Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Sligo-Leitrim Cllr. Eamon Scanlon says more needs to be done to support carers in the community. Carers play a vital role in looking after vulnerable and sick people, yet they have not been recognised or rewarded by this Government. In fact, they were one of the first groups to be hit when Fine Gael and Labour introduced a 20% cut in the respite carer grant in the 2013 Budget.
Cllr. Scanlon commented, “While I welcome the restoration of the respite carer grant, which was sanctioned in the last Budget, the amount of damage which was done as a result of this mean cut cannot be underestimated. Carers provide essential services to the State and ask for very little in return. In fact, the work they undertake would cost significantly more if the State had to rely on outside providers. However, this fact has barely been recognised by this Government.
“Hundreds of carers across the North West struggle, not only financially, but also emotionally, to cope with the workload that they have taken on. Many carers have decided to spend their life looking after a family member or loved one but find it hard to cope on their own. Unfortunately, up until last October, these carers had their much needed respite grant cut, which increased the stress they were under.
“I’ve met with carers in Sligo and Leitrim who feel isolated in their own homes. They are fulfilling a vital role in the care of their loved ones but are not getting the necessary supports. In many instances they feel taken for granted by the State.
“This needs to change. Fianna Fáil wants to ensure that carers have the support that they need. We recognise the essential role they play and the huge savings that are made as a result of their tireless work. We want to make sure that carers are properly supported and we have published a range of measures designed to improve the lives of carers across the North West and the country”.