1,000 signatures reached
To: Irish Government
Carers Against Government Exploitation & Denial
Urgently address the homecare crisis and improve supports and services for Ireland's 355,000 family carers.
Why is this important?
*We recognise that many family carers will simply be unable to attend this protest. For those who can, we would urge you to join us. For those who cannot, please ensure your voice is heard by adding your name to this petition and asking your families and friends to do likewise in support of Ireland's family carers who are the backbone of our healthcare system.
Budget 2020 is a damning indictment of Government’s attitude towards Ireland’s 355,000 family carers who save the state €10bn every year.
Family Carers Ireland has been asked by family carers to take action to send a clear message to Government that their repeated failure to address the homecare crisis and improve supports and services amounts to exploitation.
As a result, we are holding a demonstration outside Leinster House on Wednesday, October 16th from 11am - 12pm.
A recent survey of family carers shows that:
• Almost 2 in 3 are providing more than 100 hours of care per week
• 1 in 4 providing 50+ hours of care per week do not get Carer’s Allowance or Carer’s Benefit
• 1 in 3 have a diagnosis of depression
• 4 in 10 have a diagnosis of anxiety
• Over two thirds suffer with physical ill health and 2 in 3 feel that their health had suffered as a result of caring
• Access to routine supports have reduced since 2009, despite more carers providing round the clock care in 2019
• 71% of carers’ loved ones have no access to respite
• 72% worry about not having enough money in the future.
The five urgent priorities outlined by Family Carers Ireland in our pre-budget submission were:
1. Reform the means test for Carer’s Allowance
2. Increase the hours a carer can work/study from 15 hours to 18.5 hours weekly.
3. End the postcode lottery in homecare and carer supports.
4. Replace the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant withdrawn in 2013.
5. Extend the GP Visit Card to include carers in receipt of the Carer’s Support Grant.
While Family Carers Ireland welcomes the increase in the hours a carer can work or study, the failure to increase the income disregard means that carers hoping to work additional hours may be negatively impacted by having their Carer's Allowance reduced. The means test requires urgent reform, with just one in five carers currently receiving Carer's Allowance.
We also believe the announcement of one million additional homecare hours will not not be enough to clear the current waiting list or keep up with demand.