THE husband of right-to-die campaigner Marie Fleming – who gave up his career in IT to look after her – has said the State is failing them and thousands of other carers.
Tom Curran said carers would be hit by a number of Budget cutbacks, including higher prescription charges and the scrapping of the telephone allowance for pensioners.
He had hoped last year's cut in the respite grant from €1,700 to €1,375 would be reversed, along with cuts to the mobility allowance grant and home-help service – but they will now be worse off. Higher prescription costs would now have to be paid through the paltry carer's allowance of just over €200 a week – which is already used to pay for food and heating.
Ms Fleming (59), who is in the final stages of multiple sclerosis, lost her landmark legal case challenging a ban on assisted suicide earlier this year. Mr Curran said that before he gave up his job as an IT consultant, he was able to charge more per day than he gets from the State each month as a carer.