Offaly TD 'dismayed' by government stance on home help
Independent Offaly TD Carol Nolan has said that the government's position on cuts to the Home Help support service has been incoherent and lacking in any kind of reassurance.
Deputy Nolan was speaking after she challenged the Minister of State for Older People, Jim Daly, on the matter during the course of an emergency Dáil debate on the matter this week.
“What has become very clear following the Dáil debate last night is the scale of the government’s denial on this issue."
"Indeed, the Minister gave two directly contradictory statements that highlight the mixed messages that people are receiving," Nolan claimed.
"First, the Minister acknowledged that the home support service is not demand-led and is therefore operated in line with agreed budgetary limits, but he then went on to say, not two minutes after this that the allocation of new hours will be demand-led based on clients' needs. Which is it?"
"I put it to the Minister that It was shameful to see approximately 600 people in Laois-Offaly alone are waiting for home help and home care packages."
"I also informed him that on Monday I attended a meeting in Mullingar which was organised by the Carers Association and that their message to him was that many carers are just fed up."
"Many of the carers to whom I spoke on Monday are caring not only for one family member but for a number of them. They are at their wits' end."
"It is absolutely shocking to realise that we pay just €219 in respect of carer's allowance, which is €16 more than the basic rate of social welfare. Yet the average contribution for nursing home care of €824. Something is radically wrong with this arrangement."
"We need an urgent root and branch examination of where the funds are going in order to cut out totally unjustifiable and excess payments, especially when more cost-effective and preferred home care solutions are available,” concluded Deputy Nolan.