McDonald calls for reversal of cut to respite care grant
Speaking in the Dáil this morning Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD called on the Tánaiste to support the Carers’ Association’s new campaign Give Carers a Break by reversing cuts to the Respite Care Grant.
The Dublin Central TD:
“The updated Stability Programme published this week tells us austerity is not working. Yet again this government has had to revise down growth forecasts and revise upward unemployment projections.
“Right across Europe people are waking up to the reality that austerity is not working. Citizens out there in the real world have been pushed to breaking point and now you tell them that there’s two more years of austerity on the way. Even our own President has called time on austerity.
“The stealth taxes, the family home tax, the cuts to child benefit, the taxing of maternity benefit have a real impact on low and middle incomes families. People need to be given a break.
“If the state is due to meet the deficit targets with a billion or more to spare then this money needs to be used to ease the burden on citizens.
“One of the most savage and mean spirited cuts in the last Budget was the €300 or 19% cut in the Respite Care Grant.
“A cut that was to save the state only €26 million but caused huge hardship to the 70,000 families who receive it.
“People need a break and if you have the opportunity to reverse this cuts to people with disabilities and the people who care for them I can’t for the life of my understand why you won’t do it?”
“It’s not working for the 430,000 or so who are unemployed. It’s not working for the many families out there who have sons or daughters who had to go to Australia or the US to find work.
“It’s not working for the small business struggling to stay afloat because of upward only rents. The reason the programme had to be renegotiated was because it wasn’t working. Your economic approach is dramatically failing ordinary people.”