Taoiseach must face his responsibilities – Kenny
Having raised the matter of respite care in the North West in the Dáil yesterday, Martin Kenny, Sinn Féin TD for Sligo, Leitrim, West Cavan and South Donegal, said today that it is not acceptable that the Taoiseach, when questions regarding Programme for Government commitments are put to him, shrugs and says it is a matter for the HSE or whatever other body on which he can offload his responsibility.
Deputy Kenny said in the Dáil that the Programme for Government pledged the government to support the first ever carers’ strategy published in 2012.
“Respite care is in absolute disarray in my constituency, as it is in many areas nationally. Solas House in Sligo was built a number of years ago to provide respite services to people in the region, but it is now being closed.
“It is being suggested that people hire private carers to come to the home to look after the person in exchange for respite. That is completely inappropriate. Is the Government going to put money into the budget for the direct provision of respite by the HSE to these people?
“The Programme for Government also states that the Government supports an increase in carer's allowance and carer's benefit. Will both of those payments be increased in the upcoming Budget?”
The Taoiseach responded that it was not a matter for the Department of Finance, but the Department of Health and the HSE and sat down.
Deputy Kenny said today:
“The Taoiseach is still doing what he did when he was minister for Health. He is shrugging off responsibility and trying to suggest that the health service chaos and suffering caused by it are nothing to do with him.
“He is so obsessed with his own image that he cannot bring himself take responsibility for the massive problems in our public services. Is he the leader of government or not?”