Unfair Universal Social Charge leaves disabled woman unable to pay for physio

A disabled woman has been left devastated, unable to pay for her physio, and on the verge of a nervous breakdown due to the Universal Social Charge which has cut €400 from her income every month.

Speaking about the plight of this woman, Fine Gael Galway West Senator Fidelma Healy Eames said this week that the application across the board of the Universal Social Charge (USC ) is devastating for those with disabilities. Describing the USC as “grossly unfair” Senator Healy Eames vowed that she and Fine Gael will be opposing it in the Finance Bill.

“This morning [Tuesday] I took a desperate call for help from a young working, single woman with a disability. She was made disabled eight years ago due to a brain haemorrhage which resulted from a hospital-based MRSA infection. She is now paralysed on her left side and blind in one eye. She has managed to continue working by personally funding physiotheraphy and counselling. Now with a €400 cut to her monthly income, as a result of the scrapping of excemptions for medical card holders, her future is becoming increasingly unclear.

“She told me: ‘I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I am floored. I can’t sleep with the effect of this. The counselling to cope with my disability has kept me off anti-depressants. The physio has kept me moving. With a €400 cut I now can’t afford to pay for this anymore. I am devastated’.

“Opposition to this charge is widespread and I will not stand by and allow lives to be destroyed just because of the Government’s recklessness. The across the board application of this charge, irrespective of a person’s capacity to pay, is completely unjust and penalises retirees, the over 70s, the disabled, and those on medical cards... It is cruel and thoughtless and should be opposed at every turn,” said Senator Healy Eames.

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