinary and invaluable work performed by carers all over Ireland every day, I am calling on the government to bring forward legislation next week to reinstate the grant to €1,700 for the June 2015 payment.”