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Restore the respite care grant – Ó Snodaigh and McDonald

22 October, 2014

Sinn Féin TD’s Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Mary Lou McDonald today invited carer representative groups to the Dáil to make a case for the restoration of the Respite Care Grant. The carer representative groups were given the opportunity to address TD’s and Senators from all political parties and make their case for the restoration of the €325 grant.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh stated:

“Myself and my colleague Mary Lou McDonald invited these groups all of whom represent and/or work to support carers, people with disabilities and older people.  

“Carers, because of the nature of their role in society, don’t often get the chance to take to the streets in protest or kick up a fuss. But that doesn’t mean it’s ok to ignore them.

“The government had many options in terms of trying to reverse some of the worst impacts of successive austerity budgets. Restoring the Respite Care Grant should have been a priority. What we are saying is that it is not too late. In the overall scheme of things we are not talking about a huge sum of money – just €29.6 million – out of a budget of billions.

“We are calling on the Taoiseach and the Minister for Social Protection to reverse this cut and to restore the respite care grant in full.”

Deputy McDonald said:

“Carers are among the hardest-working groups in society. The work they do is invaluable to their families and communities and their work saves the state millions of euro year in year out.

“Instead of appropriately recognising and rewarding this contribution the government has instead cut benefits, including the Respite Care Grant. The meagre €5.00 extra in children’s allowance won’t make up for that.

“Today we heard testimonies from parents and carers who can’t afford to heat their homes, can’t afford to buy new shoes for their children and who haven’t been able to go on a family holiday for years. The Respite Care Grant is used by families to pay for necessities as well as treats and its cut has caused enormous hardship for thousands of families.”

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