Government proven untrustworthy on Mental Health – Buckley
Sinn Féin deputy Mental Health spokesperson Pat Buckley TD has said the government cannot be trusted on mental health having misled the public on funding measures two budgets in a row.
Deputy Buckley was responding in the Dáil to news that Minister Daly had clarified only €15 million of an additional €35 million in funding announced on Tuesday for 2018 was new money.
Deputy Buckley said:
“We received very little detail on budget day. €35 million in funding was announced. However, the Government didn’t clarify how much is new money, as €20 million of the €35 million announced last year was to be held until 2018. All evening, different stories were buzzing about. No detail was given at the press conference by the Health Minister that evening. On Budget night, I wrote to the Minister’s office asking for clarification. No response has been received as of lunch time today.
“Instead of telling the Dáil, the government kept up the charade of €35 million of new money until yesterday afternoon when it finally admitted to some but not to the Dáil or publically that €20 million of the claimed new money was actually announced in Budget 2017.
“Mental Health Reform made clear that at least €35 million was needed each year just for Vision for Change but that policy is 11 years old and there are other needed new developments.
“Last year’s budget barely allowed the HSE to stand still, we need to ensure proper funding for 2018, even €35 million is too low. New money has been promised for next year now the government has been caught out. It is like closing the gate after the horse is bolted.
“This government clearly cannot be trusted. You have tried to mislead us all for two years straight. Nothing they say about funding can be taken seriously because they have shown they do not take mental health seriously at all.”