“A short term saving for a long term loss” and “unjust and illogical” is how a local councillor has described the Government’s slashing of €325 from the Respite Care Grant.
Fianna Fáil councillor Ollie Crowe said cutting the grant “may help reach a target for cutbacks” but allied to the decrease in home help hours, it will force “more and more people to descend upon already overcrowded and under resourced hospitals”.
The grant, given to 77,000 people across the country who care for ill or disabled family members in their homes on a full time basis, will be cut by almost 20 per cent from €1,700 per year to €1,375 per year, saving the state €26 million out of targeted adjustments of €3.5 billion.
However Cllr Crowe believes this will be “a short term saving for a long term loss”. He said: “It represents the very pinnacle of flawed thinking which has become all too common from the Government.”
Cllr Crowe was particularly scathing about Labour, who came under fire this week following the admission of Minister Pat Rabbitte that the party was aware it would not be able to keep its election promises at the time of making them.
“Labour based their entire campaign on their alleged ability to safeguard the interests of those in society who most need and deserve support,” said Cllr Crowe. “To say they have been an abject failure would be kind. They claimed a coalition was better than one party Government, we ended up with one party Government with Labour only as ‘yes men’ to Fine Gael.”