Fianna Fáil TD, Michael Moynihan has said that he is shocked but not surprised at how out of touch with the concerns of ordinary people the Tánaiste, Simon Coveney is.

Deputy Moynihan was commenting after an exchange in the Dáil chamber he had with the Tánaiste on the issue of backlogs in the processing of Carer’s Allowance applications.

“The Tánaiste told me to my face that he wasn’t aware of 14 week backlogs, and I’m shocked. If he was dealing wit h ordinary people as part of his job as a TD, in the same way that I am, he would know of the hardship many applicants are facing.

“It seems to me that the Tánaiste sees himself as above these concerns, and wants to focus on big ticket issues and ideas.

“Hundreds of carers across Cork are waiting for their applications to be processed. In the meantime, they are struggling to get by, and to hear that the Tánaiste isn’t aware of their plight must feel like a kick in the stomach.

“No one can expect a Government Minister to know every minute detail of every department, but this is an issue that affects people in every town and village in the country.

“We need to see these backlogs dealt with. Temporary staff need to be reassigned to the Carer’s section from less busy sections of the Department. It’s not acceptable that people have to wait nearly four months for a decision,” concluded Moynihan.