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Disappointing response from Tánaiste on Respite Care Grant – Cllr Sarah Holland

8 June, 2015 - by Sarah Holland

Sinn Féin Cllr Sarah Holland has expressed disappointment at the lacklustre response from the Tánaiste on reinstating the Respite Care Grant.

Cllr Holland said

“My motion [in the December council meeting] was asking the council to support the Carers Association and calling on the Minister for Social Protection to amend the Social Welfare Bill to make provision for the restoration of the Respite Care Grant.  It was passed with unanimous cross-party support.

“We then wrote to the Minister and her response was a watery dismissal.

“She parroted the same line about “core benefits” and basically said that carers should count themselves lucky they get anything at all, as “such an annual payment, in a single lump sum with no requirement to satisfy a means test, is not available to any other group”.

“According to the Carers Association, carers save the state €4billion per annum, so the €29 million it would cost to restore this grant is a drop in the ocean in comparison.

“This Government have had difficult decisions to make, and none have favoured the most vulnerable in our society.

“Carers are on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and need this respite care grant.  Cutting it was callous and we call on the Government to look at restoring it.”

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