Speaking during Leaders Questions yesterday Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD called on Fine Gael and Labour to reverse the cut to the Respite Care Grant describing it as wrong, unjustifiable, and mean spirited.
Deputy McDonald said:
“Budget 2013 has certainly failed the fairness test. It is a betrayal of those who believed Labour’s promises and voted for the party in the last election. It’s an all-out attack on families, children, the elderly and in particular women.
“Cuts to Child Benefit, to Maternity Benefit and to the Back to School allowance are shocking to me as a mother. However the cut to the Respite Care Grant is particularly despicable.
“Labour and Fine Gael have cut €325 from more than 77,000 families in the country, 20,000 of whom receive no other support from the state for providing full-time care for a family member. Carers protect and care for the most vulnerable in society, in some cases children with severe disabilities.
“For government to hit families of children with disabilities with the double whammy of cuts to Child Benefit and cuts to the Respite Care Grant makes a mockery of the Children’s Referendum.
“The cut is wrong and it needs to be stopped now. Labour and Fine Gael could have truly taxed wealth, but they choose not to. Labour protected the wealthy and no amount of spin will change that.
“The cut to the Respite Carer’s Grant will be debated in the Dáil next week, which provides the government with an opportunity to withdraw this penny-pinching cut. Cutting respite care is wrong, it’s unjustifiable, its mean spirited and it should be reversed.” ENDS