Government must immediately bring forward strategy for carers – Adams
Sinn Féin President and TD for Louth and East Meath Gerry Adams today challenged the Taoiseach on the scale of the economic crisis and the impact of the government’s austerity budget on carers, on low and middle income families, on children with special needs and on the elderly.
The Sinn Féin TD asked the Taoiseach, in line with the demand from the Carers Association, to bring forward immediately a strategy to reinstate their ability to care for their loved ones at home.
Mr. Adams said:
“Is it not time Taoiseach, for the truth to be told about the scale of the economic crisis?’
“That is exactly the same question you put to your predecessor last October and I ask it today because of the contradictory statements from your Ministers.
“Minister Varadkar has said there will be a need for a second bailout - you contradicted that. Last week you also repeated the mantra that the state will repay the debt it owes to the EU and the IMF. And that’s almost now €200 billion.
“Taoiseach what of our debt to carers? What of our debt to children with special needs and their parents? What of our debt to 300,000 low paid workers? What of our debt to senior citizens who need long term residential care?
“This morning I asked you to equality-proof government decisions, that is surely the mark of a civilised society that you look at the social consequences of the decisions it takes.
“Taoiseach you rebuked me and told me that I must be doing too many clinics.
“Taoiseach the truth is that the government debt is unsustainable. The truth is that the people in these benches will survive that. The truth also is that others will not survive this.
“Last week you refused to reinstate the Fair Deal. Your government seems intent on impoverishing low paid workers who couldn’t afford a personal agenda.
“You seem to be about robbing children of their special needs assistants.
“So will you give a commitment Taoiseach to honour these people’s rights as citizens; to give them a bailout and to reverse these cuts which are hurting the most vulnerable in our society.”
The Sinn Féin TD concluded:
“Taoiseach I asked you three straight questions about three categories of citizens; senior citizens; children with special need; and those people on low incomes.
“I asked you to reinstate their status as citizens and to reverse the cuts and you didn’t answer the question.
“The Carers Association has asked the government to bring forward immediately a strategy to reinstate their ability to care for their loved ones at home.
“That’s a straight question Taoiseach. Not a history lesson; not a poc fada over the Cooley Mountains. Will you reinstate and give those carers the ability to look after their love ones at home?”