Sinn Féin secure Dáil debate on Home Help cuts
Sinn Féin will use its Private Members time in the Dáil next week to call on the Government to reverse cuts to Home Help hours and Home Care Packages.
Speaking at Leinster House today the party’s Spokesperson on Health, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, said the motion would provide TDs with an opportunity to reject and reverse the savage cuts.
“The latest Government cuts to Home Help and Home Care Packages will see almost 1,000,000 hours withdrawn from the system over a 12 month period. These services are essential to the health, well-being and quality of life of those availing of them. They allow people to live with dignity and independence in their own homes and in their own communities, and are a crucial part of community-based healthcare which helps avoid many thousands of acute hospital inpatient hours.
“Sinn Féin will be calling on Government and Opposition alike to recognise the intrinsic importance of these services and to ensure that they are adequately supported. The party’s motion, which is to be debated on the floor of the Dáil next Tuesday and Wednesday night, calls on the Government to immediately reverse the cuts to Home Help hours and Home Care Packages and to return funding to pre-Budget 2012 levels.” ENDS
Full text of Sinn Féin Private Members motion:
That Dáil Éireann
• Recognising the right of older people to live in dignity and independence, and to age well, in their own homes and communities and for as long as possible
• Knowing that 91% of older people rely on the State Pension and related supports to protect them against risk of poverty
• Understanding that Home Help and Home Care Packages are vital not only to enhancing the quality of life of older people and supporting their preferred wishes, but also to reducing pressures elsewhere in the healthcare system, including acute hospital services
• Commending the work of home helps, home care providers and carers who care for the needs of our older people and those in infirmity
• Acknowledging that the demand for these services, and for additional supports such as Meals-on-Wheels, Day and Respite Care, will continue and will increase as the demographics and complex needs of older people change
• Accepting that the Government, despite the economic challenges, must maintain and improve, by all means possible, the social fabric of Irish society, caring for and cherishing people with disabilities, their families and others in need
• Condemning the recent Government decision to cut up to €1.7m in funding for Home Care Packages and approximately €8m in funding for Home Help hours between now and this year’s end, this equating to some 450,000 hours of support for those in need, and which, further to cuts implemented in January, will see almost 1,000,000 hours of home help hours withdrawn over these 12 months
• Recognising the devastating impact these cuts will have on the quality of life and general well-being of those affected
Calls on the Government:
• To immediately reverse the cuts to Home Help hours and Home Care Packages and to return funding to pre-Budget 2012 levels
• To maintain, develop and enhance home care front line services and to guarantee continued reliable access to community care for older people
• To draft, publish and implement a National Positive Ageing Strategy before December 2013