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Adams criticises government cut to respite carers

12 June, 2013 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams TD, has accused the government of trampling on the rights of citizens through its cuts for respite carers which come into effect this week.

The Sinn Féin leader raised the issue in the Dáil and accused the government of
“inflicting great hardship on tens of thousands of families”.

Teachta Adams said:
“My understanding of a republic, is a state in which citizens have fundamental rights. Yet every day we hear of citizens whose rights are being trampled upon by the government.

“This week carers will begin receiving the reduced respite care grant. In the last budget the government imposed a significant cut of 20% to the respite care grant for some 77,000 carers and their loved ones. Around another 20,000 of the family carers who provide full time care receive no other monies at all from the state.

“These cuts to family income will cause real hardship. Families are at their wits end worry about how they will pay their bills and put food on the table and look after their vulnerable relative.

“This cut doesn’t make economic sense. Carers save the state over four billion euro each year. If those they care for are pushed into full-time residential care that will cost the state several times what it is saving.

“This government thinks nothing of giving billions to bad banks or breaking its own rules on the payment of special advisors yet it will take €26 million from the pockets of carers.

“The government should be ashamed of itself for placing the burden of austerity on carers and those they care for.

“It is an approach that is reflective of a government which seeks to protect the golden circles. It’s reflective of a government which simply doesn’t value carers or the caring professions.

“These families have nothing left to give. It’s a petty, mean spirited unfair cut and it should be reversed.”

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