Taoiseach response on health and community strikes a cop out

Ivana Bacik TD
26 September 2023
  • Labour back SIPTU, Fórsa and INMO industrial action

Labour leader Ivana Bacik has condemned Government for failing to address the crisis in the community and voluntary care sector.

During Leaders’ Questions today (September 26th), Deputy Bacik characterised the Taoiseach and his Government’s response to community and voluntary sector workers strike as a cop out.

Deputy Bacik said:

“It’s outrageous to hear the Taoiseach attempt to shirk responsibility for workers in our care service. In response to questioning by me today in the Dáil, the Taoiseach conceded that his Government are indeed the pay master, and so do have the capability to restore the link between these workers and the vital care services they provide to the State.

“It’s even more galling when we note that it is almost one year since this Government passed a Labour Party motion to fund pay rises for workers in the care sector. But what has been done since then? Nothing.

“Creaking care services are held together by staff who now face another winter of spiralling household costs, while wages stagnate. These are the workers who provide the most valuable care services to our loved ones.

“There’s hardly a household in Ireland that these workers don’t touch – whether it’s caring for an older person in their home, aiding those in insecure housing or homelessness, people who have experienced sexual assault. It is utterly outrageous that this conservative coalition are failing to pay them fairly.

“A ‘let them eat cake’ approach to a collapsing care system is not good enough. In the past seven days, this Government has delayed a crucial referendum to recognise care and the value of care in our constitution.

“Those working in the voluntary and community care services are of the utmost importance to us all. They deserve decent terms and conditions. But the attitude displayed by the Taoiseach today is one of disdain. It’s not good enough and it’s going to put vulnerable people in our communities at risk.”

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