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Taoiseach must immediately implement measures to help carers in crisis - Gerry Adams TD

6 December, 2017 - by Gerry Adams

At Leaders Questions today, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD told Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that last night's RTÉ programme 'Carers in Crisis' has shown how the government is profoundly failing citizens with disabilities and their carers.

Teachta Adams urged the Taoiseach to immediately implement measures to deal with the crisis.

Mr Adams said;

"This harrowing programme focused on family members who are providing care for their loved ones. It highlighted the fact that your government is failing those in need of care in a profound way.

"It also painted a stark picture of the incredible stress and distress experienced by many families who struggle to provide this care with little or no support from the state. Today 1 in 20 people is a family carer. That is set to rise to 1 in 5 by 2030.

"According to Family Carers Ireland, they provide 10 billion euros in unpaid care each year. According to Census data, there are 3,800 young carers below the age of 15 and 29,311 over the age of 65.

"The human cost of the state’s failures in this area was laid bare for all to see last night.

"You as Taoiseach have a duty to ensure that such citizens, and their families, have the necessary supports and services. You are not doing that.

"An increase in respite care hours by 20% would cost 13 million euro. The provision of 2 million additional home help hours and 2,500 extra homecare packages would cost 72 million euro.

"These modest proposals would make a big difference in the lives of these citizens.

"I am asking you today to take these proposals and implement them as a matter of urgency. Will you do that?"

Speaking following the exchange, Mr Adams said;

"The Taoiseach said he will come back to me on my proposals. I would urge him to do so quickly. Every day is nightmarish struggle for these citizens. They shouldn't haven't to wait any longer for the services and supports to which they are entitled."

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