Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection and Social Equality, Willie O’Dea TD says the stark reality of the cut to the Respite Care Grant is hitting home for thousands of carers this week.
The annual payment to those in receipt of the Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit and the Domiciliary Care Allowance was cut by 20% at last December’s budget.
Deputy O’Dea commented: “There are 5,000 people in the country that rely solely on the Respite Care Grant, their weekly payment will reduced by €6.50 a week to €26 per week.
“This cut hits at the heart of disability services and highlights just how removed this Government is from reality. Carers depend on this payment, it is not used for luxury but to pay for food costs or light and heat expenses.
“For the other 72,000 carers who are also in receipt of the Carer’s Allowance, their weekly income will be reduced to €229 per week. This is a very modest sum to live on considering the added care costs for an elderly friend or relative.
“Family Carers provide €4 billion worth of care to the economy each year, over five times what they cost. The Respite Care Grant was paid out last week and the 20% cut will now hit home for the thousands of carers.
“The Government has unfairly targeted the most vulnerable in its last 2 budgets and the cut to the Respite Grant is a prime example of this.”