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Scrapping of National Carers’ Strategy shows Government has no concept of planning for people’s needs – Ó Caoláin

6 March, 2009 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD


Sinn Féin Dáil leader and spokesperson on Health & Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has called for the reversal of the Government decision not to publish the long-promised National Carers' Strategy. He described the decision as appalling and said it showed the Government has no concept of planning for people's needs.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"The Taoiseach and his Cabinet colleagues are urging people to unite in support of economic recovery and to make collective efforts in the national interest yet they deliver this insult to 160,000 family carers whose work in the home saves the State many hundreds of millions of euros every year.

"The decision to scrap the National Carers' Strategy is in direct breach of the Towards 2016 Agreement and reneges on the commitment in the Programme for Government to 'ensure a National Carers' Strategy focusing on supporting informal family carers in the community will be developed by the end of 2007'.

"This appalling decision shows clearly that the Fianna Fáil-Green Government has no real concept of planning for people's needs. They see the Strategy only in terms of euros and cents and because of the collapse in public finances they scrap it altogether. They forget that a Strategy will still be needed - in fact needed more than ever because of our ageing population - when the public finances eventually recover.

"Across this State dedicated people are looking after family members in the home with inadequate support from the State. Continued lack of adequate support will lead to worsening health for both carers and cared-for, resulting in much greater healthcare costs to the State.

"The Government should now heed the call of carers' organisations, publish the Strategy, assess what pay elements are feasible and proceed with all non-pay elements." ENDS

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