Thursday 19 April 2018

Carers need more services, not 'politicians' praise and respect' – Dáil told

Micheál Martin. Photo: Damien Eagers
Micheál Martin. Photo: Damien Eagers
John Downing

John Downing

Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin, said it is time to re-think tax cuts for high earners and focus instead on improved services for vulnerable people like carers.

Mr Martin cited a television documentary which highlighted a serious lack of respite services for people caring for disabled relatives. He took issue with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s expressions of “respect and care” for carers.

The Fianna Fáil leader said that carers under constant pressure had told RTÉ documentary on the issue that they no longer wanted politicians saying “they were full of respect, concern and admiration.”

He insisted that there is now an emergency in respite care provision which cannot even meet emergency situations. “We simply cannot get respite care for people in dire circumstances,” Mr Martin said.

The Fianna Fáil leader said the carers’ situation was among a number of serious lacks in services for citizens. He said it was time to re-think tax cuts for high earners while these service problems continued.

Sinn Féin leader, Gerry Adams, said people’s safety was at risk due to the crisis. He urged more investment to meet people’s urgent needs.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the Government had already increased facilities for carers and planned further improvements.  He argued that the last Fianna Fáil government had cut carers’ funding.

Mr Varadkar said he accepted that more funding was needed for carer services. “The Government is absolutely committed to doing this,” the Taoiseach said.

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