Thursday 18 January 2018

Brendan O'Connor: Book-balancing act may come at a terrible cost

The Government is targeting society's most vulnerable yet again -- and all to save a few quid, says Brendan O'Connor

People with disabilities and their families protesting during a National Disability Rights Protest which marched from the Central Bank to Dail Eireann. They included twins Ann and Margaret Kennedy from Wicklow.
People with disabilities and their families protesting during a National Disability Rights Protest which marched from the Central Bank to Dail Eireann. They included twins Ann and Margaret Kennedy from Wicklow.
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

Yet again over the last few days the sick, the disabled, the old and the vulnerable have had to parade their sad tales through the media to try and tell the truth, as they see it, about the Government's good news of the expansion of the home adaption and improvement grants for older people and people with disabilities.

The Government has claimed that the tightening of the criteria for these grants and the lowering of the grants actually represents an increase in its largesse and claims that more people will now be able to adapt their homes to make them suitable for vulnerable people. The Government points out that it is actually increasing the total amount it gives in these grants by €3m this year to €38m.

What it doesn't point out is that last year the amount available in these grants was cut by over a third, from €54m in 2012 to €35m in 2013. Neither does it say that these grants have been cut by two- thirds in the last three years. In 2010 €100m was allocated to 14,000 people in these grants. This year a little more than a third of that will be given out.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss