CUTS TO the home help service have been condemned as ' shortsighted in the extreme' by Senator Darragh O'Brien (FF) who joined a protest march against the cuts the constituency office of the Minister for Health in Swords on Saturday.
Speaking to the Fingal Independent, Senator O'Brien said: ' There is no basis for these cuts whatsoever and the make no economic sense. The are having a massive impact already with people having up to half of their hours cut.' He said that the home help campaign and the carers' association had both asked several times for a meeting with the minister on the issue but have been denied.
Senator O'Brien said that even in the 'worst of times' under previous administrations, this area had not suffered cuts and he said that both Government parties were guilty of a ' breach of the Programme of Government' in implementing the cuts. He said that the Programme for Government has a commitment not only to preserve home help but to extend it.
The Malahide Senator said that he had tried to raise the issue in the Seanad on several occasions but had been refused a debate and said that if the Minister would not talk about it in the Oireachtas then the campaign would take the debate to his constituency office. Senator O'Brien was also critical that the cuts were being applied 'across the board' and without individual assessments of the needs of affected clients of the service.