Friday 19 January 2018

Low-income families to get childcare boost, says Varadkar

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Fergal Phillips
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Fergal Phillips
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has signalled a rise in childcare subsidies in the next Budget, at least for families on lower incomes.

He said h e considered the introduction of a universal childcare subsidy for every child between the age of six months and three years to be among "significant milestones".

In a briefing for reporters he also referenced the means-tested enhanced subsidies for lower income families.

"I expect that will increase next year, although that will be a matter for the next Budget," he said.

He also addressed health issues saying nobody could be "anything other than affected by the fact that so many people in Ireland have to wait so long for the medical care that they need".

He said that patients attending A&Es "often get very good medical care, but they don't get the dignity that anybody who is sick and in our emergency departments is entitled to".

Mr Varadkar promised increased resources over the next three years and a focus on reform to make sure the extra spending is matched with patient outcomes and better experiences. He said the Government's goal is to see month-on-month decreases in the number of patients waiting for operations.

Meanwhile, the Taoiseach also set out a timetable for the long-delayed ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He hopes to see Dáil and Seanad votes on the matter in February.

Irish Independent

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