Family carers in crisis.

26 November 2018

Labour Party Spokesperson on Social Protection, Willie Penrose TD, has called on the government to ring-fence funding for Phase 2 of the National Carers’ Strategy for the period 2019 to 2022.

Commenting today Deputy Penrose said;

“In Ireland today, all home care supports are discretionary and, therefore, the service is a resource rather than needs-led. This equates to a system which is inequitable, inconsistent and flawed.

“I understand that a statutory entitlement to home care is coming down the tracks but that is still years away. Family carers cannot afford to wait that long; they need support now.

“Thousands of family carers remain in crisis and they are battling all the time against a system that requires carers’ allowance recipients to provide full-time care; a minimum of 35 hours a week. They receive just €16 more than recipients of the jobseeker’s allowance for doing a minimum of 35 hours per week.

“I am asking the Government to invest in home care now. For too long, home care has been underfunded, inconsistent and inequitable, leaving families with little choice but to choose care homes, over home care. In its pre-budget submission, Family Carers Ireland called for an investment of €102 million in order to increase the number of home support hours by 25%, from €17.09 million to €21.4 million.

“Ireland’s first National Carers’ Strategy was published in 2012. The strategy has now come to the end of its timeline and I am calling for ring-fenced funding to be provided for Phase 2 of the National Carers’ Strategy for the period 2019 to 2022.

“Family carers are propping up our struggling health service. They save our State €10 billion each year. The question should not be whether we can afford to support them but whether we can afford not to.”

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