Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Environment, Community and Local Government, Brian Stanley TD, has called on the government, to ‘do the honourable thing’ and reverse ‘this heartless cut’.
He called for the reinstatement of the full respite grant as it was ‘the very least’ the government do for the carers of this state.
Speaking during the Dáil debate on cuts to respite for carers, Deputy Stanley said, “The recent budget brought in by Fine Gael and Labour has been branded as anti-family, anti-children and anti-women. The cuts to respite care draw the spot light on just how anti-woman this budget has been. Minister, the statistics speak for themselves, 64% of carers are women. Your cuts to respite disproportionately hit women.
“Carers contribute around €11m every day, providing 900,000 hours of care daily and saving the State more than €4.7bn every year. This is five times what it actually costs this government. And yet in your miserly budget you had the heartless cheek to cut the respite care grant cut by a massive €325, from €1700 to €1375.
“This cut comes on top of a host of other cuts. Cuts in the Household Benefit Package and the imposition of the unjust family home tax. The pain from these attacks will hurt the disabled and families of carers a lot more than they will hurt any government minister.
“This government comes armed with a scalpel and a baton. You cut with one and hit with the other.
“It was within your gift to keep the respite grant in place. Wealth taxes, as outlined in our budget, would yield a total of €800m, standardising discretionary tax reliefs, except charitable donations, would have yielded a further €969 million while a third rate of 48% on earnings over €100,0000 would have raised €365 million. Anyone of these would have yielded far more than your scrooge like cut.
“Do the honourable thing and reverse this heartless cut. Reinstate the full respite grant, it is the very least you can do for the carers of this state.”