FF betray Carers in Dáil Vote

27 June 2019

Labour Health spokesperson Alan Kelly has slammed Fianna Fáil for betraying carers in a Dáil vote today on the Labour Party motion calling for increased supports for family carers. Despite pledging support for it last night, Fianna Fáíl today performed a massive u-turn by supporting the Government amendment, and then voting down the amended motion they had just supported.

Every FF TD that spoke in the debate on Wednesday night supported the Labour Party motion, and called on the Government to accept it.

Deputy Kelly said:

“I am deeply surprised that Fianna Fáil today sided with Fine Gael in a massive u-turn to vote down a common-sense motion from the Labour Party that called for increased supports for family Carer’s in Budget 2020 and a new National Carer’s Strategy.

“This is despite numerous FF TDs when speaking in the private members time on Wednesday night saying they would support the motion and calling for the Government to accept it. The FF Social Protection spokesperson Willie O’Dea specifically said on the record ‘I think the Government should accept the motion which we will support.’

“It makes no sense that they would say positive things on Wednesday but then vote against it on Thursday. The Labour Party motion on Carer’s called for:

  • A New National Carer’s Strategy
  • Major reforms to the means test for Carer’s Allowance with increases to the income disregard and other changes
  • Carer’s Allowance to be made tax exempt like other social welfare means tested allowances
  • Adequate funding for home care and home supports
  • A replacement mobility allowance and motorised transport grant
  • Increased funding for home adaptation grants
  • Extended GP visit cards
  • An increase in the hours that Carer’s can work per week from 15 to 18.5 hours

“All of these measures would make a substantial difference to the lives of hundreds of thousands of carers and the people they support.

“I am shocked that after professing support for the motion that Fianna Fáil would speak out of both sides of its mouth on this issue. They either support improvements for carers or they don’t. By siding with Fine Gael in the Dáil on this they have betrayed thousands of carers in Ireland.”

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