Thurles Independent Councillor Jim Ryan has called on the Government to reverse its decision to cut the Respite Care Grant that was announced in last weeks budget. In a statement to this weeks Tipperary Star Cllr Ryan states that he has been contacted by a huge amount of people who will be affected by this severe cut.
“This is a disgraceful and shameful cut and has to be reversed. A cut of E325 from the annual grant of E1700 amounts to a 20% drop in the payment which will result in severe hardship for the carers looking after their loved ones.
“A typical carer receives E204 per week to look after a loved one which otherwise would cost the Government a fortune if that person had to be looked after in a public nursing home. The carers provide a wonderful service by allowing their loved ones to remain in their homes while they are in need of care. It is a very hard and emotional service that they provide and the costs involved are huge due to recent price hikes in heating costs, ESB, food, clothing etc. A carer is the only individual receiving a social welfare payment that actually has to earn it. This cut in the Respite Grant goes beyond belief and has to be reversed.
“I am calling on our Government TD’s in North Tipperary Alan Kelly and Noel Coonan to stand up for the carers and their families by voting against this cut back when it is put before the Dail this week. It is a mean and harmful cut and it is time that our elected TD’s put this country above foreign banks and bondholders. Over 77000 people receive the Respite Grant and this cut amounts to a saving of just over E25 million for the government which surely could be found somewhere else in the budget. It is a disgrace that this Government decided to cut the incomes of the most vulnerable people in our society while at the same time not cut their own scandalous high wages. Labour and Fine Gael have let the people down and would seem to be out of touch with reality,” Cllr Ryan said.